After publishing the ‘Erdogan Emails’ amidst the failed military coup in Turkey, whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks has now revealed the personal detail of every woman in the country. WikiLeaks has been criticised for tweeting a link to archives holding personal and sensitive data of ‘every female voter in 79 out of 81 provinces in Turkey’.
According to Turkish academic and reporter Zeynep Tufekci, the site also linked to the personal details of hundreds of thousands of women on the electoral register via their social media accounts.
|( Zeynep Tufecki, pc-google images)|
In an article in the Huffington Post, Tufekci asserted: “[WikiLeaks] posted links on social media to its millions of followers via multiple channels to a set of leaked massive databases containing sensitive and private information of millions of ordinary people, including a special database of almost all adult women in Turkey.”
“If these women are members of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (known as the AKP), the dumped files also contain their Turkish citizenship ID, which increases the risk to them as the ID is used in practising a range of basic rights and accessing services. The Istanbul file alone contains more than a million women’s private information, and there are 79 files, with most including information of many hundreds of thousands of women.”
Tufekci claims she confirmed the legitimacy of these files by asking “dozens of friends and family members” about the accuracy of the leaked data. Many, she said, said it contained “correct private information.”
Giving a warning to WikiLeaks supporters, Tufekci concluded: ‘I hope that people remember this story when they report about a country without checking with anyone who speaks the language; when they support unaccountable, massive, unfiltered leaks without teaming up with responsible parties like journalists and ethical activists; and when they wonder why so many people around the world are wary of “internet freedom” when it can mean indiscriminate victimisation and senseless violations of privacy.’
After publishing the article – which has been widely shared on social media – Tufekci was blocked by the WikiLeaks Twitter account.