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Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Leak Isn't A 'Scandal.'
September 1, 2014 9:01 AM   Subscribe

It's a sex crime. "It is not on the (usually, but not always, female) victim to take 'enough' measures to protect herself but rather on the (usually, but not always, male) victimizer to choose not to commit said sex crime. That notion was lost on the Disney Channel back in 2007. They treated Vanessa Hudgens like a sinful child after personal nudes were leaked and stated that 'Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.' "
posted by Librarypt (615 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
For me, a very thoughtful and accurate way to frame the issue.
posted by rmhsinc at 9:07 AM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


"Ms. Lawrence, Ms. Winstead, and the like have absolutely nothing to apologize for. They have not been scandalized, but rather victimized."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:08 AM on September 1, 2014 [22 favorites]


I cannot quite wrap my head around how many people do not see a conflict between these two attitudes:

June 2013: "The NSA accessed our cell phones and personal information? That's bullshit. That's a violation!"
August 2014: "Some hacker got into iCloud and got a bunch of naked celeb pics? Juicy! Let's see 'em!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:09 AM on September 1, 2014 [108 favorites]


Doesn't it also seem that Apple has a case to answer in all of this as well, since their iCloud service has always been a pile of confusing shit? Many of us seem to be uploading stuff from our phones without knowing what it is or when or where it goes.
posted by colie at 9:10 AM on September 1, 2014 [29 favorites]


Very interesting. I assume that the vast majority of these nude pictures aren't the actual women; for example, Ariana Grande is a 21 year old Disney star with a squeaky clean image. Very small chance someone has ever taken a nude photo of her. Nevertheless, these pictures are of SOMEBODY.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:10 AM on September 1, 2014


I assume that the vast majority of these nude pictures aren't the actual women; for example, Ariana Grande is a 21 year old Disney star with a squeaky clean image.

Are you being ironic? Even the short blurb on this post mentions a specific case of that exact thing having happened before.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on September 1, 2014 [39 favorites]


I was very surprised that some friends of mine (including several women!) were so enthusiastically looking at these photos. I felt a certain kind of curiosity, I admit, but I couldn't bring myself to look because I felt awful that these women's privacy had been so indefensibly violated, and the idea of getting excited by looking at them anyway felt disgusting.
posted by clockzero at 9:12 AM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


DirtyOldTown, I wasn't being ironic about Ariana Grande. I believe it when she said those pictures aren't her. I guess it's a derail from the subject, though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:15 AM on September 1, 2014


June 2013: "The NSA accessed our cell phones and personal information? That's bullshit. That's a violation!"
August 2014: "Some hacker got into iCloud and got a bunch of naked celeb pics? Juicy! Let's see 'em!"


Apparently inside the NSA they're considered juicy.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


"A sex crime involving theft of personal property and the exploitation of the female body."

No, hacking is not a sex crime. Let's assume they catch and successfully prosecute the perpetrator. Do you think they're going to put them on the sex offender registry? Of course not.
posted by NortonDC at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


The distinction between this event and the NSA tapping is that while both violate the law (imo), the former is perpetrated by a civilian, while the latter is perpetrated by the government itself. Even the grossest comments I've seen about this photo leak don't deny it's a crime and that someone is about to be in major hot water - they are just happy it happened.

I assume that the vast majority of these nude pictures aren't the actual women; for example, Ariana Grande is a 21 year old Disney star with a squeaky clean image. Very small chance someone has ever taken a nude photo of her. Nevertheless, these pictures are of SOMEBODY.

I've read a lot about this without actually seeing the photos, and most of them are apparently real. In today's world, I'd say the chances are pretty high that a 21 year old woman has either taken a nude selfie or had someone take a nude photo of her.
posted by sallybrown at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Very small chance someone has ever taken a nude photo of her.
Wut? We're talking about personal photos, not Playboy photo shoots. It seems very weird to assume that a Disney star's public persona is totally in line with their actual personality.

I think that Anne Helen Petersen is probably right that this isn't going to hurt Jennifer Lawrence at all, but that's hardly the point.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:18 AM on September 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


Of course people are curious. The author mentions it in the article: an actress’s most important asset is her body and the titillation that it theoretically brings. Strange that few men get nude pictures posted. Different standards and further proof that there's a long way to go.

Apart from their acting talent, the other thing that makes a lot of people successful in movies, tv, music is sex appeal. The sell it just as much as any other product.

But the author is also right in that it is a sex crime. The image of a star is carefully crafted and (in theory) agreed upon by the star. Posting pictures on the internet without permission is a violation of privacy and rights.
posted by ashbury at 9:19 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I assume that the vast majority of these nude pictures aren't the actual women; for example, Ariana Grande is a 21 year old Disney star with a squeaky clean image. Very small chance someone has ever taken a nude photo of her.

Uh? Ariana Grande is a 21 year old human being growing up in the age of ubiquitous cell phone cameras. There is an extremely large chance someone (likely herself) has taken a nude photo of her. This is an extremely common thing. I'm not sure I know anyone who hasn't sent a naughty picture to someone they're in a sexual relationship with at some point.
posted by IAmUnaware at 9:22 AM on September 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


Also, no, it is not a sex crime in any way. It's just hacking. The author's correct that the women in question did absolutely nothing wrong in any way and that it's ridiculous that anyone would claim this is a "scandal", but hacking someone's cloud storage and disseminating their private information is not a sex crime. It's just a normal crime.
posted by IAmUnaware at 9:30 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


No, hacking is not a sex crime. Let's assume they catch and successfully prosecute the perpetrator. Do you think they're going to put them on the sex offender registry? Of course not.

If it was purely blackmail I'd agree. But selectively hacking and searching for naked images for the titillation sure gets close to a sex crime and maybe is.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:31 AM on September 1, 2014 [29 favorites]


But I mean, they're just women. It's not like people are having their privacy violated. So it's okay.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:34 AM on September 1, 2014 [90 favorites]


It is not Ms. Ritter’s or Ms. Dunst’s responsibility to protect their own property from theft by not creating said property or only storing it in a specific place

A lot of musicians are reading today's op-eds and sighing deeply.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2014 [16 favorites]


while no one will be brought up on sex crime charges - the assholes who do this and shitheels like hunter moore are absolutely ethically dubious wrt sex, nudity, and consent. i see pretty much no difference between them and creeps who put cameras in changing rooms.
posted by nadawi at 9:40 AM on September 1, 2014 [37 favorites]


hacking someone's cloud storage and disseminating their private information is not a sex crime.

It strikes me as something more than mere hacking though. If someone took nude photos of these women without their consent, say with a telephoto lens through a window into their private bedroom...

I can see the sex crime angle, is what I'm saying.
posted by mrgoat at 9:40 AM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


Mary Elizabeth Winstead has confirmed that the photos are of her. The Ariana Grande photos are being acknowledged as pretty obvious fakes because she's not just naked, they're hardcore porn with what is assumed to be a photoshop of her head added.
posted by fatbird at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


It looks like "well, if she didn't anyone to see them, she shouldn't have taken them!" is the new "Well, she shouldn't have dressed that, what did she expect?".
posted by Kitteh at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2014 [45 favorites]


I can see the sex crime angle, is what I'm saying.

Hacking the account(s) is one thing; disseminating images is another. If the actor was underaged, for instance, child pornography laws could kick in. The fact that one aspect isn't a sex crime doesn't mean none of them are.
posted by fatbird at 9:42 AM on September 1, 2014 [25 favorites]


Strange that few men get nude pictures posted.

No, there are pics of men in the leaked photos having sex with the women, so they always secondary to the female subject. In a way, these pics of men are the highest value target of the hackers.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:43 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


My brother alerted me about the leak by IM-ing me "today is the day the internet ruined JLaw." He's a feminist and I understand what he meant but no one ruined her. She is not ruined. Someone stole something from her and posted it online. Hopefully they will be caught and prosecuted. But JLaw will go in being an Oscar-winning mega star. Gross people will continue being gross.
posted by kat518 at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2014 [75 favorites]


In a way, these pics of men are the highest value target of the hackers.

but that is still dependent on the action to the woman - it's true that men, who are obviously also taking nudes, are rarely the targets in these mass hacking/releasing swarms. when male celebrities have nudes leaked it's usually by someone they were talking to on instagram or whatever (which is still gross, but different than this targeted sort of attack).
posted by nadawi at 9:47 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is what caused me to close my reddit account. Yes, it is a sex crime and yes you're a fucking creep for wanting to look at those pictures.

It's a sex crime because the photos were disseminated to appeal to peoples prurient interests. And don't try to tell me they weren't. The point of leaking those photos was to violate a woman's body. To make it a circus show. Sounds like a sex crime to me.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:49 AM on September 1, 2014 [53 favorites]


I was trolling Reddit for topics of interest when the news broke. I didn't look, but I'm still quite ashamed of how much I wanted to look.

...and I'm at least sympathetic to labeling the act of hacking in this case a "sex crime." It was a gross (by every meaning of the word) violation of the privacy of these women, and it seems to have been motivated largely by prurient interest. That the distinction is not recognized in our legal system and will likely play little role in how the case is handled does not make it not so.

I'd go even further, and argue that if one believes in sentence augments/multipliers for (racial) hate crimes, the same should apply for a crime of this nature, that is so indicative of misogyny.
posted by The Confessor at 9:51 AM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Was it motivated by prurient interests? I think it was probably motivated by a desire to humiliate and demean successful women. I don't know if I'd call that a sex crime or a hate crime or what, but I don't think it's merely "hacking."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:54 AM on September 1, 2014 [16 favorites]


I hope that, if nothing else, this wakes people up to the risks of storing personal content of any kind in "the cloud". Apple and others make sharing so effortless it's easy to forget that a simple password is all that's separating your private photos from prying eyes.

Please note that I'm in full agreement with the linked article's accusations. Nevertheless we need to be less trusting of those who have our personal data in their hands.
posted by tommasz at 9:55 AM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


There is no shame for the actresses here. Embarrassment, perhaps, and I am sorry they have to face that. Outrage, disappointment, worry, sure. But no shame. It is not shameful to have private photos of yourself. It is shameful to steal private photos from someone and make them public. It is shameful that so many seem to be titillated at least as much by the violation as the actual content of the photos.
posted by Nothing at 9:55 AM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


Yes, it is a sex crime and yes you're a fucking creep for wanting to look at those pictures.

The act of hacking and disseminating the photos is a crime, and companies like Apple and Google should protect their customers. But plenty of guys would like to see Jennifer Lawrence nude, and if it's a click away, they will. Isn't it exaggerating to position them as accessories to the crime?
posted by colie at 9:55 AM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


"We Saw Your Boobs" - Mr Seth Macfarlane
posted by ReeMonster at 9:56 AM on September 1, 2014 [22 favorites]


sex crimes are hate crimes.
posted by nadawi at 9:56 AM on September 1, 2014 [32 favorites]


Would the sex crime aspect be diminished if the photos were sold for money instead of just posted to the internet?
posted by ryanrs at 9:57 AM on September 1, 2014


Isn't it exaggerating to position them as accessories to the crime?
I don't know. I want a fancy bicycle, but if my friend robbed a bank and then gave me a thousand bucks to buy a bike, I would still be an accessory to a crime. I'm not saying that I think you should be thrown in prison if you looked at the photos, but yeah, I think it's morally inexcusable.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:58 AM on September 1, 2014 [21 favorites]


But plenty of guys would like to see Jennifer Lawrence nude, and if it's a click away, they will. Isn't it exaggerating to position them as accessories to the crime?

I'm not calling them accessories. I'm calling them fucking creeps.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:58 AM on September 1, 2014 [80 favorites]


No, a sex crime involves exploitation. This is exploitation no matter where the photos end up.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:59 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Would the sex crime aspect be diminished if the photos were sold for money instead of just posted to the internet?

No.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:00 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


--Sounds like a sex crime to me--

But there's no need to reach for language that is associated with forced physical acts. The hacking and the nature of the content and dissemination stand for themselves as gross and malicious invasions of privacy.
posted by peacay at 10:00 AM on September 1, 2014


And yeah, people who take advantage of an exploit are accessories because they're partaking in the exploit as soon as they click.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:01 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


And this is precisely why I have exactly zero nude images of me or anyone I know on any digital device anywhere.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:02 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Peacay, people are suggesting that digital acts like this against men and women should be considered a sex crime. Why refrain from expanding the definition if it would eventually provide justice for those exploited?
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:02 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not calling them accessories. I'm calling them fucking creeps.

Does this apply to guys looking at paparazzi bikini pics (some topless) that are in the papers every day?

(btw I don't really have a worked-out angle on this and it's all quite new; I'm a massive Jennifer Lawrence fan as well and so is my little girl who is distressed by all this; hoping not to get flamed to bits).
posted by colie at 10:03 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clicking through to the pictures doesn't make you an accessory to a sex crime. It just makes you the asshole that watched one happened and doesn't say anything.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:03 AM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


Does this apply to guys looking at paparazzi bikini pics (some topless) that are in the papers every day?

Yes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [24 favorites]


From what I've read the guy on 4chan wanted money for these photos. And outfits like tmz will pay money for that. Dick pics don't pay was well.

I've also read that the current theory is the hacker obtained the AppleID of one of the targets and using an exploit in the Find my iPhone webpage was able use brute force to get the password. Since many of these women know one another and may have their names in their address books and appleIDs are email addresses it became relatively painless to get this information. Add in even celebrities exercise weak password choices, these women can also have their cloud storage and emails from other companies as well.
posted by birdherder at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does this apply to guys looking at paparazzi bikini pics (some topless) that are in the papers every day?

Yes, that too is creepy.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


Does this apply to guys looking at paparazzi bikini pics (some topless) that are in the papers every day?

What sort of papers are these?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


And this is precisely why I have exactly zero nude images of me or anyone I know on any digital device anywhere.

That you know of. Being a celebrity makes that less certain.
posted by ctmf at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


A lot of musicians are reading today's op-eds and sighing deeply.

