WikiLeaks ‘exposes people’s personal data’ in leaked files

Rape victims and other innocent people named in WikiLeaks documents, says AP

Julian Assange

Hundreds of people's personal information has been published online by WikiLeaks, including those of rape victims, according to theAssociated Press.

Their exposure is a byproduct of WikiLeaks' stated commitment to revealing government secrets across the globe, the newswire found while investigating files published by the organisation in the last year.

The transparency group has published people's medical files, while others have had "sensitive family, financial or identity records posted to the web", AP claimed.

AP said it has verified 23 people's leaked details by contacting them, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

One man, whose paternity dispute with a former partner allegedly appeared in WikiLeaks' trove of documents, told the newswire: "They published everything: my phone, address, name, details. If the family of my wife saw this ... Publishing personal stuff like that could destroy people."

WikiLeaks did not comment on the article, but IT Pro has approached it to ask how it vets the documents it publishes, and whether AP's claims are accurate. No reply was received at the time of publication.

The group's documents are all publically available, with its homepage offering a search bar and categories such as Intelligence', Global Economy', Government', and War & Military'.

People can also search within recently published documents such as the Democratic National Committee's 19,252 leaked emails, or Hillary Clinton's archive of emails that were stored on her own private server.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is quoted on the organisation's website as saying: "WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world's most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, we analyze them, we promote them and we obtain more."

The organisation claims to have published more than 10 million documents "and associated analyses" so far.

But the leaked DNC emails included dozens of social security numbers and credit card numbers, according to the AP, while a Saudi Foreign Ministry data dump included more than 500 passport details and academic and employment files.

There were also two instances in which teenage rape victims were named, according to the AP.

WikiLeaks is yet to respond to a request for comment.

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