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It may be hard to believe, but the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a hate group known for their violent racist actions during the early and mid-20th century, is still around to this very day. While past terrors have included lynching African-Americans and burning down African-American churches, today’s KKK is a shadow of its former self, splintered into groups that mainly espouse far-right politics. However, it is still considered a hate group, with membership estimated to be around 5,000 to 8,000.

Anonymous, a group of hacktivists known for organizing protests, pranks and hacks, is looking to unmask members of the KKK. The group claims that there are many prominent members in the KKK today, including several current U.S. politicians. “After closely observing so many of you for so very long, we feel confident that applying transparency to your organizational cells is the right, just, appropriate and only course of action,” the group said.

Anonymous has protested (mainly by taking down their websites or revealing personal information of their targets) the anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church, the Church of Scientology, major tech companies such as Sony and PayPal, and even government agencies of countries such as the United States, Israel and Uganda. Additionally, Anonymous has helped apprehend those involved in child pornography and have protested anti-digital piracy campaigns from the movie and music industries.

Since the release of the list of KKK members by Anonymous, members have organized the Million Mask March in London, which is an anti-government protest calling for more civil liberties. Several concurrent protests have also taken place around the world. However, the hacker who released the list of KKK members claims not to be a part of Anonymous.

The hacker, who goes by the name Amped Attacks, said that he acted on his own accord. “I am not involved with Anonymous or any other hacktivist group. I am my own man that acts on my own accord and the take down of WBC is just something I felt like doing, because frankly, I am tired of them spewing their hate message,” he said.

However, he stated that politicians who did not support the KKK would not sign up for their websites. “I worked for nine days to gather and verify all the information that was gathered before its release. I got the information from several KKK websites when I hacked them and was able to dump their database. I went through many emails that were signed up with these sites and a few of the emails that sparked my interest were the ones of the politicians in question. There would be no reason for them to be signed up on any KKK website unless they supported it or were involved in it.”

Anonymous also took time to claim victory over the KKK, saying on one of their Twitter accounts that “the KKK has essentially been destroyed” and that more KKK-affiliated websites will be targeted in a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of the target, rendering it unusable for an indefinite amount of time.

“We hope Operation KKK will, in part, spark a bit of constructive dialogue about race, racism, racial terror and freedom of expression, across group lines. The reality is that racism usually does NOT wear a hood, but it does permeate our culture on every level. Part of the reason we have taken the hoods off of these individuals is not because of their identities, but because of what their hoods symbolize to us in our broader society,” the report said. “We consider this data dump as a form of resistance against the violence and intimidation tactics leveraged against the public by various members of Ku Klux Klan groups throughout history.”

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