No, that's a totally false equivalence.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:06 AM on September 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


It's a crime that uses sexuality, exposing unconsenting people's bodies for prurient reasons. It's entirely a sex crime - it's not like the pictures were posted as part of a bank robbery.
posted by The Gaffer at 10:06 AM on September 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


Does this apply to guys looking at paparazzi bikini pics (some topless) that are in the papers every day?

What sort of papers are these?


www.dailymail.co.uk is one of the most popular sites on the internet, publishes bikini pics taken without stars' permission every day, and it's also a very popular site with women.
posted by colie at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


--Why refrain from expanding the definition [sex crimes] if it would eventually provide justice for those exploited?--

Because that's why we have laws and judges : to prevent pitchforkery and witch hunts. Let the perpetrators be tried according to the law, that's all. I have no desire to diminish the gravity of the situation, but I don't like seeing discussions - especially on day one - go overboard, fuelled by outrage.
posted by peacay at 10:09 AM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


today is the day the internet ruined JLaw.

I guess I'm old now, cause I was like, how is Jude Law involved in that?

And I agree with the general sentiment that they shouldn't feel ashamed, but violated, this a huge invasion of privacy.

And although I don't think anybody is interested in my personal pictures, this SO justifies my current policy that "no I'm now using your cloud service for ANY of my data EVER", well except for stuff I post on FB, but I expect those are as good as public as soon as I post there.
posted by coust at 10:09 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, hacking is not a sex crime. Let's assume they catch and successfully prosecute the perpetrator. Do you think they're going to put them on the sex offender registry? Of course not.

Well, I'd say that depends. We've had cases of hackers getting remote access to laptop webcams and using them for invasion of privacy and extortion. I have few objections to calling that a sex crime.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Speaking of the tabloids: MartinWisse retweeted this Mirror op-ed which is really a remarkable stance for them.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2014 [24 favorites]


I have a hard time seeing this as a sexcrime, it's system intrusion plus something else. but IANAL.
however, not one of the women consented to having this blasted onto the internet, their consent was taken from them.

also, it's interesting to see how gawker media is handling this a week after they posted a video of one of the frontmen from 5SOS showing his dick. (which was sent to a fan initially)
posted by xcasex at 10:12 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


[nsfw] dear daily mail
posted by nadawi at 10:12 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


iCloud password hack published, blocked

Since the Find My iPhone API did not throttle or lock out after a certain number of guesses in a given time period, it was possible to "brute force" passwords without tripping any security alarms. This lockout is where Apple has now changed things; trying random passwords via the Find My iPhone API will now lock your account after five attempts.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:13 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I wonder what this is going to do to Apple, if anything, once the market opens tomorrow.
posted by codacorolla at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Doesn't it also seem that Apple has a case to answer in all of this as well, since their iCloud service has always been a pile of confusing shit? Many of us seem to be uploading stuff from our phones without knowing what it is or when or where it goes.

Yes. Absolutely.

All cloud services are a completely fucking terrible idea for exactly this sort of reason. End users have no control over security, and what's more, might not even realise that the "service" even exists, let alone that it's sucking all their data to a remote server (possibly even putting multiple copies on multiple servers) over which they have no control. It's essentially spyware.

Going to Best Buy or whatever and picking up a physical backup drive is the infinitely superior option. Want to make sure it doesn't get hacked? Easy: Don't connect it to the internet; just dump your data to it through a wire at the end of the day. Want to make sure something is deleted for good? Wipe it.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure it's a sex crime either. I'm definitely not blaming these women for having naked pictures of themselves, I hope, but as someone who nobody needs to see nude pictures of, I am well aware that any picture I take on my camera can probably be accessed by anyone.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


The guy that posted the Scarlett Johansson pics got ten years in federal prison, and that was after the plea agreement. It's probably true those ten years were for the hacking and not the posting of the images (I haven't seen the agreement) but regardless of whether it's labeled a sex crime or not, it's not exactly a slap on the wrist.

Texas has an improper photography law on the books that attempts to make creepy photos illegal, and it's turning out to be hard to square with the First Amendment, because it requires a subjective "know it when I see it" assessment. For now at least, hacking laws seem best equipped to deal with this sort of thing.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


So have we chosen "Can we label this a sex crime?" as the preferred semantic debate that will swallow up all hope of discussing other issues here? Just trying to keep up. I mean, I guess the article set that up, so fair play and all. It just seems there's more to this whole debacle than that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [64 favorites]


. . . you're a fucking creep for wanting to look at those pictures

You're a creep for allowing yourself to look at those pictures. I'll admit that I'd like to see Jennifer Lawrence naked, but I'm not going to look because that would make me a creep.
posted by Ickster at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [43 favorites]


I wonder what this is going to do to Apple

Probably nothing, although they deserve to lose a lawsuit over such an obvious, well-known, older-than-the-internet security failure.
posted by ryanrs at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Voyeurism is considered a sex crime in many jurisdictions. In the U.S., it can in fact result in your ending up on a sex offender registry in, I believe, about nine states.

I feel like there's a weird push from some on this thread to restrict the concept of "sex crime" to as narrow a definition as possible. This disturbs me.
posted by kyrademon at 10:19 AM on September 1, 2014 [27 favorites]




No, that's a totally false equivalence.

The argument looks pretty similar to me. You could roll out the old piracy trope pretty easily: "These women didn't lose anything, they still have those photos on their phones, so it can't be theft, nothing was stolen, la la la".

In both cases the thing stolen is virtually identical: the right of control.
posted by bonaldi at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think many have been waiting for the moment Apple begins to slump, just because what goes up must come down anyway, so hopefully the lawsuits from this will help. Lots of these celebs have pretty deep pockets.
posted by colie at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2014


I think the initial discussion that this was a hack on Apple's Find My iPhone isn't completely correct. There _was_ such a hack, and it was only very recently fixed on the Apple servers. Prior to this fix, you could programmatically guess at a user's password for an infinite number of times; now you get twenty tries and the account is locked out.

However, there are apparently photos taken with Android phones in this mishmash. Those aren't vulnerable to the same attack.

The Apple Find My iPhone hack was probably just one of many ways these photos were acquired.

I suspect this is more sophisticated social engineering. Reddit's network security forum tends to agree. One commenter says, "I don't think it was actually a single hack.
According to what the leaker wrote, he bought it from other hackers on online forums before leaking it. It might have been a result of more separate hacking attempts with vastly different attack vectors and different servers."
posted by blob at 10:21 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Since the Find My iPhone API did not throttle or lock out after a certain number of guesses in a given time period, it was possible to "brute force" passwords without tripping any security alarms.

Christ, that's like security 101. My background consists of exactly one half-semester mini course on security programming and I know better than that.
posted by octothorpe at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Do you think they're going to put them on the sex offender registry? Of course not.

I'm not sure what that demonstrates, apart from a present technicality that could easily be changed. In many jurisdictions there are crimes that do qualify for registration that are less sexual than this.

Isn't it exaggerating to position them as accessories to the crime?

Maybe, maybe not. I think the objection is more moral. There are arguably questions raised here, when we're talking about public figures, in terms of whether photos are newsworthy. But the people you're talking about, who are just "guys [who] would like to see Jennifer Lawrence nude"? No, at least morally, that's not any kind of gray area.

And for the record, neither is this bullshit about, "Unlike Jennifer Lawrence, I'm aware that digital photos can be accessed by anyone." That is textbook victim blaming. It is also, in this instance, particularly stupid. The fact that maybe it's not totally shocking that someone was able to illegally hack Apple doesn't mean it isn't a crime, nor does it mean that Lawrence, Winstead, etc did anything wrong. Those personal "observations" are irrelevant and harmful.
posted by cribcage at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [24 favorites]


Many of us seem to be uploading stuff from our phones without knowing what it is or when or where it goes.

If you don't know, that's only because you never bothered to find out.

Apple Customer Privacy Policy

iCloud security and privacy overview

Failure to take obvious preventative measures against the "iBrute" brute force attack is embarrassingly amateurish. But then again, who would have thought that Find My iPhone had an exploitable security hole? It does not seem to be a high value hack. The security measures were focused on preventing people from discovering your location, which is an appropriate risk to target. But nobody realized the risk of privileges escalation.

This is a failure of vision. They did not foresee the obvious: if it is online, someone will try to hack it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know it's the Daily Mail, but here:
How DID hackers steal celebrities' private iCloud photos? Tech experts suggest wide range of security flaws for data theft
More than 100 private photos of celebrities have been leaked online
These images were reportedly stolen from iCloud accounts
They included private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kelly Brook
It is not clear how the hacker gained access to the images
Flaw has been discovered that could have allowed hackers to use a 'brute force attack' against the service
This is a trial-and-error method used to get passwords from encrypted data
The images may also have been stolen from Google Drive or Dropbox

and more speculation here
posted by blob at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2014


I can't even imagine the thought process where incorrect password attempts aren't throttled on a service like iCloud - even through the API end. That's negligence.

However it probably means this guy is less master hacker and more 4chan script kiddy, so he'll probably be caught in short order.
posted by codacorolla at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some states do punish this sort of leak as a sex crime. Louisiana, for example, defines "video voyeurism" as

"(1) The use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose;

or

(2) The transfer of an image obtained by activity described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail, the Internet, or a commercial online service."

Anyone convicted of this crime needs to register as a sex offender.

Most of the time, I'm all for limiting the sex offender registry to rapists, as opposed to 18-year old teenage boyfriends or public urinators. But it just seems so easy, acceptable, and almost risk-free to abuse women over the internet, either like this or through the horrific threats we read about earlier this week. Worse, so many people react with "oh cool, famous boobies" instead of outrage about the violation. I hate to play the "mother/sister/daughter" card, because women should never be validated by their relationship to men, but I wonder how many of these redditors that are preserving these images for posterity ("May history smile upon them", in the words of Partoftheproblem.com) would be as willing to do so if it was their mother who was splayed out for the world to see?

All this crap is part of a larger trend where the inherent libertarianism of the internet - because the opposite is equally terrifying - results in consequence-free attacks on women (and any non-white-male demographic). And it's a self-perpetuating system: women get attacked online because they are seen as lesser creatures, online attacks reinforce women's status as either sluts or harridans, thereby creating a culture for new attacks.

So yeah - lock them to fuck up, and make sure they have a hell of a time getting a good job after they get out. You know, like we do to brown people who smoke pot.
posted by bibliowench at 10:25 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Gods, I hope this also put a stake through the heart of 4chan and its man children.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:25 AM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


The things that can get you on the sex pffender registry are rather broad and vast. Like urinating in public or consensual prostitution depending on the state.

They took something private and purposefully made it public. If somebody came up and ripped off all of these actors clothes to see them naked we would be up in arms about privacy.

It is unfair and sad in this country nudity is cconsidered so so so scandalous in the first place. Nudity is ok. It is a natural state of being. But this world and is perceptions make this a crime. It brings shame. It brings onlookers and judgement. It brings feelings of violation. Their bodies were secrets and now they are not.

If it was me I would certainly try to push it as a sex crime. The ramifications of naked pictures of me with my name attached would be huge professionally and possibly personally.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


That is a supremely creepy contributor photo of Scott Mendelson, especially given the topic of the article.
posted by echocollate at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought of that stupid misogynistic Seth McFarlane song from the Oscars and how cute JLaw looked when she pumped her fist when he said that he hadn't seen her boobs. On the plus side, I think this is the first time there has been an incident like this where a lot of the response has been along the lines of, not cool, bro.
posted by kat518 at 10:27 AM on September 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


The lawsuits that could fall out from this are going to be interesting and hopefully reddit, 4chan, Imgur and the like will get sucked into the upcoming morass and be forced to take responsibility. On the other hand, the cynical part of me thinks that the fear of a creep-squad PR backlash may discourage that outcome.
posted by Skwirl at 10:27 AM on September 1, 2014


In both cases the thing stolen is virtually identical: the right of control.

That would be an interesting figure to start with in a lawsuit. You know how much I could have sold those nudes for myself? You stole that.
posted by ctmf at 10:27 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


but I'm not going to look because that would make me a creep

It would.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:28 AM on September 1, 2014


octothorpe

My programming background consists entirely of reading programming tutorials online and completely ignoring most of what they suggest in favor of custom methods that effectively "reinvent the wheel", and even I know better.
posted by The Confessor at 10:29 AM on September 1, 2014


but I'm not going to look because that would make me a creep

It would.


Are you actually shaming someone who's already doing the thing that you approve of?
posted by jaduncan at 10:30 AM on September 1, 2014 [37 favorites]


Perhaps we could ease off the 'fucking creeps' thing?
posted by colie at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


Christ, that's like security 101. My background consists of exactly one half-semester mini course on security programming and I know better than that.

Not to excuse what is a terrible decision (unlimited retrys for your password).

...But sometimes you have to support bad software that'll try to log on the service with an incorrectly entered password multiple times in a row.

The lazy way is infinite retries.

The correct way (I think), is limited retries with an auto-reset timeout big enough to impede brute force hacking but short enough to let users do their thing. Or storing the hash of the last attempt and not count attempts with the same hash.

Although, I somehow doubt that's how they got the password, brute force works well when you're local, it seems it would take quite a long time succeed doing that on a webservice. But maybe I'm wrong, this not exactly my area of expertise.
posted by coust at 10:33 AM on September 1, 2014


Whether it's a sex crime or not, it's still fucked up.
posted by wuwei at 10:33 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


But sometimes you have to support bad software

Or Apple could just not support such apps. Or even detect that behavior and kick them out of the app store. Nearly all customer anger would be directed at the app developer, not Apple.

The idea that Apple is beholden to individual app developers is silly.
posted by ryanrs at 10:38 AM on September 1, 2014


Although, I somehow doubt that's how they got the password, brute force works well when you're local, it seems it would take quite a long time succeed doing that on a webservice. But maybe I'm wrong, this not exactly my area of expertise.

Googled that... oh well...
posted by coust at 10:40 AM on September 1, 2014


So who is going to pay the price for this? The hacker? Apple? reddit?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:41 AM on September 1, 2014


Or Apple could just not support such apps. Or even detect that behavior and kick them out of the app store. Nearly all customer anger would be directed at the app developer, not Apple.

The idea that Apple is beholden to individual app developers is silly.


