Big Brother Hub




Is Egypt Surveilling Social Media To Hunt Down Gay People? - VIDEO

Egyptian surveillance

Concerns are mounting in Egypt that authorities will use new online monitoring software to hunt down LGBT people, reports Buzzfeed.

Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities arrested nine men for "debauchery" but later concluded that "the men tested negative for homosexuality."

Using U.S. technology, Egypt is now monitoring online communications, giving the government an unprecedented ability to comb through data from Skype, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and Viber.

In recent weeks, Egypt’s LGBT community has issued warnings to avoid using Grindr after rumors spread that officials were using the app to arrest gay men.

Although Egyptian officials have said their monitoring of online activity will focus on preventing terrorist attacks, one Interior Ministry official said the current mandate was “much broader”:

“We are looking at any conversation, any interaction, we might find worrying or would want to keep a closer eye on. We are watching conversations between Islamists, or those who discuss Islamism. We are watching communities, which we consider at risk.”

EgyptThe official went on to say that those taking part in “debauchery” or “homosexual acts” would be watched “for the protection of Egypt.”

He added that although he wasn’t familiar with Grindr, there were “dozens of Facebook groups” used by the LGBT community that are being watched.

Gen. Hany Abd el Lateef, a spokesman for Egypt’s Interior Ministry, denied that the government plans to monitor citizens’ private lives.  

However, a copy of the tenders issued by the Interior Ministry which specifies the type of online communications it will be searching for suggests otherwise.  The list includes:

  • Blasphemy and skepticism in religions
  • Spreading of rumors and intentional twisting of facts
  • Sarcasm
  • Pornography, looseness, and lack of morality

Providing the service to the Egyptian government, See Egypt is the sister company of the U.S.-based Blue Coat.

Ali Miniesy, the CEO of See Egypt, said that the company had been contracted to provide Egypt’s State Security with the system, and to teach officials how to comb through data gathered from email accounts and social media sites.

He added that although the software can be used to penetrate social media and other software, it is a system similar to that used by most Western governments, including the United States.

According to Eva Blum-Dumontet, an advocacy officer with the U.K.-based NGO Privacy International:

“This new software makes it very easy to target anyone, en masse. The user simply says, ‘I want to look for atheists, or homosexuals,’ and the company gets all the data. It’s extremely easy.

"There is a difference between what you do on social media and what you do in the real world. The concern is that people who are not necessarily our protesting would suddenly be on the radar of the Egyptian authorities because they liked a status on Facebook or retweeted something.”

Egyptian Human Rights groups filed a lawsuit on June 17 alleging that the system used by Egypt “threatens private life and public freedom.”  However, the lawsuit could take years to work its way through the courts, and in the meantime the See Egypt technology will continue to be used.

Watch a report on this story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Is Egypt Surveilling Social Media To Hunt Down Gay People? - VIDEO" »


BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO

Grande

"Big Brother 16" house guest Frankie Grande, who has received a great deal of press for his many cuddle sessions with apparently heterosexual competitors and his revelation that he's pop star Ariana Grande's half-brother, recently took it upon himself to inform everyone about why gay people are the way they are. Is it a choice? Is it biology? Frankie seems to have all the answers.

Grande2At first he tells his housemates that gay men have a "genetic predisposition towards being attracted to other men. There's genetic markers in your blood, there's pheromone receptors in your nose...However, I believe society can change you. It depends on how you've been raised." Certainly a problematic perspective, though he clarifies somewhat when he states that society can make one "choose to go against their genetic markers," presumably speaking about the constant homophobic pressures around us.

Things get really hairy, though, when Frankie delves into the mysteries of gay women.

Crushable reports:

That theory, which he’s pontificating on to a room full of reality TV contestants who don’t know any better... apparently only applies to gay men. Only they are born with this mythical predisposition — women never are.

“Any lesbians choose to become lesbians later in life. Women who have been with man after man after man after man choose to become a lesbian later in life. Gay men it doesn’t work so much that way. It’s usually they’re like ‘oh okay, no I’m gay.’”

