Most social media users know there is a risk of public exposure when they post anything on the web. However, not as many people consider what would happen if their personal cell phone or email accounts were hacked and all their skeletons came tumbling out of the closet at once.
The slew of female celebrities whose private pictures have been “leaked” on two social media websites, Reddit and 4chan, now know the adverse effects of computer hacking.
The list of celebrities includes Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande and many other women who have been violated. Not only were their nude photos leaked, but also several videos of the varying superstars. Many spokespeople involved with the celebrities made statements shortly after becoming aware of the photo content.
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy, and the authorities will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Lawrence,” said Lawrence’s spokesperson.
Kate Upton’s attorney released a similar statement that said, “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy, and we intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”
These prosecutions have so far been enforced on the websites Reddit and 4chan, which have down the pages that featured the nude photos and have threatened to delete accounts that continue to post the images. Many celebrities who are aware of the leak have posted comments to social media websites discussing the personal violation of these women.
The person who sought out these photos should be given over to the law with the fullest amount of prosecution.
“I think it’s really important to bring the hacker to justice; it was none of their business to snoop around the web in the first place,” said Josh Fernandez, junior broadcast media major. “The people who reposted or retweeted the photos should also be punished, whether it be a warning or taking down their page.”
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong told Forbes, “You choose what you post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create and what kind of rules you will enforce. We will try not to interfere – not because we don’t care, but we care that you make your choices between right and wrong.”
Not only are websites like Reddit and 4chan to blame for this outbreak, but also iCloud, which is the suspected source of the hacked information. Though they denied the hacking of the specific celebrities involved, Apple’s Public Relations released a statement saying, “We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of the photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of the utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on usernames, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”
Now, two months later, there seems to have been little headway in finding the hacker(s) involved with leaking the photos. This has caused Jennifer Laurence to report that she will never be joining social media websites due to the way she was treated after the nude photo leak.
Many people comment on articles about this incident, placing blame on the women who take nude photos instead of on hackers. Other insensitive comments argue women should just be happy that people even want to look at them naked.
There is concern that these photos and all nude photos placed on the internet can never be fully removed. Many people immediately save these types of photos and share them to other websites.
Though awareness is being sought out, are females who save nude photos to their emails or backup devices safe from hacking?
This is the question on every woman’s mind. If these celebrity accounts can be hacked, what makes the rest of us suspect we aren’t victims of the same catastrophe? How would we want violators to be punished under these circumstances?