Tag Archives: anonymous

Anonymous Denies Involvement in Leak of Alleged KKK Member List

Over the weekend, a number of mainstream media outlets began reporting that the Anonymous-affiliated group Operation KKK had started early on its planned November 5 release of names of members of the Ku Klux Klan, based on a two-document dump on pastebin that has been attributed to an alleged hacker identified by the handle Amped Attacks.

The list includes several city mayors and Republican U.S. senators. However, some of the individuals listed in the dump sparked immediate questions about the legitimacy of the information. For example, openly-gay Democratic Lexington, Ky. Mayor Jim Gray and liberal Democratic Knoxville, Tenn. Mayor Madeline Rogero, who comes from a biracial family, made the list.

[RELATED: Anonymous Shuts Down Texas Town’s Website to Protest Killing of Teen Girl By Cops]

After Amped Attacks leaked the data, the Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account that originally announced that a leak of KKK members would take place on November 5 disavowed Amped Attacks’ leak in a tweet seen below.


Amped Attacks also released a tweet distancing itself from Anonymous.


Techcrunch reports that Amped Attacks said, “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 was signed up with these sites and a few of the emails that sparked my interest was 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 was involved in it.

[RELATED: Anonymous Releases Alleged Police Dispatch Audio Of Ferguson Shooting]

Amped Attacks’ analysis of the hacked email lists appears to ignore the possibility that someone else keyed some of the names or contact information into them. Gizmodo notes that Amped Attacks says that the lists’ signup procedures include an email verification step but failed to provide specific proof of that.

Gizmodo also spoke with one of the alleged KKK members on the list who works for a company that provides consultation service to police unions. That individual said that her business email had probably been added to a KKK email list by a now-incarcerated former administrative-level jail employee who had been convicted of wiretapping her and some of her colleagues. According to the wiretapping trial’s transcript, prosecutors connected the jail employee’s harassment of union members to a prank in which one of the victim’s names had been involuntarily placed on a KKK mailing list.

According to The Washington Post, the KKK’s membership has collapsed in recent years and includes “at most” 4,000 to 6,000 members spread across loosely-connected subgroups.

Operation KKK reportedly still plans to release its list of KKK members on November 5.


The group also released a video press release promoting the November 5 leak, which can be seen below.


Social media commenters have pointed out the fact that the release of poorly-vetted information just days before Operation KKK’s planned leak could have the effect, intended or unintended, of damaging the credibility of the upcoming release of alleged KKK members’ identities.

Black Lives Matter, Anonymous, and Open Carry Activists Unite for John Crawford Rally

On Wednesday, August 5th, activists in Ohio marked the one year anniversary of the shooting of John Crawford III. The 22-year old was shot by a Beavercreek police officer after being seen holding a BB gun inside the Wal-Mart near Dayton, Ohio. A grand jury would later find that the officer innocent of murder. Federal authorities are still reviewing the case.

The activists came from a range of groups including Greene County Black Lives Matter, Anonymous #OpJohnCrawford, Beavercreek CopBlock and Ohio Open Carry. The Greene County BLM had planned a protest and “die-in” outside the Wal-Mart where Crawford was shot. The group carried a black coffin through the parking lot to the front door of the Wal-Mart. The planned protests prompted the store managers to close down for the evening.

Ohio Open Carry stated that their demonstration was part of an effort to “remind the nation that open carry is legal and that police are not above our most basic human rights.”

However, not all of the activists involved appreciated the open carry groups’ message. According to Counter Current News:

“Many of the participants in Greene County Black Lives Matter did not like the idea of having firearms at a protest, and some controversy arose when they delineated “rules of conduct” that included “no firearms.”

The other activist groups noted that they had long planned their protests and had been a regular presence at the location, with the continued blessing of John’s mother Tressa.

Just two days before the protest, at the request of a handful of activists and John’s mother, representatives from local Anonymous groups, Beavercreek CopBlock, Black Lives Matter and Ohio Open Carry sat down and hashed things out like grown ups.”

The protest went on without major conflict between the activist groups, and with no arrests reported.