Maybe it's THEIR software that does that, I don't think they'd go to great lengths to support 3rd parties.

Like I said I don't want to excuse them, I think it's silly especially when a correct solution to the issue is perfectly implementable.
posted by coust at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2014


In both cases the thing stolen is virtually identical: the right of control.

A key difference is that objections to piracy rest in the concept of copyright law, an artificial monopoly connecting that right of control with value and commercial interest. Privacy discussions rest in privacy law, the concept that the release of private information about a person should require explicit consent by that person.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


> Gods, I hope this also put a stake through the heart of 4chan [the MRA] and its man children.

Regardless of who the original arsonist is, I've seen plenty of people on Reddit and elsewhere fanning the flames. There are even (childish, inchoate) plans to try and manipulate the outcry into a situation where women willingly post exploitative photos of themselves, presumably in support of these victims of privacy violations.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:46 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's THEIR software that does that

"Supporting bad software" is not an excuse when you're the one who wrote it.

Anyway, I suspect preventing login denial of service attacks might be a better reason. Although that should still be fairly easy to prevent.
posted by ryanrs at 10:48 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I feel like we've made some progress in that at least there is some public outcry focused on what a horrible invasion of privacy this is rather than just shaming the victims as we've seen in the past. Hunter Moore's trial will start this month.
posted by humanfont at 10:49 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Perhaps we could ease off the 'fucking creeps' thing?

Well, but why? Your comment was, "But plenty of guys would like to see Jennifer Lawrence nude, and if it's a click away, they will." That's a narrow set. You're not talking about, for instance, journalism ethics professors who want to use the photos in classroom discussions, or network security experts who want to examine if there's some way the photos could have been digitally marked for more/less security, or even people who are curious about this incident as a crime and news story. You are really only talking about creeps.

Do you feel that Jennifer Lawrence being a movie star makes these guys' wish qualitatively different from their desire to see their coworkers or classmates nude, or their boss, or the girl who serves them coffee at Starbucks? Because presumably if we were talking about those non–movie-star females, the characterization "fucking creeps" wouldn't be controversial.
posted by cribcage at 10:49 AM on September 1, 2014 [36 favorites]


That would be an interesting figure to start with in a lawsuit. You know how much I could have sold those nudes for myself? You stole that.

I like framing it as a theft of control, on an intellectual level; but on the civil trial level I think lawyers have found that going after emotional damages and/or loss of future earnings gets you a much bigger payday than just what the pics could have been sold for.

There are even (childish, inchoate) plans to try to manipulate the outcry into a situation where women willingly post exploitative photos of themselves, presumably in support of these victims of privacy violations.

Fortunately, that one quickly went awry (SFW).
posted by mstokes650 at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2014


Are you actually shaming someone who's already doing the thing that you approve of?

No, but I'm laying it on pretty thick because it seems to be necessary.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


The question here isn't "is hacking a sex crime" in some broad sense. It's about whether this particular act of violation should be viewed in that light. I mean, taking photos isn't inherently a sex crime, but taking photos of naked children for purposes of sexual titillation totally is, as is distributing those photos. Thinking of distribution of child porn as a sex crime (independent of its legal status) serves to highlight the nature of the harm to the victim and the reason the act is objectionable. I'm not saying that distributing naked photos of adult women without their consent is the same thing as distributing child porn, but talking about them within the same general framework of violation and consent does seem useful to me. And if that causes people to question whether they'd be complicit in the violation if they looked at these photos, knowing how they came to be posted on the internet, then that's all to the good.
posted by heisenberg at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


This commentary by Roxanne Gay on the Guardian gets to the point:
What these people are doing is reminding women that, no matter who they are, they are still women. They are forever vulnerable.
Goddamn, does our society love punishing women for the crime of existing.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:54 AM on September 1, 2014 [55 favorites]


The Ariana Grande photos are being acknowledged as pretty obvious fakes because she's not just naked, they're hardcore porn with what is assumed to be a photoshop of her head added.
posted by catbird


When the internet was blowing up last night Ariana Grande's pictures were among the first to come out before I went to bed. The same 3 pictures, everywhere. No, they are NOT hardcore porn. Very soft core. Also, shadowy and artsy and might not be her.

Going to Best Buy or whatever and picking up a physical backup drive is the infinitely superior option. Want to make sure it doesn't get hacked? Easy: Don't connect it to the internet; just dump your data to it through a wire at the end of the day. Want to make sure something is deleted for good? Wipe it.
posted by Sys Rq


Going to best buy is never the answer. But yes, good advice. And will be largely ignored regardless of this incident.

I think many have been waiting for the moment Apple begins to slump, just because what goes up must come down anyway, so hopefully the lawsuits from this will help. Lots of these celebs have pretty deep pockets.
posted by colie


That's not why people have been waiting for apple to fall. And suing apple won't help. And it won't hurt apple.

The story is about apple because people only care about apple. The name apple gets attention. Reading the long list of celebrities there's no way this was just an iCloud hack. But the public doesn't care about dropbox and android.
posted by ratherbethedevil at 10:55 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I feel like people are being unnecessarily pedantic about whether this is actually or technically a sex crime: the argument is that we should start thinking about this behavior in those terms whether this behavior would meet the technical definition or not. In my view this is more about framing the discussion about the behavior in a way that makes it clear that stealing and publicizing someone's intimate photographs has sufficiently enough in common with the things we think of "sex crimes" that we think of it that way instead of in a more benign "well yeah but people love to see naked celebrities so what are you gonna do" or "it's just hacking" or paparazzi gonna paparazzi" or other ways that minimize the role of sexism and hate in the act.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:58 AM on September 1, 2014 [41 favorites]


You are really only talking about creeps.

I have certainly seen bikini paparazzi shots in the Daily Mail many times. Often I'm sitting next to my wife when she checks one out and says something like 'wow, so-and-so's had a lot of work done' etc. Given that it's the biggest newspaper website in the world, I guess lots of others have seen them consciously too.

It's not the greatest way to spend your life, but it is part of modern media and life and talking shit.
posted by colie at 11:00 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Circling back to the original article, good on him for calling out the "scandal!" language, and trying to frame this as it should be framed: Women took private photos. or had private photos taken, and those photos were made available to the world by law-breaking assholes.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:00 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Honest question: Is mocking someone who had their privacy invaded to the point where they consider suicide more or less criminal than viewing these pictures?
posted by Poldo at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Honest question: Is mocking someone who had their privacy invaded to the point where they consider suicide more or less criminal than viewing these pictures?

It's about the same but with a handful of misogyny on top.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


It's not the greatest way to spend your life, but it is part of modern media and life and talking shit.

I think this is a key point. Your basis for distinguishing this behavior from being "creepy" is just that it's not uncommon. Think about that for a minute. It is precisely what people mean when they talk about the culture behind sexualization, rape, objectification, harassment, etc. You are articulating a genuine problem, arguably the problem.
posted by cribcage at 11:08 AM on September 1, 2014 [84 favorites]


mstokes650: I like framing it as a theft of control, on an intellectual level; but on the civil trial level I think lawyers have found that going after emotional damages and/or loss of future earnings gets you a much bigger payday than just what the pics could have been sold for.

Among other things, registration of a work is required to file a copyright suit, and prior registration is required to recover statutory damages and attorneys fees. Failing that, the owner of the photos faces an uphill battle demonstrating actual commercial damages. Which defeats the whole purpose if its an invasion of privacy issue.

MoonOrb: I feel like people are being unnecessarily pedantic about whether this is actually or technically a sex crime: the argument is that we should start thinking about this behavior in those terms whether this behavior would meet the technical definition or not.

Let's call it this instead: sexual harassment.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:09 AM on September 1, 2014


This morning when I flipped on the tv to watch the news they reported this story. Nude pictures of so and so leaked to Internet. No suggestion in the words that this was a crime, unethical, or plain wrong. Just that pictures were leaked. I can imagine dozens of computers switched on to start looking. As a society, we seem to think of these kinds of things as just something that happens. Oh, it may be embarrassing to the person in the pictures. Here at MeFi there are words like theft, violation, privacy, crime, etc. What is the difference? On the news, hey it just happens. Here the torches and pitchforks come out. As much as I am waving my pitchfork I really wonder about a society that seems to foster and maybe even reward such behavior. Paparazzi have been around for years. We are their market. The creeps are us?
posted by njohnson23 at 11:11 AM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


You are articulating a genuine problem, arguably the problem.

Point taken, fair enough.

Why the fuck are you reading The Daily Mail?

You actually get many of the same bikini shots in Heat magazine and Grazia magazine, which in the UK sell around 650k copies a month between them, almost all to women. But as I said, I agree with cribcage's comment and am not arguing a point myself.
posted by colie at 11:14 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do you keep stressing the number of women readers as though that makes it somehow ok?
posted by elizardbits at 11:16 AM on September 1, 2014 [44 favorites]


Sorry that it's a Gawker link, but Is This 4chan Offshoot the Ground Zero for the Leaked Celebrity Nudes? is the best examination I've seen yet of where the images came from.

I can't fucking believe people are on Metafilter are splitting hairs on just how offensive it is to steal private photos of someone nude and just how culpable people are who seek the photos out and look at them. It's a terrible invasion of privacy and looking at them is creepy. There's no need to make this complicated.
posted by Nelson at 11:17 AM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


Really though, this really doesn't seem substantially greater wrong than paparazzi photographs of scantily clad/nude celebs at their private beaches/yachts/villas where I'm sure they often were attempting to maintain their privacy.

And those photos are published in every supermarket aisle in the US! Can we at least calm down the righteous indignation long enough to take the log out of our own eye?
posted by crayz at 11:17 AM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


Why do you keep stressing the number of women readers as though that makes it somehow ok?

It's not sexism if women are doing it to themselves/ each other. Or something.
posted by sukeban at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do you keep stressing the number of women readers as though that makes it somehow ok?

Because upthread posters said that anyone who wanted to look at a paparazzi bikini pic was a fucking creep? I assumed that was aimed at men only and was a bit surprised by the vehemence.
posted by colie at 11:19 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Really though, this really doesn't seem substantially greater wrong than paparazzi photographs of scantily clad/nude celebs at their private beaches/yachts/villas where I'm sure they often were attempting to maintain their privacy.

Are you saying that those things are huge fucking deals?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Women can be creeps.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


I assumed that was aimed at men only and was a bit surprised by the vehemence.

I see no reason why it would have been aimed at men only.
posted by lwb at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Nude pictures of so and so leaked to Internet. No suggestion in the words that this was a crime, unethical, or plain wrong. Just that pictures were leaked.

And perhaps more to your point, "leaked" doesn't really connote what happened, since it more typically applies to someone with legitimate access to secret or private information releasing it to the public; it doesn't even imply the invasive connotations which are essential to the story.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:21 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


And those photos are published in every supermarket aisle in the US!

Please see cribcage's comment above.
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


And, guys, this is not equivalent to paparazzi pics taken in the outside. This is equivalent to someone breaking and entering people's homes to steal nude pictures and publish them everywhere.

So kindly drop that angle. Please.
posted by sukeban at 11:23 AM on September 1, 2014 [57 favorites]


I see no reason why it would have been aimed at men only.


OK. I also mentioned the circulation of these magazines/websites since it seems like we are dealing with a very large number of fucking creeps and once you get to millions of people, it might not be the most productive way forward to dismiss them and their (fucked up) desires totally.
posted by colie at 11:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Really though, this really doesn't seem substantially greater wrong than paparazzi photographs of scantily clad/nude celebs at their private beaches/yachts/villas where I'm sure they often were attempting to maintain their privacy.


I think any celebrity would agree that paparazzi with telephoto lenses are currently a price they pay for fame. That, in itself, is a problem, but these photos are more akin to someone stalking a celebrity in their bedroom, either changing clothes or having sex, which goes beyond reasonable expectations of publicity, and I don't think any sane person would excuse that sort of violation.

But you know, the internet is all different and shit.
posted by bibliowench at 11:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


I highly recommend that people enable two factor authentication in their devices. It makes things a bit more secure. Here's how to do that on a variety of devices and services.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:24 AM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


Sex crime accusations notwithstanding, I'm personally hoping that this might to become a turning point towards America's attitude towards the female body. Young people send naked pictures of each other at a pace greater than ever before. Why place shame on it when it's so clearly becoming a normal American behaviour especially of the next generation? Are people that worried about their little angels finding out that boobs exist?

It's not sexism if women are doing it to themselves/ each other. Or something.

I guess it depends on whether you consider all objectification as part of the cultural subversion of female autonomy or whether it's only done in furtherance of said subversion.
posted by Talez at 11:25 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


And, guys, this is not equivalent to paparazzi pics taken in the outside.

The debate was about whether the desire to look at them was the same as in the case of the paparazzi pics, not the crime involved in taking them (there's no crime in paparazzi pics).
posted by colie at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Honest question: Is mocking someone who had their privacy invaded to the point where they consider suicide more or less criminal than viewing these pictures?

It's about the same but with a handful of misogyny on top.
That's an absolutely insane view.

The only real harm of looking at these pictures comes from the contribution to the number of people the victim knows are looking. That's a real thing; if nobody ever looked, she'd know that nobody ever looked, that part of her problem wouldn't exist, and thus if you look you are in some degree contributing to her victimization. But the contribution is in a very small, incremental one, and, more to the point, any person's specific act of looking is vanishingly unlikely to actually affect her. She's not going to detect it, and it's not going to raise the stats that much.

I suppose there could also be an effect from the change in attitude caused by looking at the pictures... assuming the person who was looking would actually have such a change. But that again isn't a real source of harm if that person isn't interacting with the victim.

Looking involves no direct participation in the other, perhaps larger harm of the crime, which is the destruction of somebody's sense of security and privacy. That happens as soon as the hack becomes known, regarless of who looks.

So, sorry, but just looking is a de minimis violation; it causes only a tiny amount of actual harm. Actively harrassing somebody is clearly detectable by that person and has a direct effect. It makes a positive, direct contribution to harm. The two are not comparable.

