LBWhistleblowing group WikiLeaks is under fire for publishing Saudi government data that outs gay men, leaving them at risk of attack.
Wikileaks is known for routinely publishing illicitly-obtained government data from around the world – recently publishing emails illegally hacked from the servers of the US Democratic National Convention. That attack was thought to have been perpetrated by Russian-backed hackers.
The organisation has now been accused of carelessly and recklessly publishing unredacted data from Saudi Arabia in a separate mass info dump, including the personal details of thousands of Saudi people.
Among the thousands of documents, the data includes personal information identifying at least one man with a gay sex conviction – as well as a number of rape victims and people living with HIV.
It also makes public the identity of domestic workers who had been tortured or sexually abused by their employers – even listing people’s passport numbers, alongside their full names.
A disabled woman whose private debt information was released in the data dump told Associated Press: “This is a disaster.
“What if my brothers, neighbours, people I know or even don’t know have seen it? What is the use of publishing my story?”
A doctor whose patients’ data was released branded the leak “illegal”.
Embattled WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who has spent years hiding in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, said previously: “The Saudi Cables lift the lid on an increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself.”