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‘Anonymous’ hacker group threatens to “expose many crimes” of Minneapolis PD

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 23: A protestor wears a mask of 'Anonymous' the loosely associated hacking group during a march by thousands of people on February 23, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. Public health workers, civil servants and disaffected citizens converged on central Madrid to protest against the austerity measures of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

An online, decentralized hacker group calling itself “Anonymous” has reawakened on the Internet in response to the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

The group posted a video online saying they “do not trust” the police department to bring justice to Floyd — with threats of “exposing [their] many crimes to the world.” 

“You are here to keep order for the people in control,” a member of Anonymous said in the May 28 video. “Not to provide safety for the people who are being controlled. In fact, you are are the very mechanism that elites use to continue their global system of oppression.”

Who is Anonymous?

Anonymous is… well, just that: anonymous. It’s an activist movement composed of anonymous hackers known for cyberattacks against several governments worldwide. 

The group originated in 2003, acting as an online community that primarily focused on entertainment. Starting in 2008, the group launched “Project Chanology” — a protest movement targeting the Church of Scientology. 

Members wear Guy Fawkes masks, similar to those portrayed in the graphic novel “V for Vendetta.” In videos, members typically opt for voice-text or voice distortion to keep their identities hidden. 

The group exists behind several social media accounts, spreading themselves out — becoming decentralized without a leader. 

 

Several people have been arrested over the years for involvement in cyberattacks linked to this group. 

Supporters of the group call them “freedom fighters,” while critics denounce them as “cyber terrorists.”

Anonymous reawakens after four years

After its creation in 2003, the group had been somewhat active online until 2016 — where it reportedly “declared war” on both presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. However, the group seemed to go radio silent for a few years. 

In February 2020, Anonymous re-emerged online to hack the United Nations website creating a page for Taiwan — which hasn’t had a seat in the UN for nearly 50 years. 

Anonymous then posted an eerie video on Facebook in response to the death of George Floyd — a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. The officer was charged later with murder, after video footage of the incident circulated widely on the internet. 

In the video, the group threatens to expose alleged crimes of the Minneapolis PD. 

“[The world] is becoming increasingly angry every time they see blood needlessly spilled without consequence,” Anonymous said. “Unfortunately we do not trust your organization to carry out justice, so we will be exposing your many crimes to the world.”

The hacker group cites incidences in which they claim police departments have incited violence toward citizens, with Anonymous calling Minneapolis “among the worst.”

“[Minneapolis Police Department] has a horrific track record of violence and corruption,” Anonymous said. 

The group has also claimed to have a number of documents incriminating President Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein in cases of rape, sexual assault and others. 

 

Anonymous in the age of George Floyd protests

Anonymous has been outspoken on one of its Twitter pages (that is not confirmed or verified with a check mark by the social media platform), with several tweets reacting to #BlackLivesMatter and the Minneapolis police.

Rumors began sprouting that Anonymous had hacked into different police scanners in Chicago, disrupting communication between officers while protests were going on. Videos began emerging on social media of police scanner channels being disrupted with music. 

However, there’s no evidence proving members of Anonymous were behind the hacking. The hacked channels were only noticed through a phone app used by some citizens, and a Chicago police department public relations officer said they were unaware of the alleged incident, according to an article by the Daily Dot. 

Anonymous was quick to point its mission (and the purpose of protests) is not only to uncover racism. It’s about, in their view, “a police state doing whatever [expletive] it wants,” according to a tweet on one of its accounts @YourAnonNews.