Failing to make distinctions like that isn't helpful. It muddies the analysis, and I suspect that if anything it contributes to "might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb" thinking that could lead people to be worse and worse human beings.
posted by Hizonner at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


... "leaked" doesn't really connote what happened [...]; it doesn't even imply the invasive connotations which are essential to the story.

Yeah, reading a bit about this, it seems creepy as all hell. It's not just iCloud - it seems like these are some of the results of sustained hacking campaigns that are just breaking into the mainstream. Android, DropBox, vacation resort WiFi, stolen smartphone ...

(And it's not as simple as "Don't store your personal stuff in the cloud" - smartphone platforms are increasingly moving towards auto-upload (No, DropBox, no! Stop asking!) and enough people enjoy the convenience to make this inevitable.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:27 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing that has me confused - apparently some of the leaked photos are fake? If this was an iCloud hack, why would there be fakes? Did the guy just throw some extras in there that he shopped or?
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:28 AM on September 1, 2014


Nude pictures of so and so leaked to Internet. No suggestion in the words that this was a crime, unethical, or plain wrong. Just that pictures were leaked.

No legitimate news organization is going to report the news that way, lest they want to be sued into oblivion.
posted by girlmightlive at 11:28 AM on September 1, 2014


I agree blame should not be pointed toward these women, but to expect criminals to not commit crimes is a bit naive. No, the onus to stay safe shouldn't be put on these women, but sad fact is if they aren't going to take precautions then this type of thing will happen.

Remove the gender based aspects of this crime and see if you react differently. I see these as similar to the Target information attacks or the UPS attacks the Lacie attacks the JPMorgan attacks or any of the tons of other attacks. The individuals in these compromised data thefts shouldn't feel scandalized either. They were victims, not asking for it.

In celebrity images case the thieves weren't after credit card data, but they were still looking for something valuable (in this case pornographic images).

Do you feel the same about each? In one case it looks like specific individuals were targeted and in the other it looks like a kind of information was targeted. In neither case should the victims feel like they caused the theft, but I don't think it's far stretch to believe they enabled this victimization. There are tools out there to keep you safe online. Avail yourself of them.

I don't trust third party cloud storage. I have multi-factor authentication to any service I use. I no longer use credit. I use super complex passwords and an encrypted password manager. I don't trust wireless unless I control it from end-to-end. I assume every email can be read.

Each of the services that may have been compromised have their own weaknesses and learning curves. If you don't understand a technology don't use it. Saying that Apple is confusing is putting the blame in the wrong place.

I'm also waiting to see how these exploits occurred. I have $50 that says it wasn't Apple at all, but rather user error or simple social engineering. Two Step verification is easy. Enable it now.

No, the onus shouldn't be on the victim to not be victimized, but I'd rather people just make sure they stay safe. Especially when it's fairly easy to do.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:29 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'd describe it as comparable to spy pictures taken in situations where there is an expectation of privacy, such as in the home. I don't see a lot of difference between breaking into someone's cloud account and grabbing their private nudes and sneaking onto someone's property, climbing a tree and shooting pictures of someone nude in their home through a gap in their curtains. And I don't think there's any question that the latter could be prosecuted as a sex crime.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm not saying looking at the leaked photos is ethically okay, but doesn't feel ethically wrong either. It feels like a gray area between right and wrong. When it comes to internet pornography, or pornography in general there's a murky area of consent that's further blurred by the fact voyeurism itself is a fetish, in so much as there's consensual pornography that's made to look purposely voyeuristic. More to the point, how do I really know pictures to /r/gonewild are taken willingly? There's some verification steps but that's not exactly a signed contract. What if a woman puts photos up, later takes them down and other posters put them up? Or what if they put photos up, I download them, then they wish for them not to be viewed anymore?

Or how do we know that Jennifer Lawrence even cares at all? Maybe she does not care and the only statements by her PR firm are doing what PR firms do, and protecting the brand of the client and not necessarily care about the client itself. Except for a few celebrities who stated they do not want their pictures up, we cannot trust a PR firm is actually representing the client's personal beliefs.

What I can say is that no security is perfect, there will be security flaws in any system, and you should always assume that down the line a security flaw will come up, much like you should assume a determined burglar will get into your house. Didn't Pamela Anderson's sex tape leak when contractor's took a safe out of a house? This is not victim blaming, I think the person who did this should be persecuted, I think if someone wants to take naked pictures on their phone they should be able to and should expect a right to privacy while also realizing that privacy could be violated and the nature of the technology, once information becomes public it stays public.
posted by geoff. at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


OK. I also mentioned the circulation of these magazines/websites since it seems like we are dealing with a very large number of fucking creeps and once you get to millions of people, it might not be the most productive way forward to dismiss them and their (fucked up) desires totally.
What does this even mean? I'm not dismissing them or their fucked up desires. I think they and their fucked up desires do untold damage, and I don't have the luxury of dismissing that. I live with that. What I am not going to do is be badgered into minimizing the creepiness of looking at those photos. If you did that, you should be ashamed. And luckily for you, nobody is going to know whether you did that, because unlike Ms. Lawrence, you can assume that your privacy is going to be respected. But it would be cool if people who looked at those photos took a moment to think about why they did and what attitudes that reveals and how they will behave more responsibly if there's a next time.

And yes, if you buy publications that violate people's privacy, maybe you should think about not doing that.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:31 AM on September 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


because unlike Ms. Lawrence, you can assume that your privacy is going to be respected.

Not true, check out /r/realgirls (doesn't make it right just saying that there's a market for everything)
posted by geoff. at 11:32 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile...

“I regret it so much,” he went on to tell BuzzFeed. “I didn’t even get any bitcoin out of it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will since it’s just the biggest news story.”
posted by dilaudid at 11:33 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


One thing that has me confused - apparently some of the leaked photos are fake? If this was an iCloud hack, why would there be fakes? Did the guy just throw some extras in there that he shopped or?

I think it's entirely possible, if not likely, that the hacker who leaked the photos isn't the same person who actually stole them. Thus, the "collection" is cobbled together from multiple sources, including, apparently, some fakes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:33 AM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm not dismissing them or their fucked up desires.

It's quite dismissive to describe someone as a fucking creep, when they're doing something that probably the majority of the population does (look at stupid paparazzi photos of stars on beaches) that's all. I'm trying to have a conversation in good faith.
posted by colie at 11:38 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I swear, this conversation is like a Voight-Kampff test.
posted by Nelson at 11:39 AM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


"Everybody should take personal responsibility for not getting their pictures stolen; personal responsibility is very important. But I can't help being a creep because hey look everyone else is doing it."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:40 AM on September 1, 2014 [52 favorites]


I appreciate that the article essentially squashes the idea that the "leak" isn't a big deal, but really, it's a freaking crime. Someone stole information off someone else's private property.

Substitute "medical records and bank account info" for "salacious photos" and swap "from her phone" with "from a drawer in her desk in her house" and you get the idea I'm trying to convey.

Sure, the tech might be interesting if it's indeed a security issue with iCloud or whatever, and since we're talking about nakedness and pretty people, that ramps up the interest even more, but calling it a merely "leak" downplays the horror of the situation far too much for my liking.

Another analogy: just because I do something dumb like fail to lock my front door, park a blinking neon sign on my house stating, "I regularly leave my front door unlocked!", doesn't make it legal (or even ethical) for anyone to waltz in and help themselves to my stuff. Theft is theft.
posted by zuhl at 11:40 AM on September 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


you don't dismantle rape culture by coddling those perpetrating it. you contribute to rape culture when you start to think, "oh well everyone does this..." calling it out for what it is isn't dismissive, it's necessary.
posted by nadawi at 11:41 AM on September 1, 2014 [65 favorites]


The only real harm of looking at these pictures comes from the contribution to the number of people the victim knows are looking. [...]

There's real harm being done when there are huge numbers of people just casually going "nah, fuck consent, this is mine to enjoy now." I think that casual, not-even-considered-for-a-second entitlement is what's grossing me out more than anything in this. That adds up, that directly feeds a toxic culture, all those small personal failures to consider consent building an implicit cultural "okay" to feel ownership over women's bodies.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:42 AM on September 1, 2014 [71 favorites]


I am horrified by the "welp, what are ya gonna do? now that it's published i can't help myself but look" and "everyone's looking too, my also looking is incrementally not harmful" attitude by some posters here. Seriously, I have managed to live my life without looking at leaked celebrity nude photos or even paparazzi topless beach photos and it takes literally no effort to do so. None of my friends do either, and yes I do judge you if you think that kind of stuff is okay.

You and your loins do not have an inalienable right to be titillated by any sexy picture that exists in the world. (This also goes for men and women who are looking at the pictures either to be titillated or as part of our fucked up culture's tendency to put women's bodies up for every kind of judgement.) There's plenty of porn out there where consent is, if not 100% guaranteed confirmed, at least pretty likely to be a non-issue.
posted by misskaz at 11:43 AM on September 1, 2014 [42 favorites]


any person's specific act of looking is vanishingly unlikely to actually affect her.

But can't you make this same assessment about child pornography? Increasingly we are seeing those victims suing for restitution from people who are found to be in possession of the victims' photos. If we set aside the other issues that arise in an underage context (eg, behavioral reinforcement), the specific principle you're talking about seems identical. Saying that viewing the person's wrongfully public photos "isn't a real source of harm if that person isn't interacting with the victim" seems to be questionable at best, as well as a notion that our society is moving away from.

I'm not saying looking at the leaked photos is ethically okay, but doesn't feel ethically wrong either.

And again, that is precisely the point some of us are talking about. That it doesn't feel wrong is a cultural artifact, and arguably a very harmful one. If you can recognize that, then wouldn't you want to do your—even if small and incremental—part to help change it?

I would add that it's extremely problematic to suggest, "how do we know that Jennifer Lawrence doesn't mind and it's just her PR firm objecting." Unless you have any factual basis for that speculation, it raises serious questions about your motive. It's also a very steep and stupid slippery slope to be dancing on for no discernible reason.
posted by cribcage at 11:47 AM on September 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


Adding to the creep factor, some guy actually tweeted to one of the actresses in the leak, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and told her that she deserved this to happen to her because women like her would never date him. How twisted and broken are you where not only do you come up with this line of reasoning and think it valid, but also say it to one of the victims? And this guy isn't the only one saying things like this or shaming people who speak out against this kind of crime. Sometimes I think our society is beyond redemption when I see so much terrible behavior and outright maliciousness on open display.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:47 AM on September 1, 2014 [32 favorites]


OK, here's a contrary opinion and one I'm not certain I share but which has been rattling around in my mind.

The women involved get paid a lot of money to manage their public image, and there are plenty of (mostly men) in expensive suits trying to get them to put more nudity into that public image all the time. One could argue that this is not so much a personal violation as it is a professional one. You could make the case that being a famous star and taking nude photos of yourself is akin to being a prizefighter refusing to walk away from bar fights or a famous painter leaving sketches in a library book. Sure, there's nothing wrong in defending your pal at the pub or making a nice drawing in the margins, but you are a professional, so the act carries a different weight than if you were not. Being well-known carries it's own risks and rewards, and you can make the case that if you make your living off your image, you protect it. And taking pictures of yourself in undress is pretty much the opposite of protecting it, and I'm sure any partner of any actor would understand that those are the rules of the road. The whole technology failure aspect is a red herring.

Which is just to say that this case is not equivalent to one's garden variety creep case. There is, unfortunately, money involved here and peoples' professional lives.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:48 AM on September 1, 2014


Much of this blaming ( apple , security , programmers, the actors) removes blame from the perpitrator.

When a bank is robbed we don't go blaming the roads, the vault designer, some locksmiths, the manager, and the NRA. We blame the dude with the gun and a will to commit the crime.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:48 AM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


BTW, in case you're feeling defensive for looking at the pictures out of curiosity. It's OK, we all act like creeps sometime. People aren't perfect. The failing is not acting unethically occasionally, it's refusing to recognize the ethics of what you do at all.
posted by Nelson at 11:49 AM on September 1, 2014 [51 favorites]


Saying it's their own fault for taking the photos or comparing them to paparazzi shots are both specious arguments. The problem here is that the photos are private and were stolen. Are all celebrities private moments fair game? How about photos of their children or their children's friends? Photos taken at friends houses, of their children? Photos of private weddings or other intimate family moments.

And yes I agree that the focus on nude women, not just nude but photos taken to send to their partners so sexy nudes is fucking creepy.
posted by fshgrl at 11:49 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying looking at the leaked photos is ethically okay, but doesn't feel ethically wrong either.

How would you feel about the internet poking around inside your digital life? I'm guessing that would feel ethically wrong to to you, whether you had nude photos to look at or not.
posted by fshgrl at 11:53 AM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


any person's specific act of looking is vanishingly unlikely to actually affect her.
But can't you make this same assessment about child pornography?
Yes. That's a good argument against the current approach to child pornography, actually.
Saying that viewing the person's wrongfully public photos "isn't a real source of harm if that person isn't interacting with the victim" seems to be questionable at best,
OK... so do you have a counterargument? I may be wrong, but just saying "your argument would also apply to child pornography" doesn't actually answer it in any useful way.
as well as a notion that our society is moving away from.
Are you claiming that current trends are a good guide to morality? If not, why is this relevant?
posted by Hizonner at 11:54 AM on September 1, 2014


I can't fucking believe people are on Metafilter are splitting hairs on just how offensive it is to steal private photos of someone nude and just how culpable people are who seek the photos out and look at them.

It's not pretty, but this is how we learn. This is the labour of consciousness raising right here.
posted by fatbird at 11:55 AM on September 1, 2014 [22 favorites]


The women involved get paid a lot of money to manage their public image,

The key word here is "public." In this thread we're talking about pictures taken in private, which would have stayed private but for a third party's act of violating that privacy.
posted by heisenberg at 11:56 AM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


The women involved get paid a lot of money to manage their public image, and there are plenty of (mostly men) in expensive suits trying to get them to put more nudity into that public image all the time. One could argue that this is not so much a personal violation as it is a professional one. You could make the case that being a famous star and taking nude photos of yourself is akin to being a prizefighter refusing to walk away from bar fights or a famous painter leaving sketches in a library book.

