Donald Trump smelled blood and took the bait. The Anonymous hacking community set up a tidy little trap for Trump, his presidential campaign staff, the Secret Service, and the FBI — and they all fell for it.
On Friday, Anonymous announced that it had published all of Trump’s personal information — social security number, cell phone number, addresses — and FBI and Secret Service officials immediately made the move to arrest the group.
While Anonymous has successfully leaked information on Trump before, this time the collective wasn’t guilty of hacking anything. The funny thing is that all this information had already been posted online since 2013, and Anonymous simply used it to make a point. When Trump and authorities made the brash announcement for the group’s arrest, it just fed fuel to Anonymous’ argument as it asked, “Is this what we want as a United States president and so-called the free world leader?”
The whole stint was an opportunity for Anonymous to reveal Trump’s fascist tendencies in the video it posted:
“So the Trump campaign has accused us for hacking trump and went even further by asking to arrest us for publishing information that was already public and online. Trump wants to turn America into a fascist dictatorship where anyone can be arrested for just posting old information online.”
At the end of the video Anonymous even goes so far as to thank Trump, his campaign, and law enforcement for participating in its “little experiment.”
The information Anonymous aggregated may not even be valid. After calling the cell phone number listed, I listened to the ring tone for a good few minutes, but it didn’t even get to voicemail. The address listed corresponds to Trump Towers in New York, which is easily accessible information. While Trump’s reaction couldn’t have been determined, Anonymous’ was public with its move.
This past Thursday (the day before Anonymous’ official announcement), a Twitter account with the handle @TheAnonMessage that claims to be associated with Anonymous sent a tweet that Anonymous leaked Trump’s information.
Trump’s information isn’t the only one compiled on the list. Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — among a long list of celebrities and politicians — also have their details out in the open.
Anonymous has a long history of raids against Trump and his organization. The hacking collective first targeted Trump in December 2015 when it took down the Trump Tower New York website, and again on March 7 when it shared 35 of Trump’s voicemails to Gawker. Trump and his staff better be on their toes for pranks on April Fool’s Day, as Anonymous declared that it will unleash a “total war” on April 1. It’s very likely that the worst is yet to come.
“So this is the new priority of the police, the FBI, and the Secret Services,” Anonymous said. “Neglecting all of what’s happening in the United States and serving the Fourth Reich, by going after a group that posted something online that was already there from three years ago.”