“HoodsOff” is underway after the names of alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan were posted online on Monday. Hacktavist group Anonymous warned last week that they would reveal the names of up to 1,000 alleged members of the racist organisation.
According to The Hill, the first batch of data was released via the text-sharing site Pastebin, which included the names, email addresses and phone numbers of alleged members.
Before the details were released, a Twitter user named "Amped Attacks” tweeted a link to a Pastebin article, saying he was not linked to Anonymous. “I am not involved with Anonymous or any other hacktivist group,” he told TechCrunch. “I am my own man that acts on my own accord.”
Anonymous later distanced itself from the Pastebin list, saying it discouraged "the circulation of disinfo & will not promote an unverifiable list of politicians."
Grander data dumps have been promised by Anonymous, which has vowed to rob members of the white supremacist group of their anonymity.
On Sunday the group released a statement saying full disclosure would be made on November 4th and 5th. “Today we have shut down servers, gotten personal information on members of the KKK, and infiltrated your twitters and websites,” the statement read. “And this is just the beginning. On November the 4th we will be having a twitter storm, spreading awareness about the operation. And on the 5th we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members Names and websites, new and old.”
The hacktivist group first locked horns with the KKK during the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year, after a local chapter of the KKK threatened to use “lethal force” against demonstrators protesting the killing of African-American teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman.
Following that threat, Anonymous attacked KKK affiliated Twitter accounts and websites. Last week, the tension resurfaced when Anonymous posted a lengthy release detailing why the KKK were not allowed to promote violence, though it said they were entitled to their views.
“You are abhorrent,” the statement read. “You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists and you should be recognized as such. You are terrorists that hide your identities beneath sheets and infiltrate society on every level. The privacy of the Ku Klux Klan no longer exists in cyberspace.”
Reported by USA Today, Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, appeared on the list. Responding to the allegation, he released a statement saying the accusations are "false, insulting and ridiculous."
I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK," he said. "I am opposed to everything it stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong."
Republican Senator Dan Coates was also listed by Anonymous. He denied the accusation on Twitter.