The job of an actress is to act, not to show their tits. We're not talking about burlesque stars or strippers, we're talking about people who go on a stage and play a character.

Not that burlesque people and strippers don't have a right to privacy, either. It would be just as criminal to steal Dita von Teese's private pictures from her home even if she actually earns her bread by shaking her tasselled breasts.
posted by sukeban at 11:56 AM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


told her that she deserved this to happen to her because women like her would never date him.

"women like her" aka "sane women"
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Actresses' profession is to act, not to show their tits.

While I agree with you, it's not that simple. Actresses don't just act. They are celebrities. They show up at awards ceremonies and do interviews and all sorts of other things. I'm not saying that has anything to do with nude photos, but celebrities aren't just actors.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:58 AM on September 1, 2014


I swear, this conversation is like a Voight-Kampff test.

"The stolen naked photo lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not with out your help. But you're not helping."
posted by Dip Flash at 12:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


there is nothing about their profession that excuse someone stealing private photos or that turns this into a non sexual crime.
posted by nadawi at 12:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't say there was.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:00 PM on September 1, 2014


Actresses don't just act. They are celebrities. They show up at awards ceremonies and do interviews and all sorts of other things. I'm not saying that has anything to do with nude photos, but celebrities aren't just actors.

Ah. We come again to the part where women's bodies are public commodities, never mind if they are actresses, politicians, athletes, musicians, scientists or whatnot. They're a public figure, ergo their bodies are not their own.

Is that it?
posted by sukeban at 12:02 PM on September 1, 2014 [25 favorites]


Oh man, that link from dilaudid's comment. Dipshit reposts these things in order to attempt to make money off them and then complains that 4chan is coming after him? Reap what you sow, creep.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:03 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


The problem here is that the photos are private and were stolen. Are all celebrities private moments fair game?

The ones involving nudity or sexuality, generally yes, is the point some of us have been making here. Many of these situations would be criminal if the person was a private citizen (e.g. following them around the beach with a telescopic lens camera?), but it's splashed all over the covers and contents of magazines & websites that are endemic in this country.

If Mefites are getting off on outrage the way redditors get off on pics of naked women, by all means enjoy yourselves. It just seems like a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, against a cultural background that people seem able to admit exists without understanding the degree to which it demands a little more perspective and less grrarrr. Or go protest next to the tabloid section of your local supermarket or gas station if you want to be consistent.

This is equivalent to someone breaking and entering people's homes to steal nude pictures

Yeah Becca Tobin, who apparently had photos of her nude next to a Christmas tree leaked, tweeted:
Merry XXXmas!
Somehow I'm thinking if a person had actually broken into her house to get those photos she would have reacted differently.
posted by crayz at 12:05 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I may be wrong, but just saying "your argument would also apply to child pornography" doesn't actually answer it in any useful way.

Well, it's shorthand. I was assuming you are familiar with the arguments in that context, since they're well trodden. We passed a federal law in 1994, and it was the subject of a Supreme Court case earlier this year. Here's a good article from the NYTimes that discusses the issue more broadly.
posted by cribcage at 12:05 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Come to think of it, I hope this one was forwarded to the police, because it's got a certain Elilot Rodger quality to it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:06 PM on September 1, 2014


When a bank is robbed we don't go blaming the roads, the vault designer, some locksmiths, the manager, and the NRA. We blame the dude with the gun and a will to commit the crime.


Well, yes, clearly. But if someone robbed Fort Knox through a vault protected with a screen door it would also be worth examining what lead to such a failure of security. Not throttling login attempts almost as bad.
posted by codacorolla at 12:06 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Somehow I'm thinking if a person had actually broken into her house to get those photos she would have reacted differently.

Why does the reaction of a single person negate all the other reactions of people to whom the same thing has happened? Because it supports your specious argument?
posted by elizardbits at 12:07 PM on September 1, 2014 [31 favorites]


This theft isn't a sex crime by any current legal definition that I'm aware of (which doesn't say much since I don't know many legal definitions). But I can see this act gaining that legal label if these sort of thefts continue. It's one thing to do this women who have few resources, quite another to do to mega stars who could have plenty of powerful connections. Wouldn't be surprised if Jennifer Lawerence lead that counter-attack.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:08 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Come to think of it, I hope this one was forwarded to the police, because it's got a certain Elilot Rodger quality to it.

I went looking for it again in order to link to it here, but I can't find it now. If it's still there, it's buried in a sea of horribleness that I don't want to wade through.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:08 PM on September 1, 2014


Somehow I'm thinking if a person had actually broken into her house to get those photos she would have reacted differently.

Someone went to all the trouble to hack their digital locker accounts to steal them. Don't act like the assholes who stole the pictures just happened to see them lying around on the floor.
posted by sukeban at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


The legal term of art is "reasonable expectation of privacy", and I it seems to me that most of the people who took these pictures and shared them (or had them auto-uploaded to their cloud backup, or whatever) had a sincere expectation of privacy, but perhaps not a reasonable one. The tools we have for sharing, backing up data, etc. tend to err on the side of convenience, leaving security as sort of a "best effort / caveat emptor" type of thing that largely depends on many factors that most people aren't considering when they check "OK" to have their photos backed up to the cloud, or send them in an MMS message, Snapchat, or whatever.

These actresses should absolutely use the full force of the law to go after these criminals, but while it's never the fault of the person who had their property / information stolen, it certainly is the case that you can't steal a nude picture that wasn't taken at all, and that as long as true bulletproof security for personal data is a pipe dream, we have to factor in the risk of having our information stolen into our decision to share or not share that data.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


we don't go blaming the roads, the vault designer, some locksmiths, the manager, and the NRA

You do if the bank's security was shitty, or they lied about how much money they were keeping in unsecured areas, or covered up the loss leading to more thefts, or failed to run background checks on their employees...

If this was an iCloud hack I think it's totally reasonable to be angry at Apple for leaving the door to the vaults propped open and apportion some blame.

The issue with phones is that, unless you dock your phone to a computer on a regular basis, the only way to make regular backups is to upload your data to a 3rd party service over the internet. Data is leaky, and stupid little things (like not rate-limiting a single API endpoint) can expose it to everyone. Even 2-factor auth doesn't help if it's not actually implemented on every single API (eBay was caught doing this on some mobile APIs) and how can the user possibly defend against shitty security implementation?

If a service required public key authentication and never accepted a password, you could maybe make the argument that a cloud service was secure. The next best thing is a password manager which is just a cumbersome simulation of public-key authentication.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


The reason it matters whether or not you look is that every time someone looks, someone is counting that and sharing that information as well. The media who post the stolen images (and reddit is media, make no mistake) know exactly how many views and downloads they are getting, and that translates into that many more reasons (insert dollar signs) to do it again. If this sort of thing posted and nobody looked, corporations would have an easier time cracking down on it. But so long as they can profit from it, why shouldn't they look the other way (or worse, trumpet it as "news").
posted by Mchelly at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


Somehow I'm thinking if a person had actually broken into her house to get those photos she would have reacted differently.

If making flip remarks is not a valid way to express impotent anger, then I guess I've never been angry.

Oh hey, I just did it. Maybe, at least - I can't be sure, I'm waiting for you to tell me with your mindreading powers.
posted by solotoro at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


bibliowench writes:
Some states do punish this sort of leak as a sex crime. Louisiana, for example, defines "video voyeurism" as

"(1) The use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose;

or

(2) The transfer of an image obtained by activity described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail, the Internet, or a commercial online service."

Anyone convicted of this crime needs to register as a sex offender.
No, that law would not make this case a sex crime. (1) is not invoked because the pictures are described as "selfies" and therefore consent for their creation is established. (2) is a separate possible offense explicitly depending on offense (1) having happened, which it did not because it's a selfie, not hidden camera thing.

The apparent crime is hacking, which is not a sex crime. But don't worry because while the available penalties don't include entry into a sex offender registry those penalties are already over the top, up to twenty years in prison per offense after the first, which only gets you 10 years.
posted by NortonDC at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2014


I'm seeing a lot of "but people like looking at naked women!" in this thread. That's really not the problem here. There's a world of difference between looking at a photo of a naked woman that has been made available to you with her consent and looking at a photo of a naked woman that you know has been made available to you without her consent.
posted by heisenberg at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2014 [33 favorites]


[sic] there is nothing about their profession that excuse someone stealing private photos or that turns this into a non sexual crime

...and

Ah. We come again to the part where women's bodies are public commodities, never mind if they are actresses, politicians, athletes, musicians, scientists or whatnot. They're a public figure, ergo their bodies are not their own.

The point I was trying to make is that when you make your money off of the cult of celebrity, then it makes sense to realize that you have a different membrane between public/private than people who do not make their money off of the cult of celebrity. I'm not saying that's right, or moral or any any way justifies invasions of privacy. But let's not pretend the actors here are stupid and didn't imagine their nudes weren't worth a hell of a lot more attention than we lowly folk.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2014


When a bank is robbed we don't go blaming the roads, the vault designer, some locksmiths, the manager, and the NRA.

Yes we do.

If a bank was robbed by breaching the vault or picking the locks, we would absolutely blame the vault designer or locksmith. If a manager handed out cash without verifying someone's ID, then we'd blame the manager.

Now, these people generally don't face criminal charges. But they could very well face professional censure and likely lose their jobs.

When people or corporations in positions of great responsibility harm others through negligence, there should be consequences. Apple is not blameless in this.
posted by ryanrs at 12:17 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I liked Alexandra Daddario's response: "The Internet is scary. Thank god all my personal photos are of dogs and cats and food, and I'm only naked on tv."
posted by Justinian at 12:18 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


The media who post the stolen images (and reddit is media, make no mistake) know exactly how many views and downloads they are getting, and that translates into that many more reasons (insert dollar signs) to do it again.

Exactly, this is where the "incremental harm" argument fails. By way of analogy, would anyone really argue that there's nothing wrong with watching a snuff film, even though the victim is already dead?
posted by heisenberg at 12:19 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I may be wrong, but just saying "your argument would also apply to child pornography" doesn't actually answer it in any useful way.

Well, it's shorthand. I was assuming you are familiar with the arguments in that context, since they're well trodden.
Only in broad outline; it's not a major interest of mine. I'll read your link.

I'll say I've never been very comfortable with criminalizing mere possession of child pornography, and my reasons for that are closely related to what I said in my original post here. I'm also very uncomfortable with what seems to be a trend of thinking of child pornography as the Most Evil Thing In The World, above and beyond every other kind of evil... and I'd ask you to remember that if you bring up child pornography in a discussion, people might perceive it as appealing to that attitude to as a tactic to shut down real argument.

Anyhow, this is a digression. Even with child pornography, regardless of how illegal or immoral it may be to have it or look at it, nobody actually equates looking at it with seeking out and taunting the victim, or with production. And that's what I was reacting to more than anything else... analogous distinctions were being ignored in this case, and I believe those distinctions matter.
posted by Hizonner at 12:19 PM on September 1, 2014


while it's never the fault of the person who had their property / information stolen, it certainly is the case that you can't steal a nude picture that wasn't taken at all,

I'm.sorry but that is bulllshit. There are many celebrities who refuse to allow their children to be photographed. Are they not allowed to take photos of them at home now because then it'll be their own fault if they end up in the media?

And as far as damaging careers I imagine mining emails and text messages would be 1000% more likely to yield damaging professional revelations. I can't imagine Jennifer Lawrence or any other young woman edits herself any better than I do when venting about work and dating and if my text message history were online I'd have a lot of explaining to do to some people.

This is totally men feeling entitled to look at women in a situation they explicitly do not want to be looked at by those men.

Paparazzi shots are ridiculous too but I don't think celebrities have any expectations about privacy outdoors anymore.
posted by fshgrl at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2014 [24 favorites]


The point I was trying to make is that when you make your money off of the cult of celebrity, then it makes sense to realize that you have a different membrane between public/private than people who do not make their money off of the cult of celebrity.

No, you don't. Jesus Christ. People have a right to privacy no matter their profession or how many times they've gotten naked on camera. Porn stars and camgirls and sex workers have a right to privacy. You don't get to own other people's private moments.
posted by sukeban at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2014 [64 favorites]


I'm hoping that this leads to some UI changes, where your phone gallery has an indicator next to each image that tells you that a copy of this is in your cloud storage account, and a way to remove it. Also more generally, a pretty much in-your-face "review your cloud storage" feature that the only way you're gonna miss is if you just plain don't care.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2014


I think there are two conversations going on about security protocols. One is: "I can't believe that login attempts were not throttled!" And the other is: "Use two-factor authentication!"

The first seems pretty innocuous since nobody really expects that the victims here should take the time to familiarize themselves with iCloud's security policies with respect to every API. I don't think anyone's saying that it's not fair to criticize Apple's role in this.

The second, while perhaps offered in an attempt to be helpful, is a little more iffy since it shades into blaming the victims for not doing everything they could have to prevent this breach.

But look. Is there any serious doubt that these photos were downloaded and disseminated without the actresses' consent? No? Then their assumed failure to use two-factor authentication is irrelevant to consideration of the ethics of this situation.
posted by burden at 12:22 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't see the problem with the comparison to nonconsensual pap shots. It's amped up, certainly, since it's more like pap shots of celebrities having sex/in the nude while they were certain they were entirely in private, but it's certainly on the same continuum. This happened because the person who hacked into the accounts knows that the same outlets and the same audience would be interested in the contents.

This is a gross violation of privacy and I don't think it's justified no matter how famous anyone is or whether or not they have a public image or a publicist or trade on their faces or whatever. We seem to have decided as a culture, incrementally, that because these people got fame from catching our interest, we own them and they owe us these kinds of pictures and this information. This is the natural outcome of that belief.

I'd rather not agree that people who pretend to be other people for a living only do so at the cost of their private lives. That's not the kind of bargain I want to strike in order to watch movies or enjoy a tv show. If an individual doesn't consent to having their photo taken for the express purpose of someone selling their image so that the public can gorge on details of their private lives, that photo should not be taken, in my opinion. If it were kept to photo ops and red carpets and other deliberate performances, that seems fine to me, but once it goes onto the street and into people's regular lives, I think it's horrifying.

