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Grindr Warns Egyptian Users That Police May Be Using App For Entrapment - VIDEO

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Grindr has sent a message to all Egyptian users this week warning that police officers may be “posing as LGBT on social media to entrap you,” reports Buzzfeed.

GrindrAccording to state-owned Egyptian news site Ahram Online, six men were sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison with labor for allegedly advertising their apartment on Facebook for men to have sex with each other for a fee of $200 per night.

The warning comes after Egyptian authorities arrested nine men for "debauchery" but later concluded that "the men tested negative for homosexuality."

It was also reported earlier this month that authorities in Egypt intend to use new online monitoring software See Egypt to hunt down LGBT people.

As Egypt has stepped up arrests of gay people - around 80 since October last year - human rights activists had speculated that authorities were targeting people through social media. Officials have already confirmed that Facebook groups for gay Egyptians are being closely monitored.

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

Watch a report on Egypt's online surveillance system, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Grindr Warns Egyptian Users That Police May Be Using App For Entrapment - VIDEO" »


Grindr Addresses Concerns Over Egyptian Police Using App To Arrest Gay Men

Grindr2Grindr has responded to claims that its popular networking application is being used by Egyptian police to target and arrest gay men. Reports of Egyptian authorities using apps like Grindr to locate, expose, and jail men for violating the country’s laws criminalizing public homosexuality first surfaced in August following a massive security leak that left most Grindr users location data open and exposed to the public. Grindr, which released  a preliminary patch to the security flaw in early September, assured its users that the hack allowing third parties to triangulate a specific person’s location was not, in fact, an oversight on their part.

“Since October 2013, there has been a real manhunt for gay people in Egypt.” Samia A., an underground LGBT rights campaigner told France24, “The police aren’t just targeting well-known gay hangouts, they are increasingly raiding homes when they think there is an LGBT party going on.”

As of October, 2013, some 77 individuals have been arrested in Egypt thanks to the Egyptian police’s coordinated efforts targeting LGBT gatherings, something Grindr says it is trying to curtail.

"We monitor and review all reports of security issues regularly," representatives for the social network assured The Advocate. "As such, we continue to evaluate and make ongoing changes as necessary to protect our users."


Grindr Poll Accurately Predicts Scottish Independence Vote

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With neither the BBC nor any other UK media outlet paying for exit polling for the referendum on Scottish independence, there was a marked degree of uncertainty about which direction Scotland would vote during last night's vote.

News outlets and concerned citizens, however, needed only look at Tumblr user machotrout's Grindr poll to figure out that the UK would be staying intact. 

Over the past couple of days, machotraout polled several hundred Grindr users in Edinburgh whether they believed Scotland should be an independent country. 

The polls breakdown in responses:

NO: 114

YES: 101

Undecided: 24

Other opinion: 20

Indifference: 15

Evasion: 38

Bemusement: 13

Amusement: 2

Too horny to answer: 6

General rejection: 4

Did not respond: 318

machhotrout added that when only decisive opinions were taken into account, Grindr voted NO on independence 54%-46%, which is remarkably close to how the final vote went down (55.3% no -44.7% yes)

You can visit the poll HERE and check out more screen-grab images from the polling (some of the responses are quite funny) 


Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey Admits He Has a Grindr Account: VIDEO

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In a sneak-peek clip for his upcoming MTV special Being Tyler Posey, the 22-year-old Teen Wolf star and his friends get into a discussion on dating apps - with Posey appearing initially uncertain about what Tinder is exactly.

"Tinder? No, what's that? Is it like Grindr for straight people? I know what Grindr is....because I have an account"

It's probably just a a joke - but hey, I can dream can't I?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey Admits He Has a Grindr Account: VIDEO" »


Grindr Addresses Security Breach, Rolls Out Easily Bypassed Patch: VIDEO

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Grindr’s administrators temporarily disabled the popular hookup app’s location-awareness features yesterday afternoon following widespread concerns about a security exploit that exposed 600,000 users’ exact locations worldwide regardless of their privacy settings. The flaw in Grindr’s infrastructure allowed anyone, including people not using the service on a phone or tablet, to triangulate a specific users precise location by pinging Grindr’s servers. Though popularly thought to be a predominantly western app, Grindr boasts a global userbase of over 6 million people, many of whom are logging on from within countries with explicitly homophobic laws.