Following the protest at Wal-Mart, John Crawford III’s parents gathered with the activists and spoke to a large crowd about the importance of taking action against violent police officers.

At one point John Crawford Sr. told the crowd, “How many people right now are bearing arms? If everyone out here would have held their hand up we wouldn’t have to worry about any problems.”

John Crawford Sr. went on to tell the crowd that, “You can’t reason with a bully. You have to eventually fight that bully. You have to let him know that win, lose or draw, I’m gonna fight you every day.”

The elder Crawford reminded the crowd that their numbers were greater than the police, stating, “You have a right to defend yourself. You have a right defend your family. You have that right – a Godly right and a Constitutional right.”

Despite the powerful words, John Crawford Sr. expressed that he was not promoting the use of violence against police, but rather the of self-defense.

“I’m not advocating death. I’m simply saying, inevitably it may go down that way. If it continues to go like its going now it will go down that way cause you can only push people for so long before they’re going to strike back!”

Anonymous Shuts Down Texas Town’s Website to Protest Killing of Teen Girl By Cops

Officials with the City of Longview, TX have confirmed that the city’s website was targeted by hackers last Saturday. Shawn Hara, spokesman for the city, told Longview News-Journal, “The website did go down temporarily, but as far as we are aware nothing was compromised.” YouTube user AnonSec 101, who claims to be a member of the hacktivist group Anonymous, posted the above-embedded video threatening retaliation against the City of Longview following the controversial January 22 officer-involved shooting death of Kristiana Coignard, a 17-year-old girl with a history of mental illness who reportedly brandished a weapon at the Longview Police Department. After the city’s website went down, AnonSec 101 claimed credit for the attack in a YouTube comment, saying, “We would like to say that we did shut down the Longview Texas city website, of course it’s back online, trust us when we say we wouldn’t have made this video if we knew the op wouldn’t be a success.”

According to The Free Thought Project, alleged Anonymous hackers carried out the attack as a part of a campaign called “#OpSLFOC,” which stands for “Operation: Stop Lethal Force on Children,” and were protesting the fact that three police officers opened fire with multiple rounds rather than using less-lethal alternatives on the diminutive, 17-year-old teen girl Kristiana Coignard, who, according to a second-hand rumor reported by Longview Mayor Jay Dean to Marshall News Messenger, may have been brandishing a knife in what Coignard’s aunt characterized as a cry for help.

AnonSec 101 wrote a message in the comments section of the above-embedded YouTube post, which said, “We ask you, Longview police department, are you happy with the choice of actions taken by your officer? We ask you, what kind of people you hire as police officers that can’t take a knife from a small 17 year old girl? We ask you, why are your officers carrying tasers if they will only reach for their guns first? A firefighter will endanger their life and enter a burning building for the POSSIBILITY of saving a life, a lifeguard will risk drowning for the possibility to save a life. But a COP will kill you, OR even a 10 year old child, because you POSSIBLY could have caused them harm.”

Kristiana Coignard’s aunt, Heather Robertson, who lived with her, gave her thoughts on Coignard’s actions at the Longview Police Department in a statement to Think Progress , “I think it was a cry for help. I think they could have done something. They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us.” Robertson said that Coignard suffered from depression and bipolar disorder and lost her mother at age three.

The three police officers who shot and killed Coignard have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. According to Brietbart, the Texas Rangers have been called in to participate in the investigation.

Police spokesperson Kristie Brian told Longview News-Journal that Coignard approached the Cotten Street police station at 6:28 PM on January 22 asking for an officer. Said Brian, “When police arrived to assist her, that’s when she confronted them. She did brandish a weapon. I don’t know what kind it was. She came at the officers and was shot.” Think Progress notes that police officials say that they do have a video of the incident.

The Longview Police Department posted a statement on Kristiana Coignard’s death on its Facebook page, which said, “On January 22, 2015 at 6:28 p.m., Longview Police were dispatched to the front lobby of the Police Department for an Unknown Problem. When Officers arrived they were confronted by a white female who threatened them. The suspect brandished a weapon, made threatening movements toward the officers and was shot. The suspect was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center where she were pronounced dead by a Justice of the Peace. The Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate this shooting.”

