Details of just under 1,000 alleged ‘real’ Ku Klux Klan members and sympathisers have been posted on the internet by the hacktivist  group known as Anonymous.

How accurate the list purports to be will be up for some scrutiny. Previously revealed details from earlier this week regarding the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), now appear to have been faked. This first list that appeared was released by individuals claiming to be affiliated to Anonymous.

Operation KKK on Twitter

Operation KKK on Twitter

Not us say Anonymous

Anonymous, though, has denied any involvement in this earlier data dump saying:

“We did not release this list that circulated social media today and we do not vouch for the content of any work we did not complete ourselves,”

They also stated they would release the real list on the 5th November instead. And they did.  The ‘faked’ list incorrectly labelled several political figures as being member of the Klan, and has now been comprehensively discredited.

This is us say Anonymous

This new list that Anonymous has released, has according to the Anonymous statement accompanying the data dump used ‘human intelligence’ as well as ‘cyber espionage’ and ‘social engineering’ to build the list.

Among the names Anonymous have released, are ex police officers, and some former candidates for political office. While most of the associated names are from the KKK’s traditional Southern US heartlands, some came from as far afield as New York, and New Jersey.

Anonymous though have been selective about which names they have released, claiming to have withheld some pending “further evaluation.”

Remember Remember the 5th November

Releasing the KKK list on November 5th is in all likelihood not a coincidence. The 5th of November has a special significance for Anonymous. The date is the anniversary of the infamous Guy Fawkes plot to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Guy Fawkes masks, made popular in the V for Vendetta movie, have become both a symbol and a talisman for the Anonymous collective.

As an aside to the KKK list, Anonymous also organized protests in several cities around the world last night. Some of them, such as the one in London, resulted in over 50 arrests.

Social Justice

The release of the KKK list is part of Anonymous’s ongoing ‘Hoods Off,’ campaign against the KKK. The current operation began on the 16 November last year after some Klan members threatened violence against peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson has become a symbol for racial inequality in America ever since the killing of unarmed 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown back in August 2014. Tensions were later raised when the officer responsible was not charged for Brown’s death.