CYBER THREAT

Ashley Madison Hack Puts Gay Lives At Risk

ashley-madison-hackThe Independent reports that some gay users of the Ashley Madison website are now fearing for their lives, since the hack exposes the names and locations of users living in countries where homosexuality is illegal and, in some cases, punishable by death.

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.

Related: Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Account Revealed, Meanwhile Parents Pitch Reality Show About Child Sex Abuse

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.

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42 Comments

  • Hana Chan

    puts lots of straight lives at risk too i’m thinking

  • DDstar1me

    Hhhhhh….eye roll.

  • Ives Meagher

    Spare me….a cheater is a cheater, whatever country. They have been stoning men, women and children for centuries…is this news?

  • Michael Martinez

    This is why it is never a good idea to lie about who you are sexually. When you have to keep lying to protect a secret, it can ruin your life if you and everyone around you if it comes out. Not a fan of outing people but, cheating is probably the worst violation you can commit in any relationship. I feel zero sympathy for people who have been exposed having affairs doesn’t matter if they are cheating with someone of the same or opposite sex.

  • Jennifer Mercury

    Saw an aeticle the other day – a guy in Saudi Arabia had been listed in the first leak, and was asking how to get asylum somewhere, as he is pretty sure he is going to be executed once his gov’t puts it together.

  • Mike_M

    If you lie and get caught lying who’s fault is that? As far as being outed in countries where homosexuality can get you into serious trouble, the same was true in the rest of the world until people started to stand up for themselves. When you lie about who your are, there is always the chance that lie will be exposed. Its a dangerous game to play. I can have sympathy for them but for the other cheaters who choose to cheat and lie rather than be honest, you got outed, now deal with it. Cheating always has a price.

  • Chris Tan

    I didn’t know that Ashley Madison also owns gay domains like ManCrunch and We Know Down Low which cater to the gay community. I thought they are strictly straight domain that caters to the straight community who wants to cheat behind their spouses?????????

  • Auxifur Wolfgram

    It’s not putting my life at risk.

  • jwtraveler

    @Ives Meagher: @Mike_M: And you think death is an appropriate punishment for lying or cheating. The inhumanity behind that thought is beyond comprehension.
    For you ‘holier than thou’ types, I’m reminded of the Biblical adage “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
    Better be sure your noses are clean.

    And did it ever occur to you that in these countries where homosexuality is illegal, unmarried gay men might use this service as a “safe” way to meet? Not to mention gay people in these countries who are forced into heterosexual marriages and turn to other outlets to have fulfilling romantic lives.
    Just like the hackers, you have the arrogance to claim the right to judge other people without any understanding for the situations they live in.
    In my book that’s a lot more shameful than what these “cheaters” are doing.

  • Charlie in Charge

    While I was thrilled to see the take down of the Duggar chump, I really don’t think we need to interest ourselves in who on that gigantic list of people signed up for a cheating site.

  • sportyguy1983

    A security breach of any website should not be taken lightly.

  • aurruti

    @Ives Meagher: Adultery should not be punishable by death and it is news that a major leak has potentially endangered the lives of many people. Kindly remove your head from your privileged, self-absorbed @$$ (is it okay, if I write it like that? Literally just registered, after months of reading Queerty, to comment on your asinine post) and start to feel a bit of empathy for others whose complicated, sh1tt¥ lives have been made all the more complicated and sh1tt¥ by this recent development.

    Cheers!

  • L Daniel E Kaufman

    They put their lives at risk. Gods queerty! Just cause they’re gay is no reason to defend cheating.

  • aurruti

    @L Daniel E Kaufman: Protesting death sentences for infidelity is not the same as defending cheating….

  • Dieter Michaels

    no… people who sign themselves up on this type of site put themselves at risk. put the blame where it lies.

  • Ron Brasher

    Wow! Queerty, this is a low for you. Don’t discriminate!

  • andy_d

    The objection I have to the leaks is that they were done wholesale with the only concern being “morality” of the site. I hope the hackers are found and held accountable for endangering people. It is not my business if they are gay, straight or any of a number of possibilities under the sexuality spectrum. That having been said, however, I see no problem with leaking the information about those who push the “pro family” agenda to the detriment of others like Duggar.

    The Barney Frank rule of outing gay politicians as he explained it on Bill Maher:

    “I think there’s a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. People who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door, and do it themselves.”

  • SportGuy

    I have no sympathy for cheaters! They would not have this problem if they were faithful to their partners or just stayed single!!

  • martinbakman

    Sux.
    It can still be scary to be gay here in the States, but some of these countries like Iran will hang you. Isis will toss you off of a building. Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and on and on.
    Totally sux.
    I’m so upset to hear how these wretched countries harm gays.

