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Anonymous Releases Data Dump Claiming to Yank Hoods off Ku Klux Klan Members

Hundreds of names have been revealed.

pReTeNdEr / iStock

Last week, people affiliated with the hacking collective Anonymous vowed to reveal the identities of hundreds of U.S. Ku Klux Klan members.

Today, Anonymous made good on that threat, publishing the names, aliases, Facebook accounts, Google Plus profiles and other identifying information of individuals tied to Klan-associated organizations. After sending out the link, the seemingly official Operation KKK Twitter tweeted that it had redacted the names of some individuals for reasons of accuracy.

The Pastebin post with the information identified Twitter users @ThatsRacistAF2 and @AnonCopWatch as the people behind the release. The latter account’s tweets suggest that they were able to obtain at least some of the information in the dump from making their way into Klan Facebook groups by using secret Klan greetings.

The data was gathered over a period of 11 months by interviewing experts, going through public records and “covert methods” — or what Anonymous refers to as digital espionage/social engineering (which sounds like tricking your way into Klan Facebook groups), the post said.

Still, there’s plenty of reason to be wary of the information in the release.

On Monday, users claiming to be a part of #OpKKK/#HoodsOff (Operation KKK’s hashtags) posted a bunch of information claiming that elected officials ranging from sitting U.S. senators to mayors of major cities were part of the KKK. That dump was quickly deemed bogus, and it was disavowed by the official Operation KKK account. Gabriella Coleman, a professor at McGill University who has written a book about Anonymous, told Re/code that “if [Anonymous is] right, this is huge. If they’re wrong, it’s huge — they’re going to be massively discredited.”

A number of the people in the dump have been previously identified in the media as Klan members or ardent defenders of Confederate pride. At first glance, there aren’t any names that jump out — but we’ll update this story if anything emerges. None of the names on the list were independently verified by Re/code.

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