In 2014, Longview police fatally shot two people, one of whom was 15 years of age. According to Longview News-Journal, grand juries assigned to the cases declined to bring charges against the officers involved in those shootings.

Journalist Barrett Brown Sentenced to 63 Months in Federal Prison

After more than two years behind bars, journalist Barrett Brown was given a sentence of 63 months in federal prison.

Brown was also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution fees to a number of companies that were hacked in 2011. Brown was arrested in September 2012 during an FBI investigation into his role in the hacking of the servers of HB Gary Federal and Stratfor by the decentralized hacker collective Anonymous.

Judge Sam Lindsay also ruled that fifty percent of all gifts or awards will go to Stratfor and Combined Security, two of the companies involved in the hack. Upon release Brown cannot handle credit cards, checks, or bank accounts. He will be on parole for at least 2 years and will only be allowed to use an approved computer which will monitor all of his activity.

All the way until the very end of the hearing prosecutor Candina Heath attempted to persuade the government to enhance the charges. Heath wanted to upgrade the level of offense which would have increased the possible sentence up to 71 months. Judge Lindsay denied this final request from the prosecution.

Much of the mornings proceedings focused, once again, on whether Brown was a journalist performing protected activities or a former journalist who crossed the line into cyber terror. Brown has been an activist, and a journalist. His articles and blogs have been featured in numerous publications including the GuardianVanity Fair, and the Huffington Post.  Judge Lindsay sided with the government in their argument that “Brown’s role was more than merely reporting on the hacked account.” He considered himself a member of the hacker collective Anonymous, collaborated with them, identified targets, and provided advice, the Judge stated. Barrett Brown himself would admit that he crossed a line from journalist into supporter of Anonymous.

Despite Barrett Brown having no direct connection to the Stratfor hack, he was previously  facing a century in prison for sharing a link to the leaked documents with a chat room. Jeremy Hammond would later receive ten years for that leak. 

When Brown signed the plea deal in March 2014 the hyperlink charges were dropped. However, the prosecution was able to bring the dismissed charges to the forefront in an attempt to sway the judges ruling towards the maximum sentence. Brown’s own defense noted that this was a perfectly acceptable and legal practice but felt the government had previously been unable to make its case on the hyperlink charge and was now attempting to recharge him.

These accusations lead to a debate on whether or not Brown had trafficked in stolen data by simply reposting a hyperlink to the hacked documents. Heath at one point referenced a case dealing with child pornography and accused Brown of “furthering the accessibility” to the documents. Brown’s defense would argue that reposting a link to the information is not the same as promoting the stolen information. They stated that the prosecution was conflating the issue and argued that telling someone where a website is that offers child pornography is not the same as trafficking in that porn. Ms. Heath then moved to describing Brown as a drug dealer who knowingly gives others a key to a house full of drugs. You don’t have to actually touch information to have trafficked in it, she would claim. Judge Lindsay agreed and allowed the claims to stand on the record.

It is this “relevant conduct” that has many journalists and advocacy groups fearing the ruling. Despite fears that allowing this to stand could “chill journalists to the bone”, Judge Lindsay stated that “the totality of the conduct” must be considered. He attempted to reassure the defense and nervous onlookers from the press that “what took place is not going to chill any 1st amendment expression by journalists”. Judge Sam Lindsay may feel confident from his viewpoint but exactly how courts in the future will interpret this ruling remains to be seen.

The exact charges Barrett Brown plead guilty to include  (1) transmitting a threat in interstate commerce (2) accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer and (3) interference with the execution of a search warrant and aid and abet. Brown apologized for the threats he made in a YouTube video, however Judge Lindsay noted that it was this charge that carried the heaviest punishment.

The second charge comes from Brown offering to be a mediator for hacker Jeremy Hammond following the hack of Strafor. During his allocution statement to the judge, Brown offered some background on why he made the decision to mediate for Hammond.

