COLLATERAL DAMAGE

WikiLeaks Exposed Rape Victims’ Private Data


In its quest to expose government secrets, WikiLeaks has also reportedly made public the private information of hundreds of innocent people, including sexual-abuse survivors, refugees, and sick children. The Associated Press reports that medical files and financial records of ordinary people were published within the past year, including the names of teenagers who were rape victims. Many of the files available through the organization now include those from the Saudi foreign ministry, which brings with it at least 124 medical files of children and refugees. Those Saudi cables contain at least 500 academic, passport, and employment documents, the AP reports. Dr. Nayef al-Fayez said he has a brain-cancer patient whose details were published through the organization. He said, “This has nothing to do with politics or corruption.” WikiLeaks has said its mission is to make public material “involving war, spying, and corruption,” and, in the past, Editor in Chief Julian Assange has said the organization has a system in place to prevent these kind of disclosures of private citizens’ information. Assange, in 2010, called it a “harm-minimization policy.” He added, “There are legitimate secrets. Your records with your doctor, that’s a legitimate secret.”