Hunter, a hook-up app that serves as Russia’s version of Grindr, has been hacked and its users threatened – by the country’s government, claims Hunter’s CEO.
According to website Towleroad, on February 1, all Russian Hunter app users, including those in Sochi, received the message: “You will be arrested and jailed for gay propaganda in Sochi according to Russian Federal Law #135 Sektion 6.”
Following this message, users in Sochi found that they were unable to open the app, instead encountering an alert saying their profile was “blocked” for the next several days.
Despite attempts to safeguard and retrieve users’ data, Hunter staff could only able to retrieve approximately 24 percent of profiles after 12 hours, with the remaining 76 percent – about 72,000 profiles – remaining corrupt.
Hunter CEO, Dmitry T (who, Towelroad reveals, withheld his surname for security reasons) told the site that he believed the Russian government was responsible for the hack.
“It looks like the Russian Government decided to take full control of the Internet and implement Turkish practices where Grindr has been banned for almost half a year,” he said.
“I think that this attack is connected to increasing censorship of the Internet and very soon other gay dating resources in Russia will face similar problems.
“In order to protect our users from future injustice, we have started moving our servers from Russia to Europe and are planning to finish this process within the next 3-5 days. Therefore, Hunters users may face further disruptions in the coming days.
“I urge the entire gay community and all of those who consider the Internet to be a free zone to boycott not only Russian vodka but also everything that is linked to the Olympics and not to buy any Olympic souvenirs,” he added, in a statement on the site.
(Pictures from Towleroad.com)
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