And with regard to the accessory after the fact charge relating to my efforts to redact sensitive emails after the Stratfor hack, I’ve explained to Your Honor that I do not want to be a hypocrite. If I criticize the government for breaking the law but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just as I’ve called for the criminals at government-linked firms, like HBGary and Palantir, to be punished. When we start fighting crime by any means necessary, we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.”

Brown also discussed how contributors to his think tank, Project PM, have been declared criminals by the government.

” So now the dozens of people who have given their time and expertise to what has been hailed by journalists and advocacy groups as a crucial journalistic enterprise are now at risk of being indicted under the same sort of spurious charges that I was facing not long ago, when the government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted. “

On his decision to reject an earlier plea deal that included fraud charges:

 Last year, when the government offered me a plea bargain whereby I would plead to just one of the eleven fraud charges related to the linking, and told me it was final, I turned it down. To have accepted that plea, with a two-year sentence, would have been convenient—Your Honor will note that I actually did eventually plead to an accessory charge carrying potentially more prison time—but it would have been wrong. Even aside from the obvious fact that I did not commit fraud, and thus couldn’t sign to any such thing, to do so would have also constituted a dangerous precedent, and it would have endangered my colleagues, each of whom could now have been depicted as a former associate of a convicted fraudster. And it would have given the government, and particularly the FBI, one more tool by which to persecute journalists and activists whose views they find to be dangerous or undesirable.

Brown also challenged the governments assertion that he is a member of Anonymous and not a journalist.

“There you have it. Deny being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, and you’re still a spokesperson for Anonymous. Deny being a journalist once or twice, and you’re not a journalist. What conclusion can one draw from this sort of reasoning other than that you are whatever the FBI finds it convenient for you to be at any given moment. This is not the rule of law, Your Honor, it is the rule of Law Enforcement, and it is very dangerous.”

Again, the danger of government sanctioning who and what exactly a journalist is was up for debate.

 The government asserts that I am not a journalist and thus unable to claim the First Amendment protections guaranteed to those engaged in information-gathering activities. Your Honor, I’ve been employed as a journalist for much of my adult life, I’ve written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, and I’m the author of two published and critically-acclaimed books of expository non-fiction. Your Honor has received letters from editors who have published my journalistic work, as well as from award-winning journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, who note that they have used that work in their own articles. If I am not a journalist, then there are many, many people out there who are also not journalists, without being aware of it, and who are thus as much at risk as I am.”

Before the judge handed down the verdict, prosecutor Heath argued that Barrett was still displaying a lack of respect for the rule of law. She claimed Brown had little respect for the law, or abiding by the law. She said he believed in retaliation against corporations who commit crimes and was a “vigilante” attempting to find justice outside the law. She argued that the sentence must show “that an individual must respect the law”.

We have to ask ourselves if “following the law”, or “just following orders” automatically makes an action moral or just. Throughout history individuals who have recognized the failures and corruption of government have done what they could to call attention to these crimes. Time and time again the state demonizes and imprisons those who dare question the authenticity and relevance of laws that allow criminals in the corporate world and governments to continue to walk free while journalists working to expose the crimes lose days, months, and years from their lives. What will it take for the people of the world to actively stand against injustice?

Following the sentencing Brown released the following statement full of his usual panache.

“Good news! — The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex. For the next 35 months, I’ll be provided with free food, clothes, and housing as I seek to expose wrondgoing by Bureau of Prisons officials and staff and otherwise report on news and culture in the world’s greatest prison system. I want to thank the Department of Justice for having put so much time and energy into advocating on my behalf; rather than holding a grudge against me for the two years of work I put into in bringing attention to a DOJ-linked campaign to harass and discredit journalists like Glenn Greenwald, the agency instead labored tirelessly to ensure that I received this very prestigious assignment. — Wish me luck!”

For a full rundown of the proceedings leading up to today please check here.

KKK to raise money for Ferguson police officer

The Ku Klux Klan has said they would like to raise money for the police officer responsible for the shooting and subsequent death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” said the South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in an email, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place.”

