The internet has had a huge impact on the growth of far-right organisations. Instead of having to face the predictable political opposition on the streets, they can distribute propaganda, meet, fundraise etc online. But a recurring problem for the far right has been the hacking of their websites and fundraising platforms, revealing the details of their donors and members.
Because of this, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will be fully aware of the identities and details of Irish members of such groups, domestic and foreign.
Last year the Canadian Freedom Convoy, which was blocking border crossings and city centres, had its fundraising website, GiveSendGo, hacked and donors’ details published. A similar hacking of US white supremacist group Patriotic Front saw 400 gigabytes of data leaked including members names, addresses etc; photographs; and even recordings of meetings. As far back as 2008 the entire membership list of the British National Party was leaked online. Goldhawk tried to contact four of these – who were listed as living in Tubbercurry, Sligo; the Williamstown area, Galway; Santry, Dublin; and Cahirciveen, Kerry – but all remained elusive (see The Phoenix 28/11/2008).
Now the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) is in the news. It is a transnational, neo-Nazi organisation with members in Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. The NRM was established in Sweden in 1997 and espouses an ideology that is openly racist and anti-Semitic. Since its foundation, its members have been involved in a catalogue of violence, attacking political opponents, immigrants, members of the lgbt community etc with flares, pepper spray, tear gas, knives and guns. A number of members have even been convicted of killings in Sweden and Finland.
Since 2016 Swedish authorities have established that NRM members have been involved in planting three improvised explosive devices targeting a far-left café and two refugee centres.
In August the NRM’s credibility was seriously undermined when it was revealed that poor IT security had allowed complete access to its webshop, Greenpilled, and customer data has been gathered by Antifascistisk Aktion Sverige (Antifascist Action Sweden – AFA) since 2017.
As well as releasing hundreds of names and addresses of Nordic customers, details were revealed of customers from Australia, France, Germany, Greece and even one from Ireland. AFA has phone and email details of all customers and contacted them to give them the opportunity not to have their information published. The Irish customer, whose full details were revealed and could, of course, be an investigative journalist like Goldhawk, lives in Naas, Co Kildare.