This crime has an ugly misogynist tinge to it because it happens this way for young women, who are more commodified, and the level of entitlement everyone feels for young women's bodies and information about them is so intense. This happens to non-famous young women too, with disastrous and sometimes deadly results. This is the big version with a famous young woman, someone who is commodified by definition. The trifecta of being young, female, and famous appears to mean you owe everything to everyone. I wish I could find the permanent opt out of this agreement.

You have the surface reading of this incident as hacking and theft, publishing information that wasn't meant to be published, but it's more than that and different than that because of what was taken and from whom. We already weighed her body as more valuable than other people's because she's famous, because she's a young woman, and the magnitude of the act is commensurate with all of that. We made her body more valuable than other people's. It's hard not to see the dehumanization of it.

I don't know how we're going to fix this. I don't mean just legally, I mean as a culture. It's a multi-headed and vicious hydra of a thing.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:22 PM on September 1, 2014 [21 favorites]


regardless of how illegal or immoral it may be to have it or look at it, nobody actually equates looking at it with seeking out and taunting the victim, or with production

You can't look at it without procuring it. Even if only by clicking a link. That's where the harm is incurred - you have assisted creating the market.
posted by solotoro at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


By way of analogy, would anyone really argue that there's nothing wrong with watching a snuff film, even though the victim is already dead?

You mean like the video of the killing of James Foley? Probably.
posted by Justinian at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


OK. I also mentioned the circulation of these magazines/websites since it seems like we are dealing with a very large number of fucking creeps and once you get to millions of people, it might not be the most productive way forward to dismiss them and their (fucked up) desires totally.

.....why? If no one says that what they're doing is fucking creepy, how do they learn that they're part of he problem?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:24 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm just boggled that people don't think that looking at stolen intimate and sexual photos of any person is some kind of ethical grey area instead of wrong wrong wrong. Also boggled that people don't see how stealing and disseminating such photos is a crime of a sexual nature, whether or not it meets the criteria for sex offender registry in a particular jurisdiction.

It's like reading those surveys where disgustingly large percentages of college guys will admit to acts that meet the legal definition of rape as long as nobody calls it that.
posted by immlass at 12:27 PM on September 1, 2014 [31 favorites]


By way of analogy, would anyone really argue that there's nothing wrong with watching a snuff film, even though the victim is already dead?
Me.

OK, "nothing wrong" is very loaded, but if you're asking me if viewing the film increases the original victim's victimization, my answer is a resounding "no".

If there is something wrong with it, that person is definitely not the victim any more. You'd have to find some living person who was harmed by somebody watching the film. Maybe the person's family and friends? But anyway it's still hard for me to see harm in that if the viewing doesn't cause a detectable consequence for them.
posted by Hizonner at 12:28 PM on September 1, 2014


fshgrl: I'm.sorry but that is bullshit. There are many, Manu celebrities who refuse to allow their children to be photographed. Are they not allowed to take photos of them at home now because then it'll be their own fault if they end up in the media?

I don't know how you would read something like that into what I said, given that I specifically pointed out that it's never the victim's fault. It's always legally and morally 100% the fault of the person who committed the crime of taking someone's data.

Still, that does not mean that we shouldn't think about whether these services have been oversold in terms of how secure they are, and start demanding that service providers do more to protect security. My point is that these services are not sufficiently secure for anyone to have a reasonable belief that their data will be protected, so someone who's a big target for hackers needs to understand the risks when they decide what they send or store. I just do not think that there's sufficient recognition of these risks.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:30 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm just boggled that people don't think that looking at stolen intimate and sexual photos of any person is some kind of ethical grey area instead of wrong wrong wrong.
So, of the people who are saying this, how many consider themselves ethical consequentialists? I'm guessing not very many.

I'm about as consequentalist as it gets, both philosophically and in my gut feelings. I really can't see anything as immoral unless it at least has a chance of hurting somebody.
posted by Hizonner at 12:31 PM on September 1, 2014


I kind of lackadaisically, absent-mindedly did a google image search when the news first came out, and one of the results was an extremely graphic picture of a man with his brains splattered all over a highway. Lesson learned. (I do feel gross and wrong about having searched in the first place yes don't shame me)
posted by naju at 12:31 PM on September 1, 2014


If Mefites are getting off on outrage the way redditors get off on pics of naked women,

Is this really a claim you believe?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


Contributing to the commoditization of female bodies and the overall existence of rape culture is hurting somebody. Many somebodies. 51% of the global population, actually.
posted by elizardbits at 12:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [68 favorites]


Porn stars and camgirls and sex workers have a right to privacy.

Yes they do and in a perfect world would. But that is not the reality of the situation. Fortunately/unfortunately they are public figures (as are to a greater or lesser extent porn stars and camgirls and sex workers), and people pushing the bounds of public/private is part of the territory. And to pretend that people who put themselves out there as celebrities, albeit minor, do no know the danger is demeaning. And somewhat naive.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:33 PM on September 1, 2014


It's a neat trick to pat yourself on the back for being an "ethical consequentialist" while ignoring the fact that by paying for content whose creation necessarily hurts someone, you are encouraging the creation of more such content.
posted by burden at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


I really can't see anything as immoral unless it at least has a chance of hurting somebody.

So is it just a failure of your imagination that you can't see how as a consumer of illegally gained materials, you create demand for future violations?
posted by gladly at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2014 [29 favorites]


Yes they do and in a perfect world would. But that is not the reality of the situation. Fortunately/unfortunately they are public figures (as are to a greater or lesser extent porn stars and camgirls and sex workers), and people pushing the bounds of public/private is part of the territory.

And again we come around to women not owning the presentation of their own bodies or having a right to privacy. AGAIN.
posted by sukeban at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2014 [19 favorites]


I don't know how you would read something like that into what I said, given that I specifically pointed out that it's never the victim's fault. It's always legally and morally 100% the fault of the person who committed the crime of taking someone's data

Sorry, I'm not attacking you. Just the idea that these women should somehow accept blame for what happened which is a theme I keep hearing. I think yes, the general public does have an expectation of privacy because a) we're not all that computer savvy and b) security is one of the selling points of most cloud services. And I think that's reasonable.
posted by fshgrl at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2014


Contributing to the commoditization of female bodies and the overall existence of rape culture is hurting somebody. Many somebodies. 51% of the global population, actually.
True enough. But you also have to argue that the act in question actually does that.

Stealing the photos and posting them obviously does. So does calling attention to them (and, on edit, so would paying for them, including by viewing advertising). Even downloading them may, if somebody is counting downloads and using it to decide what to post in the future. But purely viewing the thing, ignoring how it comes into your possession?

... and, yes, there are ways these things could come into your possession without anybody counting it. If I wanted to look at the photos under discussion here (which I do not and have not, by the way), I am *certain* I could get them without anybody logging the access, and without anybody other than me knowing I had done so. At that point, commoditization is attenuated to the point where I don't think I can find it any more.
posted by Hizonner at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2014


Honestly, can't you people see that it is the same misogynistic argument as those who say you can't rape a prostitute because she sleeps with everyone?
posted by sukeban at 12:38 PM on September 1, 2014 [25 favorites]


The activities a person participates in as a professional in that field do not excuse any sort of related violations in their private life. A woman being a film celebrity and taking many publicity photos does not mean that it is okay that her private photos become public property. This is the same kind of utterly grotesque and inexcusable argument that terrible people use to handwave away concerns when someone working in the sex industry is sexually assaulted.
posted by elizardbits at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [33 favorites]


I don't know a lot about terms used in ethics discussion, but I'm comfortable saying that everyone who looks at naked pictures that were not meant for them to see is doing a shitty thing and that trying to justify it is actually much shittier.

(And I say this as someone who, like others above, has actually looked for these pictures so I'd have a frame of reference, which was a different kind of shitty thing to do.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:43 PM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


And to pretend that people who put themselves out there as celebrities, albeit minor, do no know the danger is demeaning. And somewhat naive.

"She was asking for it, just look at what she was wearingpursuing as a career."

It is seriously gross that all you can think to do is expound on how this just comes with the job. As if that wasn't itself a BIG. FUCKING. PROBLEM.
posted by solotoro at 12:43 PM on September 1, 2014 [29 favorites]


And again we come around to women not owning the presentation of their own bodies or having a right to privacy. AGAIN.

You do realize male celebrities exist and are often treated quite similarly, do you not? We just had Leo DipCaprio being fat-shamed by paparazzi beach photos a couple months ago. Celebrities don't own the presentation of their bodies or have a right to privacy in this culture. That may not be right, but let's not conflate this with women in general - the reaction here would be drastically different to a bunch of random women's iCloud accounts being hacked/photos dumped.
posted by crayz at 12:44 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah Becca Tobin, who apparently had photos of her nude next to a Christmas tree leaked, tweeted:
Merry XXXmas!
Somehow I'm thinking if a person had actually broken into her house to get those photos she would have reacted differently.


Of all the many reasons 'this one actress doesn't seem that upset by this so therefore it's not an issue' isn't a great argument - some of which have already been pointed out - this specific actress is kinda busy grieving her recently deceased partner. That tweet, to me, doesn't say "I don't care that this happened", it says "I'm gonna acknowledge that this happened so that people stop tweeting at me about it, but I'm not interested in having a conversation about it."
posted by lwb at 12:47 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]



You do realize male celebrities exist and are often treated quite similarly, do you not?


An argument that is based upon pretending that the societal expectations for men are in any way even remotely close to those for women is a hilariously ridiculous argument.
posted by elizardbits at 12:48 PM on September 1, 2014 [58 favorites]


yeah, my desires are fucked up
Look, dude, there's nothing fucked up about your desires. It's fucked up to think that you have a right to fulfill your desires without the other person's consent. You can jerk off to consensual porn all you want. Just in the future, don't look at photos when you have reason to believe that they were obtained or distributed without the subject's consent.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2014 [16 favorites]


You do realize male celebrities exist and are often treated quite similarly, do you not? We just had Leo DipCaprio being fat-shamed by paparazzi beach photos a couple months ago.

How many times have hackers stole naked private photos of male actors?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know a lot about terms used in ethics discussion, but I'm comfortable saying that everyone who looks at naked pictures that were not meant for them to see is doing a shitty thing and that trying to justify it is actually much shittier.

Yep. I think it's pretty much like people who pirate stuff. Don't justify it. People do crappy things sometimes. That's... not okay, really, but it's not the worst thing in the world either. But at least own it.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


a bunch of random women's iCloud accounts being hacked/photos dumped.

This happens all the time. Literally all the time. There are whole communities online devoted to this.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Much of this blaming ( apple , security , programmers, the actors) removes blame from the perpetrator.

I certainly don't blame the actor's, they're the victims here but you certainly can blame both Apple's programmers and the perpetrator(s). Apple is selling a service to store your files and as a customer you have every expectation that those files are only visible to you and who you chose to share them with. The fact that they were unable to provide that security puts part of the blame on them.
posted by octothorpe at 12:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


An argument that is based upon pretending that the societal expectations for men are in any way even remotely close to those for women is a hilariously ridiculous argument.

An argument that is based upon pretending that the societal expectations for celebrities are in any way even remotely close to those for normal humans is just a bad, bad, not good argument. It's not even hilarious.
posted by crayz at 12:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes they do and in a perfect world would. But that is not the reality of the situation. Fortunately/unfortunately they are public figures (as are to a greater or lesser extent porn stars and camgirls and sex workers), and people pushing the bounds of public/private is part of the territory. And to pretend that people who put themselves out there as celebrities, albeit minor, do no know the danger is demeaning. And somewhat naive.

Nobody is holding a gun to your head and requiring you to look at illegally acquired and disseminated photographs. Your framing of this as "well, they're famous and should take responsibility and be realistic about this!" is pretty gross. It is attitudes like this that make that perfect world even more difficult to attain.
posted by rtha at 12:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is turning into one of the weirdest threads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


You do realize male celebrities exist and are often treated quite similarly, do you not?

No one said male celebrities don't also occasionally get treated shitty. This article and this conversation happens to be about women, not men. You are using the classic "but what about the menz" derail. Please don't.
posted by Librarypt at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2014 [24 favorites]


Its not about expectations its about rights. Celebrities have the same right to privacy as anyone else.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


It is seriously gross that all you can think to do is expound on how this just comes with the job. As if that wasn't itself a BIG. FUCKING. PROBLEM.

Look Lady/Man/Strong A.I., that's the entire point. In business, in politics, in the arts it's the perennial argument: can you divorce the artist from the art? This one just happened to press a lot of hot buttons on Our Side in terms of equality and safety. It's not quantitatively different than any other public exposure of an erstwhile private persona. I don't exactly recall Metafilter being up in arms when Romney showed his true colors at that clandestinely filmed dinner nor when Nabakov's destined-for-the-flames writing came to light.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:53 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


octothorpe: The fact that they were unable to provide that security puts part of the blame on them.

It also may be that they literally cannot provide that security in a way that people would find convenient enough. Two-factor is rarely used in the "every time I use the resource, I supply my hard token / access code" manner, and if it were for every time people shared a selfie, they'd probably turn it off.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:53 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I wanted to look at the photos under discussion here (which I do not and have not, by the way), I am *certain* I could get them without anybody logging the access, and without anybody other than me knowing I had done so. At that point, commoditization is attenuated to the point where I don't think I can find it any more.

So everybody else doing a shitty thing makes it okay for you to do it because the consequences can't be traced to you. Got it.
posted by immlass at 12:54 PM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm frankly stunned that anyone thinks this isn't a #yesallwomen situation at its core. It certainly is. This incident is an intersection of all kinds of really ugly things about our culture, including our weird worship of celebrities as well as our weird commodification of all women, and those persistent acts of entitlement to all women's bodies. Didn't we just have this conversation? Is it that hard to take the lessons of one incident and see the grains of it in another?
posted by Hildegarde at 12:54 PM on September 1, 2014 [30 favorites]


You can jerk off to consensual porn all you want.

Surely the social effects of porn, the industry, its effects on psychology, etc, are not just purely a matter of whether or not the individual performers involved gave their consent?