An Arizona chapter of the Klan has also weighed in on the situation in Ferguson saying, in a blog post according to the Raw Story, “We know that Michael Brown was nothing more than a punk. The media and others are painting him out to be a ‘good son’ and ‘great kid.’ The blacks of Missouri are showing their love of him by rioting, attacking and shooting people. Nothing new.”

The name of the officer responsible for the death of Michael Brown, and the recipient of the KKK fundraising effort,  has yet to be released by the St. Louis County Police Department, but the hacktivist group Anonymous promised earlier in the week  to make the identity of the officer known.

Attempting to follow through with their promise, Anonymous posted two separate Twitter posts in relation to the identity of the shooter, both of which have, at this time, been removed from the social media website and the account suspended.

The first post, according to Death and Taxes, read;

BREAKING NEWS: The name of the officer who shot #MikeBrown – NAME: OFFICER WILLMAN, BRYAN P. , Respondent – #Ferguson#Anonymous

— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessage) August 14, 2014

The police department responded to this message by saying Bryan Willman did not work for them.  The second post supposedly shows a photo of Willman along with more evidence, but this could not be confirmed since the photo was also taken down.

The Anonymous Twitter account has been recreated and can be found here.


Ferguson, MO Police Refuse To Name Officer Who Killed Michael Brown

Ferguson, MO- Ferguson police, after initially planning to release the name of the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown by noon on Tuesday, decided on Tuesday to keep the officer’s identity anonymous for an unknown period of time.

“A lot of threats against the officer were made on Twitter, Facebook, all social media,” said Ferguson Officer Timothy Zoll. “We are protecting the officer’s safety by not releasing the name.”

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told St. Louis news station Newschannel 5 that the officer’s name will not be released unless a judge makes an order to do so or if charges are filed.

The killing of  Brown by the Ferguson police officer has led to the launching of several investigations headed by the FBI, the St. Louis County NAACP and the St. Louis County Police Department. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has also asked the Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation.

These investigations may prove more difficult than other cases involving shootings by police due to the fact that Ferguson police vehicles do not have dashboard cameras, and the officers do not wear body cameras. Jackson said that the department recently purchased the items, but have not actually equipped vehicles or officers with them yet.

There were witnesses who saw the shooting take place last Saturday, and their accounts of the incident contradict accounts from authorities that claimed Brown assaulted an officer and tried to take his gun.

Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson was one of those witnesses; he told MSNBC  that he was walking down a street with Brown when a police officer, in his cruiser, began following them. “His exact words were get the f—k on the sidewalk,” Johnson said, referring to the officer who was driving alongside them. Johnson recounted that they continued walking and the officer abruptly backed up his car and tried opening his door. According to Johnson, the door bounced off of the young men and back onto the officer, and that was when the officer reached out of his car window and grabbed Brown. Johnson said after the physical altercation, the officer said “I’m gonna shoot you.”

According to CNN, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that “the preliminary investigation showed that the Ferguson officer tried to exit his vehicle, but Brown pushed him back into the car” and assaulted him.

The shooting led to angry citizens taking to the streets of Ferguson, and vandalism and looting of area businesses were reported. Hacktivist group Anonymous reportedly released a video supporting protesters demonstrating for Brown while delivering a strong warning to the Ferguson Police Department:

“To the Ferguson Police Department and any other jurisdictions who are deployed to the protests: we are watching you very closely. If you abuse, harass – or harm in any way the protesters in Ferguson we will take every web based asset of your departments and governments off line. That is not a threat, it is a promise. Attacking the protesters will result in the release of personal information on every single member of the Ferguson Police Department, as well as any other jurisdiction that participates in the abuse of this States own law. We will seize all your databases and E-Mail spools and dump them on the Internet. This is your first and last warning.”

“The time has come for more than simple justice for these atrocities. The time has come to draw a line in the sand. The time has come to bring those to justice, who served to protect us, not kill us.

St. Louis news station reported that Anonymous had hacked the City Of Ferguson’s website Sunday evening.