  • Merv

    @SportGuy: Even if you have no problem with executing people for infidelity, the article points out that the company that owns the ashleymadison domain also owns other domains aimed at gay people who are not necessarily cheaters. Customers of those sites also were affected by the security breach. Perhaps you might manage some sympathy for them.

  • Finrod

    @Michael Martinez: Could you possibly be less empathetic? They don’t lie about being gay for fun; they do it because they’ll be killed for telling the truth. But, please, amuse us all by going to Moscow and screaming, “I’m gay,” at the top of your lungs in Red Square.

  • Captain Obvious

    The losers who wanna see a public hanging over cheating so they can feel better about their own lives don’t really care about the fact that it’s not illegal to cheat on anyone.

    What is very illegal is hacking and hacking has gotten out of control. I’d really love a valid discussion about that to take place because the world is getting more and more digital with protection against hacking being completely useless at this point in time. If you don’t know how to hack you’re basically screwed against these autistic bastards.

    But you know we can spend hours raging about how some person we don’t know cheated on some person we don’t know.

    When you find your life savings has disappeared, your private kinky pics plastered around your workplace, or your home raided by the FBI by some anonymous tip about something illegal placed on your pc by an angry hacker(good luck proving it) you might actually care about hackers. And it’ll be way too late.

    It’s fun popcorn drama until it happens to you.

  • Lvng1Tor

    Holy Crap…people on here are actually glad that people could be put to death. I’m so sick to my stomach right now..for what you consider a morally objectionable act…Who the hell do you think you are. You are sick people. That’s what ISIS and the Klan and Nazi’s have done to people. It’s none of anyone’s business what consensual adults do in their bedrooms. It’s not a F’n reality tv show. It doesn’t even say that these are sites for people cheating but you are glad or worse don’t care at all that people could die because some criminals felt morally superior and broke the law. It’s not your f’n business.NONE of you. You see things in black and white probably cause some person cheated on you or you feel so damn superior to everyone that you are beyond questioning. DEATH really for going on a pick up site. Hell I don’t even care about the straight people on these lists…it’s the business of the spouse and the kids…but as long as you feel morally superior so should the kids when they go to school & have people harass them because their mom is a [email protected] or when a wife has to go to work and everyone knows her husband cheated and judge [email protected]@ to consider other people or for F’sake what is and isn’t you f’n business. but what is down right EVIL is that you judging and thinking it’s just fine that people could be murdered because they have no outlets to be themselves in countries that KILL our people everyday. LGBT people in these countries live in fear everyday for their lives but since you have the freedom and privilege to be on Queerty to post bs with out that fear it’s ok…you sanctimonious evil little petty people. what is to stop people from hacking planned parenthood and releasing every name of person who got services there and equating them all to women who have had abortions..is that ok too…as long as someone finds it morally wrong…it must be ok. how about hacking your medical records and releasing that to the public. all of your search engine history and sending to your family and boss…how about standing outside of lgbt centers and videotaping kids who are going to youth groups and posting their names and faces everywhere..is ok that they too may be beaten to death or harassed so badly they take their own lives or kicked out on the streets because their parents are homophobes or sent to correction work abuse camps to “fix” them? Is that all ok too? Cause many people in this country think we are morally corrupt just for being gay and that makes it ok…just takes someone to think they are morally superior and your life is theirs to play judge jury and executioner. F’ U All.

  • Lvng1Tor

    @Auxifur Wolfgram: really? does everyone in your life and work and neighbors know you are a furrie? That you dress in an animal costume and get sexual gratification? Would it hurt your life at all if someone hacked you and spread it around because they feel morally superior? I bet it would or you would have your real name and real face on your facebook!
    @Dieter Michaels: you have the gall to have a NOH8 sticker on your pic and defend people who take morality police into their own hands? To defend lgbt people being murdered for simply being themselves. You should be ashamed of yourself. The people who manage that campaign would be sick to their stomachs seeing that.

  • Lvng1Tor

    @Ives Meagher: @Michael Martinez: there are disgusting comments on here but yours are truly sick and depraved. What other holier than though death penalties do you morally superior beings wish to happen?

    I was going to include Daniel Kaufman but his FB page is full of satanic crap so not worth it and sportsguy is a troll who lives to [email protected]@ off people on here and as for Ron Brasher I truly just have to question his intelligence.

  • James Roach

    Remember how you were all sympathetic when pretty white guys were running around on their wives in Brokeback Mountain or that Keegan Hirst guy with a wife and kids came out, like, five days ago and now you’re all like “well, those average looking brown guys brought this on themselves, they deserve to die!”? That means you’re terrible human beings.