Some of the stuff that is totally standard on porn sites viewed by young boys these days might possibly make the desire to 'see Jennifer Lawrence's tits' seem quite tame.
posted by colie at 12:56 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just once, I'd like to see leaked celebrity nudes containing something unusual. Cybernetic parts, lizard scales, a tail, a third hand, a huge tattoo of Ernest Borgnine's face or a swastika on the abdomen.

From what I've gathered, Ms. Lawrence and the others leaked are young and beautiful and have a couple of protuberances around grab height, which is about what I would have expected. If they were secretly cyborg Nazi lizard aliens I'd at least get a healthy dose of respect for Hollywood's makeup people out of this.
posted by delfin at 12:56 PM on September 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


Tangent, but: remember how gleefully everybody reacted to the Anthony Wiener scandal, and how nobody really hesitated to splash his boner—as well as the leaked pictures that Weiner didn't accidentally make public—across broadcast screens?

I still think Anthony Weiner is a jerk, but in hindsight, the mirthful piling on in the midst of the scandal was pretty shameful, Carlos Danger or not. The appropriate reaction to "someone's private photos were made public" should be "well, that's shitty," and not "Oooh, scandal! Isn't this rich. Lemme see. I can't wait to share these images with the wider world!"

Even when the person involved is pretty much a professional twerp.

Another tangent: it's interesting to note the different ways in which leaked photos of men and leaked photos of women are and aren't sexualized. If I recall, Wiener's photos were treated as laughable and not as currency to be deposited at a wank bank.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


Surely the social effects of porn, the industry, its effects on psychology, etc, are not just purely a matter of whether or not the individual performers involved gave their consent?

I believe that is correct. What however is your point.

Some of the stuff that is totally standard on porn sites viewed by young boys these days might possibly make the desire to 'see Jennifer Lawrence's tits' seem quite tame.

So this is ok because that is worse? Is that really the argument you are espousing?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well ironically (I guess?) the potential issues with consent and other problems with the porn industry means that really the most ethical way to look at nekkid pictures is to procure/produce them with/of your partners(s), with their full cooperation and consent. But of course that would be opening you and them up to potential privacy violations of this nature, so.

I mean, I would love to share pictures with my partner but as a woman I am completely terrified of the idea of sexy pictures being "out there," even though I completely trust my current partner.
posted by misskaz at 1:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


So everybody else doing a shitty thing makes it okay for you to do it because the consequences can't be traced to you. Got it.

I think the argument is even worse than that - it seems to be: "Because it's technically possible to view illegally-obtained content in a way that doesn't encourage its production, it's not wrong to view such content in a way that does."
posted by burden at 1:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


a huge tattoo of Ernest Borgnine's face

Are we talking Marty Borgnine or ER Borgnine?
posted by elizardbits at 1:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you don't understand a technology don't use it.

Eugh. You know not blaming the victim, as you say you want not to do, means actually not blaming the victim? Saying "I don't blame her, but she shouldn't have worn that dress" is actually still blaming.

(And I hope you live up to your code and don't use medicines or fly in planes.)
posted by bonaldi at 1:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [26 favorites]


I think the argument is even worse than that - it seems to be: "Because it's technically possible to view illegally-obtained content in a way that doesn't encourage its production, it's not wrong to view such content in a way that does."
No, and you have no basis for that conclusion.

The argument is that if you don't encourage the production, then it makes no sense to argue that what you're doing is wrong based on encouraging the production. I didn't say anything at all about it being OK to do things that do encourage production. There are different ways to view pictures, and only some of them bring in the "encouraging production" issue.

I also didn't say it was OK to do anything "because the consequences can't be traced". The situation in question is when the consequences don't exist at all.

And I didn't say it was OK to do a shitty thing. The whole question is whether it is shitty in the first place.
posted by Hizonner at 1:04 PM on September 1, 2014


I don't exactly recall Metafilter being up in arms when Romney showed his true colors at that clandestinely filmed dinner nor when Nabakov's destined-for-the-flames writing came to light.

Analogies that MIGHT have some bearing if these photos were taken at some private artistic performance which would change privacy expectations. Which was not the case as you know perfectly well but choose to ignore because you have the luxury of being able to treat such cases pedantically with no worry that they might ever apply to you, and you apparently entirely lack the empathy to approach the situation any other way. And damn, you made me break my internet three and out rule. Probably the ad hominem of calling me an AI. Congrats, I guess. Four and out it is.
posted by solotoro at 1:04 PM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


emma watson : (as a reminder, paparazzi crouched on the street to obtain upskirt shots of her on her 18th birthday)

Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.
posted by nadawi at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2014 [22 favorites]


The ethics of whether or not to take nude photos of yourself aside, this is an unmitigated fuck-up on Apple's part. That so many account were penetrated in such short order is a security failure without parallel.
posted by GuyZero at 1:10 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are there ethics involved in deciding whether or not to take nude pics of oneself? I missed that discussion.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sure I do - you said that you didn't think that merely possessing child pornography should be a crime, but didn't limit that to situations where the person caught with the material obtained it in a way that didn't encourage its future production.
posted by burden at 1:12 PM on September 1, 2014


is there actually any confirmation that this is an apple only issue? it was my understanding that it's at this point pretty clear that it was multiple hacks on multiple platforms from potentially multiple people, maybe done over an unknown period, and then just released by one person all in a burst...
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


this is an unmitigated fuck-up on Apple's part. That so many account were penetrated in such short order is a security failure without parallel.

Has it been proven that this was a hack of the iCloud? I thought that was a theory at this point.
posted by Justinian at 1:13 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


OK. I also mentioned the circulation of these magazines/websites since it seems like we are dealing with a very large number of fucking creeps and once you get to millions of people, it might not be the most productive way forward to dismiss them and their (fucked up) desires totally.

Ask women who walk down the street or take subways whether or not there's millions of creeps out there. There are. And that's no excuse to not do something about them.


An argument that is based upon pretending that the societal expectations for celebrities are in any way even remotely close to those for normal humans is just a bad, bad, not good argument. It's not even hilarious.

So guess you're argument is that if someone does this to a woman who is just a normal career person, that's bad. But if that person is known, then that's OK. (Maybe. for all I know you'll argue that it's OK to download private pictures of any woman while holding one's dick in hand, but 'll give you the benefit of the doubt.)

But the flaw for that argument is there's a really big gray area in terms of celebrity. Is Anita Sarkeesian a celebrity? Well she's well known. So's Angela Merkel, and Sally Ride, Kari Byron, and Tracy Wilson. IN fact, tere's a lot of women on the internet wh have some fame- where is te limit t celebrity?

Are you seriously arguing that because women are in the public eye, they have no right to privacy? And because there's no downward limit to celebrity, aren't you also arguing that any woman who owns a blog is fair prey? So you're distinction basically boils down to "Any woman that others know about can't consider her body he own. She's meat for any guy who wants to hack her account while unzipping his pants."

Honestly, I have a lot more respect for the one guy who admitted "Yes, I do this,and it is creepy", than all the people here arguing that women with some degree of fame don't own their own bodies, and should be just content with whatever creeps do to them. Because that argument invariably boils down to "Any woman that s known on the internet is fair prey for sexual harassment."
posted by happyroach at 1:15 PM on September 1, 2014 [29 favorites]


Well, this is a clusterfuck isn't it?

Guess what, it's not just about the nudes. Most of the women who were hacked have appeared in public photos wearing next to nothing anyways and all of them have photoshopped nudes of themselves floating around the internet.

It's about the fact that someone invaded their privacy (y'know like the NSA does - remember how that was a bad thing?) and published these without their consent. In fact that it was done without their consent was a feature not a bug for the person who did this because it's about getting one over on these women that they could never have.

And while looking at the photos is bad but can be excused, blaming these women for taking the photos or not being IT gurus or saying that it's not that big of a deal? That is so much worse. Just say you goofed and move on.
posted by bgal81 at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


Sure I do - you said that you didn't think that merely possessing child pornography should be a crime, but didn't limit that to situations where the person caught with the material obtained it in a way that didn't encourage its future production.
Actually, I said that I wasn't entirely comfortable with its criminalization, which is supposed to be a clue that I don't have a settled or strongly defended opinion.

Anyway, the point here is the "mere", which does in fact limit the statement. If you merely possess child pornography, that does not encourage its production.

If you buy it, that definitely encourages its production (which, by the way, is what I think the Supreme Court has mainly used as a justification). If you trade it, you're also definitely encouraging production. If you send "attaboys" to the people who produce it, even that encourages production. And that may extend even to them being able to count you in their download logs.

But if you find some magazines from 1965 in the bottom of your dead great-grandfather's chest in the attic, I'm having trouble seeing how you encourage production.

Actually, your greatest potential for harm may be if you get caught, since that makes your actions known to producers and to victims. So criminalization, with the attendant publicity, may lead to actual harm. Like that paradoxical effect in cribcage's link, where the victim legally had to be notified every single time anybody was found with her images.
posted by Hizonner at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2014


If you merely possess child pornography, that does not encourage its production.

Well possessing child pornography does not necessarily encourage its production. But that's irrelevant. Because possessing child pornography most likely encourages its production. And that is the more relevant standard.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:28 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Guess what, it's not just about the nudes.

It's about consent, respect, and the right to privacy no matter who you are, how famous you are, or what gender or orientation you may be. That's what it's about.

Pretty disgusting.
posted by Fizz at 1:28 PM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


It's about consent, respect, and the right to privacy no matter who you are, how famous you are, or what gender or orientation you may be. That's what it's about.

Pretty disgusting.


Agreed. This is not cool.
posted by ageispolis at 1:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this whole derail smacks of debate-club word games. To get back on track, it's safe to assume that the large majority of people who are viewing these pictures are obtaining them in ways that encourage their production, and it is wrong for them to do so. To focus on the small minority of people who are taking steps to obtain them in ways that do not encourage the production of more such images (assuming it is even possible to do so) is straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.
posted by burden at 1:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is Jennifer Lawrence JLaw now? Do we know how Jude Law feels about that?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:33 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


Has it been proven that this was a hack of the iCloud? I thought that was a theory at this point.

So I have no clue. Occam's Razor says this was one security hole that exposed a lot of people to the same risk. But sure, it could have been dozen security holes to track down the lower-tier celebs as well as the big names like Lawrence.

But these are celebrities and I'm sure they're all very nice but they're not gadget freaks for the most part. They use the stock photo app on their phones and the phones do their things in sync'ing to the cloud. And I'm pretty sure they're all iPhone users. I like my Android phone but let's get real about what phone the average celebrity is using.

At any rate, whenever it comes to light who fucked up here, this is a pretty major security fuckup.
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on September 1, 2014


yeah, the linked article concerns the ethics of taking nude pics of oneself, preemptively responding to the conservative hysteria of the U.S. regarding sex and nudity – emphasizing the point that should be utterly obvious, namely that the victims of this crime did nothing wrong or shameful or even embarrassing

the entertainment industry extracts value out of this whole tension, which the article too suggests in one sentence that made me double take a little bit:
"It is, if I may digress for a moment, a loss in a business sense as well, if only because sadly an actress’s most important asset is her body and the titillation that it theoretically brings."
coincidentally i think The Hunger Games might be a pretty good lens to use for looking at this through a pop cultural perspective. we have the contenders, the creepy anonymous crowds, and the profiting rulers, a mythified portrayal of the already-mythical business of showbusiness

they could get a really good writer to incorporate a nude leak plot into the next movie. show what the media does with it, the news, the talking heads, the ideologues... show how it's an extreme expression of this panopticon of creepy male gazes...
posted by mbrock at 1:35 PM on September 1, 2014


they aren't all iphone users according to people looking at the pics, as apparently some of the women are obviously holding android phones. it being one big hack also doesn't explain the fakes.
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2014


Some of the stuff that is totally standard on porn sites viewed by young boys these days might possibly make the desire to 'see Jennifer Lawrence's tits' seem quite tame.

- So this is ok because that is worse? Is that really the argument you are espousing?


I was commenting after reading an opinion that looking at papped bikini pics makes someone a creep and that buying a magazine that prints paparazzi beach pics is an immoral act, but that consensually produced porn (that presents images of women in God knows what ways) is OK to consume.
posted by colie at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


There are two (several) parallel conversations happening here. But if you care about the technical side (how could this happen?), here's an Anon totally unverified post (screenshot text, sfw) that seems totally plausible.

In short, this isn't an iCloud-only hack. It's just a long list of different hacks seeing the light of day at the same time. Or if you like, a particularly big rock being turned over and a lot of scurrying cockroaches.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm doubly annoyed that Jennifer Lawrence is one of the highest-profile victims of this privacy breach. Not just because she's a great actress who deserves better, but because she's been so great as Katniss in the Hunger Games. And Katniss is a great female hero, in both the books and the movies, a strong young woman who's vulnerable and powerful and either in control of her situation or else impressive in how she deals with situations where she is not in control.

And now a bunch of fanboys are all "hurf durf I saw her naked". It's a form of ownership over the actress. And I think therefore ownership of this strong woman hero character. I particularly like how the Hunger Games books don't really sexualize Katniss. She has sexuality, and carefully examined and conflicted and realistically portrayed. But never objectified. And now the actress is objectified, to the point where men are arguing here somehow it's OK to enjoy the illegally obtained private photos of her nude.

this conversation is like a Voight-Kampff test.
"The stolen naked photo lays on its back


It's not an inanimate object that deserves empathy. It's real live women, actresses.
posted by Nelson at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2014 [19 favorites]


it being one big hack also doesn't explain the fakes.

I think the most reasonable explanation is that they mostly aren't fakes and people like Grande saying they aren't real are (understandably!!) simply embarrassed and telling a white fib.
posted by Justinian at 1:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Has it been proven that this was a hack of the iCloud? I thought that was a theory at this point.

