Hacker Group 'Anonymous' Leaked Trump's SSN. Have They Gone Too Far?
Yeah, Donald Trump is the worst. But is it wrong to leak his personal information, exposing him to who-knows-what kind of attacks?
On March 4th, hacktivist group Anonymous posted this video to YouTube, in which they declared "total war" on Donald Trump.
Anonymous, which was founded around 2004, is a self-described non-profit organization. They're comprised of members from countries all over the world and use the skill sets of both activists and computer hackers (hence the portmanteau "hacktivists") to achieve their goals, which are defined loosely via their Facebook page as "[s]upporting the poor & powerless" and "[b]ringing justice to the world."
Since the group's inception, Anonymous has been heavily involved in attempting to bring down people and entities responsible for or contributing to the oppression of others. They often go about this by declaring "total war" on their enemies (recently, extremist group ISIS has been on the receiving end of this) and engaging in social media assaults, in which they release private and/or sensitive information about their targets. This hasn't always been effective–when Michael Brown was shot, Anonymous released private information about the shooter on Twitter–who turned out to be the wrong guy.
Then, less than two weeks after declaring total war on Trump, the organization released this video.
Anonymous provided attachments to their video in which they reveal Trump's Social Security Number, cell phone number and information about the location of his various headquarters. They are taking no responsibility for what people do with this information, but we can only assume nothing good–for Trump, at least–will come of it.
Anonymous declared war on Trump because they essentially see him as attempting to form the "Fourth Reich" in the United States.
From what I've seen, they're not incorrect–Trump is shockingly similar to Hitler, in more ways than one. As a result, Anonymous sees all means of stopping Trump–short of directly engaging in violence–as fair game. From the metaphor they used in the above video, "many of you have said to yourselves that if you were alive in Nazi Germany, then you would have done something. You would have resisted." Their method of resistance is by trying to expose Trump in all possible ways, showing that he is, in fact, a Hitler clone.
Which leads to the relevant question: would you value the cyber security of one man and his family over all minority groups in the nation? Meaning, is Anonymous' sharing of Trump's personal information a necessary evil that will help to potentially protect millions?
Anonymous has named their war on Trump "#OpWhiteRose" in reference to those who resisted Nazism in WWII-era Germany.
According to Anonymous, "Donald Trump is an enemy of the Constitution and the natural rights it enshrines."
They're certainly not alone in thinking this way, and I wholeheartedly agree. There will no doubt be dissenters of this viewpoint, though–Trump has held major leads for the 2016 Republican nomination for POTUS, after all–and many people will likely see Anonymous' leaking of Trump's information as inciting violence.
But you have to ask yourself: if leaking Hitler's personal information before he was elected to the office of Chancellor had prevented Nazis gaining power in Europe, would it have been worth it? I'd think so.