Following the sentencing of six men by an Egyptian court on Thursday, Grindr has sent out a warning to its users in Egypt that the police may be trying to entrap them.
Ahram Online reports that the six unidentified men were cited for “commiting debauchery” after allegedly advertising their apartment on Facebook as a place for men to meet and have sex with each other for $200 a night. The accused were sentenced to two years in jail with labour.
In the past year, 80 people have been arrested on allegations of homosexuality as the Egyptian government continues its oppression of the LGBT population. Eight men are due in court on Saturday for appearing in a video that was shared on Facebook showing two of the men exchanging rings. The video was sensationalized in the Arabic press as being part of a gay wedding.
According to a report by BuzzFeed, Egyptians’ online activity is being monitored by See Egypt, the sister company of an American cybersecurity firm called Blue Coat, giving the Egyptian government the power to monitor Egyptian people from Skype, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other websites. Government officials confirmed with BuzzFeed that Egyptians are being monitored through See Egypt and that Facebook groups for gay men have been targeted.
As a result of the social-media crackdown, hookup app Grindr has sent out a warning message to its users: