This, an image inspired by Banksy’s ephemeral artwork in civil rights flashpoint Birmingham, Alabama, is what you call Shots Fired.
Anonymous has declared war on the Ku Klux Klan, the American racial hate group first made internationally infamous in the 1891 Sherlock Holmes tale of the Five Orange Pips.
Aussie Anons seized the #OpKKK tag and ran with it last Friday the 14th, a day of manic activity in the Anon Hive. As time zones awoke, the tag and the movement swept across the world, and is growing literally exponentially, according to analytics site Topsy.com. It appears that, however provincial their immediate actions may be, disapproval of them knows no borders.
As in all internet wars, the first question is, “Who started it?” Pretty simple, if bipartite.
When even right-wing sites like Business Insider are calling out the situation in Ferguson as an inappropriate and overtly hostile militaristic buildup to provoking some future fight, and then, some months into the ongoing protest the governor declares a state of emergency ahead of the court ruling on the Darren Wilson shooting of Michael Brown…
Well…when you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
Anonymous decided to take action first against the indefensible KKK instead of the National Guard, the police (more than they have been already), or the army.
The outcome was relatively predictable, as every news outlet on the planet has already reported while I was offline. Anonymous took the KKK site offline, and doxed its members in and around the StLouis/Ferguson area via #, while simultaneously seizing control of a central KKK twitter account.
Or did they? [scare italics very deliberate]
The #HoodsOff hashtag was intensely popular with onlookers, as you can imagine.
FYI Cloudflare is generally considered the last word in DDoS protection. If The Cryptosphere were ever to move off WordPress.com we would use Cloudflare. It has only been defeated a handful of times, most notably by probable state-sponsored attacks against WikiLeaks, one of its clients.
Note the extra K. Taking down a website that wasn’t your actual target can be chalked up to a propaganda victory, but not a hacker one.
The original YouTube call to arms no longer exists as a separate video, having been taken down as having violated YouTube’s Terms of Service against threats of violence, but can still be viewed as part of a playlist.
Yeah, we thought it was weird too. It’s been re-uploaded:
Anonymous clarifies that they are opposing the KKK not because of hate speech, but because of their threats of actual violence. After questions arose about their “seizure” of Twitter accounts supporting the KKK, they issued a statement a few minutes ago:
Well, that’s swell as far as it goes…
But it only goes as far as you’re willing to trust an effectively brand-new Anonymous account about its own provenance. And here we veer sharply into op/ed territory rather than news reportage.
In the opinion of this writer/raincoaster, [there are those scare italics again] that particular account was always law enforcement of some form: FBI or local law enforcement, it matters little. An analysis of its actions back to 2012 indicates it was largely a bot, tweeting at those who supported KKK causes, asking them to follow it, rather than tweeting information which might have been useful to actual KKK members. What better way to collect a list of potential white supremacist terrorists than to ask them to sign up voluntarily? And then blame their outing on a third-party activist group.
And why would Anonymous bother to say “Waitaminit!”?
Never interfere with your enemy when he is destroying himself. That’s a great political saying, and it goes double when two of your enemies are destroying one another.
Featured Image via Nurettin Toska on Twitter