After discovering the potential security breach, an anonymous European Grindr user took to demonstrating just how easy it was to parse out other users’ personal information. Despite being alerted to the problem, Grindr’s developers initially responded to the backlash by asserting that the application was merely functioning the way it was meant to.

The sudden shutdown of the app’s location functionality was seemingly meant to address the bug. However, hours after users were able to seek one another out from their phones, America Blog’s John Aravosis easily found other users in Brunei, Russia, and Iran. This raises particular concerns in light of a slew of Grindr-assisted arrests in Egypt. Rather than fully patching the problem, Grindr’s development team has implemented a series of roadblocks:

"It appears, according to the anonymous Grindr user who uncovered the security breach, that Grindr is blocking the IP address of anyone attempting to find the exact location of its users. (Grindr is also requiring you to register a new account before massively [violating] the privacy of their users.) But if Grindr thinks this is a sufficient fix, they might want to have a chat with the following gay men I just found in Tehran and Brunei. All you have to do, apparently, is create a new IP address and a new account, and voila, you’re in."

It is important to note that Grindr users who disable their location sharing from within the app should be protected from the break.

Watch a video demonstrating the Grindr security breach AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Grindr has issued a statement on the security concerns:

"In light of recent security allegations surrounding a user’s specific location, Grindr has made modifications to no longer show distance information for users.  Grindr will continue to make ongoing changes to keep all users secure, as necessary."

Continue reading "Grindr Addresses Security Breach, Rolls Out Easily Bypassed Patch: VIDEO" »


Flaw In Grindr Infrastructure Allows For Spying On Exact Location, Profile Details: VIDEO

GrindrAn exploit recently discovered in the current generation of Grindr applications allows anyone with an internet connection and skill enough to query Grindr’s servers. Grindr, and applications like that, function using a cell phone’s geo-location information based on a combination of cell phone signal, proximity to wi-fi hot spots, and use of GPS tech. Generally, Grindr will provide users with a general idea of where they are in relation to one another denoted in a chosen unit of measurement.

When questioned about the security flaw, a Grindr representative claimed that the sharing of location data was a feature of the application, rather than a mistake. This particular bug, however functions somewhat differently than how the average Grindr user’s phone might.

By pinging Grindr’s servers for location requests linked to a particular Grindr user multiple times, it is possible to triangulate a person’s exact location with a degree of accuracy uncharacteristic of the application. In addition to detailed location information, it is possible to parse all of the information included on a Grindr user’s profile. All of this can be achieved without actually using Grindr from either a phone or a tablet, as explained by NDTV. The only protection that Grindr users have at their disposal currently is to completely disable any locational permissions given to the app, effectively crippling it.

According to NDTV, an anonymous samaritan has been using the flaw to let people using Grindr in countries known to be hostile towards gays know that their identities could, in theory, be compromised. As of the 19th, the hacktivist reported having contacted 100,000 Grindr users in over 70 countries with anti-gay laws in effect. Since then they’ve taken to posting warnings to a Twitter profile, YouTube Channel, and a Pastebin text page.

Watch a video demonstration explaining the security exploit, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Grindr has reached out to us about this report, releasing the following statement:

"We don’t view this as a security flaw.  As part of the Grindr service, users rely on sharing location information with other users as core functionality of the application and Grindr users can control how this information is displayed. For Grindr users concerned about showing their proximity, we make it very easy for them to remove this option and we encourage them to disable ‘show distance’ in their privacy settings. As always, our user security is our top priority and we do our best to keep our Grindr community secure."

Continue reading "Flaw In Grindr Infrastructure Allows For Spying On Exact Location, Profile Details: VIDEO" »


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