The German wing of the shadowy Anonymous hacktivist collective has launched a full-scale "Blitzkrieg" on neo-Nazis and other extremist groups, and has kicked off its campaign by publishing thousands of names and email addresses of supporters of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).
In support of its "Operation Blitzkrieg " campaign, Anonymous created "Nazi-Leaks," (Nazi-Leaks.net), a WikiLeaks-style website on which the hacktivist group has posted the names and addresses of NPD donors, a contacts list from the right-wing newspaper Junge Freiheit (Young Freedom) and names and email addresses taken from neo-Nazi online store databases.
On its OpBlitzkrieg site, Anonymous also posted emails from registered members of other countries' extremist groups, including Ohio White Pride, Blood and Honour and the American Nazi Party; one American Nazi Party email shows a California neo-Nazi fresh out of prison looking for a local chapter to join, while another details a gay Nazi's quest for a proper sexual "slave."
The leaked Blood and Honour list contains names, phone numbers and home and email addresses of members from dozens of countries, including Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Canada and several from the United States.
Despite the nature of Anonymous' campaign, and its controversial targets, "OpBlitzkrieg" has drawn criticism, predominantly from Germans who believe the hackers were out of line in violating the privacy of the extremists, regardless of their beliefs.
Simone Rafael from netz-gegen-nazis.de, an anti-Nazi Web forum, told the German international broadcast service Deutsche Welle that it's "good to remove the [Nazi] filth from the Net for a few days," but that "if some extreme right-winger were to do this, we'd be furious, too."
Thomas Hoeren, a legal media professor at the University of Münster, told Deutsche Welle, "This attack shows an enormous insensitivity for personal protection, even if these people are from the extreme right and you don't agree with their views. It can unfairly ruin reputations."