  • Clark35

    This is not good but I’m not surprised that sites like Ashley Madison, etc. and the people who actually signed up for them are foolish to have thought that the personal info they put on there would stay or be private.

  • Kangol

    @Chris Tan: Exactly.

    It’s not just the Ashley Madison site but other non-adultery sites owned by that company that were hacked, meaning people in countries where being openly gay, lesbian, bi, or trans is criminalized, including as a capital crime punishable by death, now face real danger because their identities may be revealed.

    I’m a bit appalled that anyone on here would think it okay to kill people based on consensual adult behavior, including adultery, let alone because they are gay and seek out other adults for consensual sex, but then Queerty is never short of surprises.

    I hope the people showing such dismissiveness, glee and indifference to the potential murders and deaths of others are just being facetious or are the usual self-loathing hom0phones who appear on here trolling, because the lack of humanity is beyond cruel and truly frightening.

  • Kangol

    @James Roach: So true. Only it’s not only average looking brown guys, but white men and women in places like Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, etc., who may face serious dangers because of this hack.

    I thought the openly [email protected], misogynistic and hom0phobic posts that pop up in the comments on here were bad, but the sanctimony, lack of empathy, and outright cruelty of some of these comments managed to astonish me.

  • jason smeds

    If it’s cheaters who have been exposed, you won’t get much sympathy from me.

    As for those who live in homophobic countries, I do have a small amount of sympathy for you. In any case, I think people in general should avoid putting their personal details on the web.

  • Chris

    It’s one thing to be exposed and embarrassed. But whatever two consenting adults do never merits the death sentence because of either outdated laws or religious norms that call for people dying. I cannot believe the intolerance that people on this site have expressed. And I thought that my own generation had to work through lots of stuff before accepting gay folk; wow!

  • Giancarlo85

    @jason smeds: Spoken like one who has lived a sheltered life in the basement of his parents house.

  • DavidIntl

    I believe in openness. Morality is in the eye of the beholder, but truth being exposed is generally a good thing, in the long run. The real problem here isn’t so much this information being exposed as the very fact that are still places on this planet where people are being killed for being gay. As a community, that should now be our priority battle. While we debate cake shops and gender-neutral bathroom facilities, in other places our brethren are being killed…

  • onthemark

    This is the most depressing comment thread in many months. It’s weird seeing so many gay, presumably non-religious people being obsessed with “adultery” at all. You guys DO realize that it’s not actually illegal – in civilized countries, anyway – but you’re cool with having “cheaters” KILLED??

    Instead of killing them couldn’t you psychopaths just sew a scarlet letter “A” on their shirts like in that book? Even in the 1600s they didn’t have the death penalty for “cheating,” they just had the “A”.

    @Mike_M: “As far as being outed in countries where homosexuality can get you into serious trouble, the same was true in the rest of the world until people started to stand up for themselves.”

    Wow – you must have been at Stonewall in 1969? What was it REALLY like? :)

  • SonOfKings

    @DavidIntl: “…but truth being exposed is generally a good thing…” You sound like a complete, non-thinking fool. Like most North Americans, I have a very thick medical history file that I absolutely do not want exposed by hackers for all the world to see. It’s not that I’m ashamed, it’s that it’s my business and not yours. Privacy matters.

  • SonOfKings

    I can’t wait for every American’s home address, bank account numbers, passwords and PIN numbers, and all other personal information is exposed to the world by hackers on the grounds that ” truth always be exposed.” Perhaps then we will realize that privacy unnecessary for a civil and orderly society. Hackers are sociopaths and they’ll come for you and yours next. They will stop only when they have exposed the nuclear launch codes. Game over.

  • Giancarlo85

    @SonOfKings: That is why internet security companies need to be employed more by companies and more subsidies need to be given.

  • SonOfKings

    @Giancarlo85: I’m in favor of appropriate security measures as a matter of course, but what I think we need also is a return a a more mature and rational understanding of concepts of privacy and discretion. People certainly weren’t more enlightened back in the early 1960s, but I think they did accept that human personalities and relationships were complex, that men are flawed, have affairs, and sip too man martinis. The minded their own busienss for the most part. This constant public shaming of human frailty, putting people on blast, publishing private diaries and e-mails for others to gawk is, to me, symptomatic of an immature, hysterical culture of snitches and backstabbers trying to feel morally superior by spying on others and telling their secrets. I’m one of those kind of people that can’t stand someone who dry snitches. People who throw rocks are mean. People who throw rocks and hide the hand are devious. But people who instigate others to throw ocks and hide the hand are cowards. I would much rather dine with a man who cheats on his wife than dine with a cutthroat, back-stabbing, snitching rock thrower who goes around constantly looking to get shit started because they don’t approve of somebody’s lifestyle.

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