With the release of Ashley Madison subscribers' email addresses, thousands of cheaters have been exposed. Republicans, Duggars, and "happily" married couples. But there are more than just hippocrites being fingered. LGBT citizens across the world are in danger of being found out.
People living under oppressive regimes who used the Ashley Madison adultery dating site to arrange secret liaisons could be at risk of prison or the death penalty.
The site was predominantly used by people looking to cheat on their partner, but it is thought that many single gay people used the service to avoid detection by oppressive governments. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, while in Qatar – where 50 members of the site are registered – it carries a five-year prison sentence.
Sky's Technology Correspondent Tom Cheshire said one Reddit user based in Saudi Arabia has even fled the country after being exposed. He said: "Ashley Madison was sold as a way to get casual hook-ups for cheating spouses, but some users in the Middle East say they used it as a discreet way of having meetings with homosexual men who didn't want to be identified. There are 1,200 email addresses with the Saudi Arabia suffix where homosexuals face the death penalty. More than 50 accounts are from Qatar where homosexual relationships are punishable by five years in prison. And there are 1,500 from Turkey where homosexuality isn't illegal but you can get kicked out of the country or banned from military services." – news.sky.com
When I first read that LGBT people were exposed for cheating, I thought SERVES THEM RIGHT! But they weren't cheating. Some may have been using it for that, but it seems many were using Ashley Madison as we use Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, etc. These are not all partnered people, but in many nations where gay apps are banned, LGBT have turned to straight hook up / dating apps in the hopes other LGBT-ers are thinking the same. But the leak is more than just THE Ashley Madison main website.
Ashley Madison owns gay domains like ManCrunch and We Know Down Low, and members of both clubs are among the 37 million account holders whose sexual preferences have now been made public by this week’s hack.
Homosexuality is still illegal in roughly 75 countries, including several states in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and most of the Caribbean. Placing sensitive information about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in these regions therefore puts their lives at risk.
Over 50 accounts have been found from Qatar, where homosexual relations can land you five years in prison, and 1,500 accounts are from Turkey – where homosexuality can ban you from military service. – lgbtqnation.com
So as some of us have cheered the Ashley Madision leak because of Duggar / Republican exposures, but there are some LGBT-ers that are now in danger across the world. I could not imagine needing to flee your home because you belonged to a website.
Have you used straight dating apps to find someone?
Have you been outed due to participation in a website / app?