Truly incredible stuff, Frankie. The most disturbing part? The housemates, and, it seems, Frankie himself, have deemed him resident LGBTQ expert. They hang on to every last word as though it is indisputable. 

"Nature versus nurture is a very highly debated subject, even within my own community," he says. I'm not sure what community you are representing, Mr. Grande, but one where only scorned women "become" lesbians is not the community of which I count myself a part.

Watch the full discussion, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Cliff Lipson/CBS]

Continue reading "BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO" »


Big Brother’s Frankie Reveals to Houseguests His Sister is Pop Star Ariana Grande: VIDEO

Zank

Openly gay Big Brother 16 contestant Frankie Grande, who's been busy this summer cozying up to all the good-looking straight men in the house, has so far been keeping a big secret from the other houseguests: he's the half-brother of pop star Ariana Grande. 

"Who?" - those over a certain age might be asking. Well she's the singer of the hit summer song "Problems" with Iggy Azalea and also starred in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious a few years back. There you go, all caught up. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.32.56 AMAnyhow, Frankie realized his fame-connection secret was "eating his soul away" and decided to spill the beans to the rest of the house late Friday.

Watch Frankie's reveal and the house's reaction, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if you missed any of this season's homoerotic cuddling, check out the Big Brother hub HERE

Continue reading "Big Brother’s Frankie Reveals to Houseguests His Sister is Pop Star Ariana Grande: VIDEO " »


Straight 'Big Brother' Housemate Cody Throws Wrench Into 'Zrankie' Showmance, Cuddles With Frankie: VIDEO

Frankie&Cody

"Zrankie," the Frankie-Zach "Big Brother" showmance to end all showmances has, well, ended. For the time being at least, Frankie has moved on to another cuddle-buddy, the presumably hetero Cody Calafiore. Though Frankie, Zach, and Cody have previously laid in bed together, "Zrankie" only recently professed their love, leading one to wonder if Cody could have been a little bit jealous.

Of course it is impossible to tell just how real anyone's emotions are at the present; a cuddle could mean very little. Still, it is exciting to see the bonds develop, and for Frankie's relationship with his heterosexual housemates to extend beyond vague intimations of gay panic or, as in other seasons, outright homophobia.

Check out the cozy and cuddly footage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Straight 'Big Brother' Housemate Cody Throws Wrench Into 'Zrankie' Showmance, Cuddles With Frankie: VIDEO" »


'Zankie' Confesses Their Love As 'Big Brother' Bromance Heats Up: VIDEO

Zank

Is the bromance becoming a showmance? Whatever we call it, the relationship between Big Brother 16 contestants Frankie and Zach (aka ‘Zankie’) continues to heat up with the two almost locking lips and confessing that they are in love with each other. 

BigBrotherDish has the transcript of how things went down on the live feed:

July 25, 12:55pm, Camera 2. HoH Room. Frankie and Zach.

Zach: What up, Frankie?

Frankie jumps into bed to spoon Zach.

Frankie: I'm like falling in love with you a little bit.

Zach: Are you?  I'm in love with you.

Frankie: A little bit.

Zach: I'm in love with you, without a doubt. 

Check out a GIF play-by play of Zankie’s love confession and, as a bonus, watch Frankie give Cody’s butt a deep tissue massage, AFTER THE JUMP…

(GIFs via AllBBUpdates and Zankie)

Continue reading "'Zankie' Confesses Their Love As 'Big Brother' Bromance Heats Up: VIDEO" »


'Big Brother' Bromances Continue As Male Contestants Show Off Their Muscles, Share Bed: VIDEO

BigBrother1

House guest Frankie, Big Brother 16's openly gay contestant (and Ariana Grande's half-brother), seems to be flourishing as the other contestants embrace their inner bromanticism. Whether participating in a muscle competition or sharing a cozy bed, this season's initial male-male relationship between Frankie and Zach seems ready to expand.

It is certainly refreshing to see heterosexual guys feel comfortable enough with their sexuality to play around and have fun (without scapegoating the LGBT community). 

Check out several particularly friendly moments, AFTER THE JUMP...

BigBrother2

Continue reading "'Big Brother' Bromances Continue As Male Contestants Show Off Their Muscles, Share Bed: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged