Enlarge / WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy on February 5, 2016 in London, England.Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images
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Even as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, the WikiLeaks website continues to publish the secrets of various governments worldwide.
But that’s not all it’s publishing.
A report today by the Associated Press highlights citizens who had “sensitive family, financial or identity records” published by the site.
“They published everything: my phone, address, name, details,” said one Saudi man whose paternity dispute was revealed on documents published by the site. “If the family of my wife saw this… Publishing personal stuff like that could destroy people.”
One document dump, from Saudi diplomatic cables, held at least 124 medical files.
The files named sick children, refugees, and patients with psychiatric conditions.
In one case, the cables included the name of a Saudi who was arrested for being gay.
In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death. In two other cases, WikiLeaks published the names of teenage rape victims.
“This has nothing to do with politics or corruption,” said Dr. Nayef al-Fayez, who had a patient with brain cancer whose personal details were published.
The AP, “which is withholding details of most of those affected,” spoke to 23 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, whose personal details were exposed.
Apart from two doctors, the report also describes Saudis who had embarrassing details about their personal debts published. Other documents describe a divorce related to a male partner’s infertility and name the partners of women who have HIV and Hepatitis C.
The AP analysis, which was assisted by New Hampshire-based DataGravity, found two dozen Social Security and credit card numbers.
Two people said they were targeted by identity thieves following the leak, including a retired US diplomat.
The WikiLeaks collection continues to grow, and the organization recently added a half-million files from a hack of the Democratic National Committee.
Julian Assange didn’t respond to the AP’s attempts to contact him, and a set of questions left on the website weren’t immediately answered.
In its early days, WikiLeaks worked with journalists, such as those at The New York Times and The Guardian, who published a set of documents leaked in 2010 by US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
But Assange’s relationship with the journalists he had worked with in the past soured over time. Some of his once-closest allies have become critics.
For instance, this back-and-forth between WikiLeaks and Snowden took place shortly after the DNC hack.
@Snowden Opportunism won’t earn you a pardon from Clinton & curation is not censorship of ruling party cash flows https://t.co/4FeygfPynk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 28, 2016