In Brief

Anonymous 'to release IDs of up to 1,000 KKK members'

'Hacktivist' collective plans to step up cyber-war operation against white supremacist group

The online 'hacktivist' collective Anonymous has threatened to reveal the names of up to 1,000 members of the US white supremacist group Klu Klux Klan.

A Twitter account has been set up called 'Operation KKK', which appears to be linked to Anonymous, and a recent tweet claimed the group had gained access to an account linked with the KKK, which contains member details.

Anonymous says the identities will be revealed on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the cyber-war between Anonymous and the KKK following the protests in Ferguson, Missouri last November.

The 'Operation KKK' account also hinted that the name-dump may include police workers and even politicians.

Justifying the release of the names, the group said in a statement on Pastebin: "After closely observing so many of you for so very long, we feel confident that applying transparency to your organisational cells is the right, just, appropriate and only course of action.

"You made a clear and ever-present enemy of Anonymous when you threatened the lives of protesters and the men and women representing Anonymous on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri in November of 2014.

"You continue to make threats to [Anonymous members] you believe you have identified, journalists, anyone in the public that speaks out against your behaviour. Your threats and intimidation are unprovoked, unwanted and will not be tolerated."

The Guardian reports that the practice of revealing someone's identity online is "usually considered anathema to the culture of Anonymous; but they appear to have made an exception to this rule when it comes to lifting the hoods of Klan members".

Hope Racine, writing for Bustle, claims that Anonymous "doesn't have a strong track record" when it comes to this kind of thing.

"In the immediate aftermath of Michael Brown's death last summer, the organisation released false information about the identity of the officer who shot Brown," she wrote.

"The individual named by Anonymous wasn't even a police officer. Imagine the possibilities if even one name released by Anonymous is incorrect. With one mistake, a Google search could link an innocent person to the KKK forever."

Anonymous has been involved in operations against Islamic State, the Westboro Baptist Church and other groups since its inception in 2003.

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