KKK vs. Anonymous: Cyberwar Declared Over Ferguson Protests

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The group of unnamed “hacktivists” Anonymous and the Ku Klux Klan have engaged in an apparent all-out cyber war over the events in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week. Anonymous apparently took control of the Klan Twitter account @KuKluxKlanUSA on Monday and seemingly still had control of it as of Friday. Anonymous also appears to have released a video on Tuesday launching a campaign called #OpKKK, or Operation KKK, threatening to take any content the KKK puts on the Web and to “dox” their members, meaning they would publish members’ personal information, including where they live.

Anonymous’s attacks are supposedly in response to threats from the KKK, well-known for being a hate group, in the St. Louis area against people protesting the death of Michael Brown and calling for the punishment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. VICE News reports that the group distributed flyers on the streets and online the previous week addressing “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters.’”

‘We will not sit by and allow you to harm our families, communities, property nor disrupt our daily lives. Your right to freedom of speech  does not give you the right to terrorize citizens,’ the flyer reads. ‘We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri Law to defend ourselves,’ it adds, citing Missouri’s version of a stand-your-ground law.

In Anonymous’s video response to the threats, a digitally altered voice explains why the hacker group chose to attack the Klan online. “We are not attacking you because of what you believe in as we fight for freedom of speech. We are attacking you because of what you did to our brothers and sisters at the Ferguson protest on the twelfth of November,” it says.

What followed were more suggestions of the cyber war spilling over into real violence. On Wednesday, another supposedly Anonymous-affiliated account posted an alleged message from Klan leader Frank Ancona encouraging members to ‘accidentally’ shoot any protesters wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, associated with the Anonymous movement.

‘It’s deer hunting season here in southern Missouri, it’s really easy to see how a hunter could mistake someone wearing one of those gay anonymous masks for the hind-end of a whitetail deer. Boom!!!! Oops, sorry it was an accident,’ the tweet reads.

While he didn’t explain why anyone would be deer hunting in the streets of the St. Louis metro area, Ancona seems to have confirmed the message in another statement attributed to him, RT reported. “You pathetic n***** lovers are going down, we’re NOT HIDING. WE’RE NOT ASHAMED OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE REPRESENT. THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE OVERTHROWN,” the message posted to Pastebin reads.

This isn’t Anonymous’s debut in Ferguson. Toward the beginning of the protests, when the identity of the officer who shot Brown was not known, Anonymous was on a campaign to release the names and information of various Ferguson police officers. In the process, a self-proclaimed member released what he or she claimed was the name of the shooting officer, Bryan Willman. Willman, a police dispatcher, was forced to shutter many of his online accounts, change his passwords, and stay in his house for six days, the New Yorker reported. It was only after this erroneous leak that the police department released the name of Officer Darren Wilson as the real shooter.

Despite the major mistake that may have endangered the life of an innocent police dispatcher, Anonymous has proven to be the real deal when it comes to hacking anything from police departments to hate groups.

Still, the authenticity of anything published in this apparent cyber war is difficult to verify for any news organization–a lot of the details of whose controlling these social media accounts is unknown. That’s because Anonymous actually is anonymous and is a loosely-associated network; almost anyone can claim to be a member. At the same time, the KKK seems to lack the technical know-how to give any sort of  coordinated response.

Zaid Shoorbajee
Zaid Shoorbajee is a an undergraduate student at The George Washington University majoring in journalism and economics. He is from the Washington, D.C. area and likes reading and writing about international affairs, politics, business and technology (especially when they intersect). Contact Zaid at



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