WikiLeaks exposed sensitive data on hundreds of innocent people, including rape victims

From The Verge:

WikiLeaks has exposed the personal data on hundreds of ordinary citizens, including rape victims, sick children, and the mentally ill, according to a report published today by the Associated Press. In its analysis, the AP found that the transparency group published medical files on “scores” of innocent people, and that it “routinely” publishes other sensitive information that can be exploited by criminals, including identity records and phone numbers.

WikiLeaks has long committed itself to exposing government secrets through the publication of diplomatic cables and other classified information. But the organization has come under increased criticism for the way it handles personal data, after it published emails sent by Turkey’s ruling AKP party and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in July. In the DNC leak, WikiLeaks did not redact social security numbers and credit card information, and it faced criticism for publishing a “special database” on nearly every female Turkish voter as part of the AKP leak. (Links to the database were later removed.)

“What is the use of publishing my story?”

The AP reports that WikiLeaks’ growing collection of documents includes viruses and spam in addition to sensitive information on innocent people. A trove of diplomatic cables from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, first published last year, includes at least 124 medical files, according to the AP, including those belonging to mentally ill patients, children, and refugees. Transparency activist Paul Dietrich tells the AP that he uncovered more than 500 passports, employment files, and academic records after conducting a partial scan of the Saudi cables.

The organization also named teenage rape victims in two different cases, and published the name of a Saudi citizen who had been arrested for being gay — an offense punishable by death under Saudi law. Other files on Saudi marriages, …

Continue Reading