It's looking like this is actually a series of leaks from a pre-existing "underground circle" - here's a 4chan screenshot with some discrpencies explained and some info for people wanting to investigate further.
posted by crayz at 1:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


that seems totally plausible

I don't buy that there has been a super secret celebrity nude and porn trading ring operating in silence for years. It smacks of EYES WIDE SHUT bacchanals and so on.
posted by Justinian at 1:40 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


The ones involving nudity or sexuality, generally yes, is the point some of us have been making here. Many of these situations would be criminal if the person was a private citizen (e.g. following them around the beach with a telescopic lens camera?), but it's splashed all over the covers and contents of magazines & websites that are endemic in this country.

I've long been a critic of paparazzi "gotcha" culture. But we have to pick and choose our battles in many cases, and it really doesn't make sense to flood metafilter with "good grief, did you see the photos they're publishing of _ this week!" (I find the "dying celebrity" porn to be just as bad as the bikini shots.)

But I'm seeing this as an exceptional case of "sextortion" hacking which is a crime that's hit the news multiple times for targeting relatively less known women, including some minors, rather than just an extension of paparazzi shit.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:40 PM on September 1, 2014


i think some are fibbing, but i'm pretty sure a few actual provable fakes have been found in the collection at this point.
posted by nadawi at 1:41 PM on September 1, 2014


Transcript via OCR for those of you who (wisely) don't trust blind imgur links:

>ylw there wasn't just one hack

>yfw there isn't just one Ieaker

>yfw there's been a small, underground celeb nOOd-trading ring that's existed for years

>why wasn't it revealed earlier? the only way to join the ring is by ‘buying in‘ with original pics ("wins", as they call them) you've acquired by yourself

>(also, these guys are greedy fuckers: if you were the only person in the world in possession of jlaw nudes, would you really give them out? for free??)

>these guys conduct individual attacks on celebs through (i presume) a mix of social engineering and (esp for more high-profile targets) straight-up hacking

>they trade with each other to expand collections

>circle hardly ever widens to include more people - very few people even find out about this ring, and fewer still have nOods to buy in with (bitcoin purchases probably rare)
except for self-styled "rich kid" in original /b/ thread

>it appears he bought a few sample pix and blew the lid on this whole operation by sharing them with outsiders for the first time

>spotting their chance. and realising existence of the nOOd collections was revealed. a couple of other guys from this circle came out of the woodwork offering up some of their collections for donations

Explains why:

we didn‘t get one massive filedump: no single person has access to all the pics

we got MEW nudes even though she deleted them years ago

there were multiple 'official' bitcoin addresses each linked to actual, new leaks

most leaks are shitty, a couple of images at a time, presumably from small-timers with small collections and relatively little to lose by dexaluing their pics anyway

we aren't getting the really good movies, because they are much more 'valuable' and therefore a) owned by fewer people and b) could be traded for many more nudes and would lose all value if released for free
check old threads on anon-ib lstoll and lo! for an insight into these guys

brace for multiple arrests as the net tightens around the trading ring

posted by RedOrGreen at 1:42 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I hope there are arrests and the book gets thrown at them. People may argue about exactly how creepy just looking at the pics is or is not but I hope nobody would argue that the folks who hacked and distributed the pics in the first place don't deserve all that one hopes is coming to them.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Occam's Razor says this was one security hole that exposed a lot of people to the same risk. But sure, it could have been dozen security holes to track down the lower-tier celebs as well as the big names like Lawrence.

Based on Gawker's writeup, which sounds plausible, this is a set of photos that was circulating semi-privately for a while, possibly with various parties trying to sell them, and collected over time from different hacks. Some of the images apparently have metadata identifying Android phones as their original source.
posted by fatbird at 1:43 PM on September 1, 2014


technical question: how likely is it that whatever company's cloud got hacked could find out who did it?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:44 PM on September 1, 2014


And now a bunch of fanboys are all "hurf durf I saw her naked". It's a form of ownership over the actress.

You know if nothing else I wish people would stop saying shit like this. If they were stolen photos of Jennier Lawrence playing with a puppy no one would say it's a form of ownership. If you think seeing someone naked is a form of "ownership" that's your own fucked up perspective on sexuality and people's naked bodies.

People on reddit are like "labor day is gonna become labor week" - this isn't ownership, it's a bunch of pathetic dudes joking about masturbating in their basements. Don't give them power they themselves don't even pretend to have.
posted by crayz at 1:45 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


This this was a collection gathered by a lot of people over time and then finally leaked by one guy is as appealing a theory as any, sure. It's how the warez scene operated, it's how kiddie porn traders work. There's no honor among thieves.
posted by GuyZero at 1:47 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Reddit detectives have identified a suspect. He has confessed to Buzzfeed that he was trying to sell the photos but he says he isn't the one who stole them. Please let the FBI, Apple security and the lawyers/investigators for the victims handle the matter.
posted by humanfont at 1:47 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Reddit detectives have identified a suspect.

Scarier words have rarely been spoken.
posted by Justinian at 1:48 PM on September 1, 2014 [40 favorites]


how likely is it that whatever company's cloud got hacked could find out who did it?

Not. The evidence for this sort of thing is logs containing IP addresses, and there are third parties involved--one item I saw claimed it wasn't Apple's cloud, it was the backup cloud hosted on Azure that got hacked. Sometimes you can chain logs together to get back to an original source, but more often the chain degrades quickly as logs are rotated or a variety of trivial techniques are used to break the trail. From what I remember of various hackers getting arrested, it either happens quickly or it happens later because someone brags and then has implicating evidence on their computer when the cops arrive with a warrant.
posted by fatbird at 1:48 PM on September 1, 2014


Can't be much worse than the actual cops, really.
posted by elizardbits at 1:49 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


technical question: how likely is it that whatever company's cloud got hacked could find out who did it?

Somewhat. People who leak photos directly from inside tech companies like Apple & Google get found and fired. People who leak from further out in the supply chain, not so much. Which is why you get stuff like photos of the new iphone's camera module in isolation. Microsoft invested a ton of money into helping police officers track down child pornography and it has led to some arrests.

The thing is that I doubt that the same level of resources will be brought to bear here.
posted by GuyZero at 1:50 PM on September 1, 2014


The "but they're celebrities" responses to people talking about the systemic invasions into women's privacy is both expected and depressing. And yes, regardless of how the victims feel, the fucked-up perspective on sexuality and people's naked bodies is a psychological attempt an a form of ownership. Women's bodies in our culture are expected to be less private and more available, especially if they're part of the "public eye," and this is another form of it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


If they were stolen photos of Jennier Lawrence playing with a puppy no one would say it's a form of ownership.

Yes. Now think about how they didn't go for the hypothetical puppy pictures and why they went for the nudes.
posted by sukeban at 1:51 PM on September 1, 2014 [33 favorites]


/me waits for the fat grey-haired white men and screeching banshee-women of commercial TV "news" and "chat" shows to talk about how despicable these young women are for daring to take private pictures of themselves

I hope none of these girls has their career affected in any way. Of course they will, but I still hope they don't.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:54 PM on September 1, 2014


I think it's also important to remember that The Hunger Games are YA books and a lot of young people are JLaw fans. In my opinion, that's why it's important to frame this not as a scandal but as a crime. Young people really need to know that this is wrong and that it's not her fault. If it happens to a young person, it's not their fault - whoever broke their trust is the person who did something wrong. If you share photos of someone that they gave you because they trusted you, you're the jerk, not the person pictured. And if you steal pictures that aren't meant for you, you're a criminal.
posted by kat518 at 1:54 PM on September 1, 2014 [35 favorites]


I think the big difference between nude photos of men and women leaking, in general not specific to individuals, is that women are more likely to be made to feel unsafe. If this happened to me I'd feel unsafe, I'd go to work and wonder who'd seen them and who was going to allude to it up and how it might harm my professional life. Which it would, undoubtedly. I'd worry about someone finding them and trying to track me down in real life. I'd worry about a certain subset of men who'd seen the photos pushing for sex or treating me poorly, thinking I was somehow available to them. I'd worry about it happening again. I'd probably be in therapy for years, honestly. I really feel for these women, it's one thing to know in the abstract people are creeping on you, it's another to have it shoved in your face, gleefully.

I know some men would feel the same way but the threat of escalation just isn't there in the same way.
posted by fshgrl at 1:55 PM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


Yes. Now think about how they didn't go for the hypothetical puppy pictures and why they went for the nudes.

Mmmhmm ... so now you're you going to explain how the sexuality of the images makes them a form of ownership?
posted by crayz at 1:55 PM on September 1, 2014


Of course they will, but I still hope they don't.

I dunno, if there is a silver lining here it's that these sort of things don't tend to hurt careers anymore. Thankfully.
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on September 1, 2014


i think it's telling that a lot of these hacks target women who are in the kid/ya sphere who are looked up to by girls. i don't think that's an accident. i think it's an obvious part of the violation. i think these assholes cheered when vanessa hudgens was forced to apologize and shamed by her network. i think it's part of what they want.
posted by nadawi at 1:56 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


So if you want a summary of a bunch of terrible theories of how this hack happened, Business Insider has you covered.
One of the strangest theories surrounding the hack is that a group of celebrities who attended the recent Emmy Awards were somehow hacked using the venue's Wi-Fi connection.
Which is by far the worst of several theories.
posted by GuyZero at 1:57 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


i think it's telling that a lot of these hacks target women who are in the kid/ya sphere who are looked up to by girls. i don't think that's an accident.

Eh. I think that's confirmation bias. There does not seem to be any particularly leaning towards women in the YA sphere except in so far as they happen to be attractive young women and those whose pics get leaked tend also to be attractive young women. Younger women are far more likely to use technology like this than someone in their 40s or whatever.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


Someone's going to hack Rob Ford's phone and then we'll see who clicks and who doesn't.
posted by delfin at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Mmmhmm ... so now you're you going to explain how the sexuality of the images makes them a form of ownership?

You're a smart boy, you can figure out the concept of "let's take the bitch down a peg" for yourself. But I'd point you to this and the "she deserved this to happen to her because women like her would never date him" for another sterling example of the form.
posted by sukeban at 2:01 PM on September 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


I was very surprised that some friends of mine (including several women!) were so enthusiastically looking at these photos.

So far I'm avoiding these pics like the plague. I hope I don't become tempted, or run across any by accident. It just seems so unethical (and enabling of the douchebag criminals who stole these).

But on one tumblr site devoted to certain actresses, kids/young adults - FANS of these actresses - were discussing pics they'd seen, analyzing some indistinct ones like the Zapruder film. "I don't see a tattoo, doesn't she have a tattoo on her thigh?" And these were evidently VAGINA pics.

I just wanted to scream at everyone at that site WTF is wrong with you?

"We Saw Your Boobs" - Mr Seth Macfarlane

"We saw you're a boob, Seth." - Me
posted by NorthernLite at 2:02 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mmmhmm ... so now you're you going to explain how the sexuality of the images makes them a form of ownership?

We could let Hunter Moore do that, from an Esquire piece:
Hunter Moore, one of the most infamous purveyors of so-called revenge porn with now-shuttered site IsAnyoneUp admitted as much to me when I spoke with him a couple of years back. (Moore has since been indicted on fifteen federal felony counts for his role in hacking into the computers of the women whose images he posted on the site).

“When you're not supposed to see it, if it was given to somebody else,” he explained of the appeal of hacked photos. “...it's like you're taking away something from them. You judge them and compare yourself to them and feel better about yourself. It's all about what you're not supposed to be doing.”
posted by gladly at 2:02 PM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


Younger women are far more likely to use technology like this than someone in their 40s or whatever.

Younger women working in the YA sphere are also less likely to have nude scenes released in Hollywood movies. There are (relatively) legal pay sites for nothing but clips of actresses in various sex scenes and states of undress. You don't need to hack Nicole Kidman's phone to see naked pictures of her.
posted by fatbird at 2:03 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


To the child porn above a small ancidote: a friends father produced child porn of her. 30 years later that crap is on the internet. She's rather vocal about her abuse and people have literally walked up to get and admitted they have seen it. It happens. (Some details have been made up, to protect privacy)


These things are around forever. People make judgements and make decisions. It is permanent now. It's hard to grapple with in society. When these actors are 70 their grandkids will be able to look at their bodies.
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:04 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Eh. I think that's confirmation bias.

i dunno - i run across images of disney star's leaked nudes and some joke about disney princesses. the fact that they have a certain public image seems at least related in how people enjoy it, it doesn't seem a stretch to suggest that's also related for the ones doing the original crime. there's an obvious market for the ya entertainers as grotesque subreddits like r/starlet (and all the individual actress subs) show.
posted by nadawi at 2:04 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mmmhmm ... so now you're you going to explain how the sexuality of the images makes them a form of ownership?

The background behind catcalling, sexual harassment, doxxing/hacking, and other invasions of women's physical and psychological space as an attempt to assert control over them is well-trod territory. I have no idea why you think this is somehow different.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:05 PM on September 1, 2014 [26 favorites]


Seemingly a simple point and echoed elsewhere, but this series of tweets frames it in a way that hits right for me: "The whole leak / revenge porn subculture is puritanical, e.g. if you're a woman, what you do in private merits public humiliation. And it is sexual violence, because it operates on the logic that just because you want to see someone's body, it's your rightful property. There's nothing wrong with desire. There's a lot wrong with the idea that agency belongs to the desirer and not the desired."
posted by naju at 2:06 PM on September 1, 2014 [20 favorites]


i think it's telling that a lot of these hacks target women who are in the kid/ya sphere who are looked up to by girls. i don't think that's an accident. i think it's an obvious part of the violation.

It's like those gross "only X years/months/days until she is 18!" countdowns for young celebrities. I saw a couple of the photos that were direct linked (which were later removed, appropriately so) in the first article I saw about this yesterday. Those photos were just generic selfies, all of the titillation is in the violation of consent, and more so the violation of consent of young women tied to youth culture.

Mmmhmm ... so now you're you going to explain how the sexuality of the images makes them a form of ownership?

That isn't even 101 level. Please at least make a pretense of trying.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:06 PM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


There is nothing I can add to this discussion. I am posting to voice my disgust for a
culture where this (the 'hacks', dissemination and seeking/viewing) is possible.
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 2:11 PM on September 1, 2014


Consent.

That's it. That's the whole thing. The women whose photos were disclosed did not consent.

Done. Over. Discussion ended.

Have I not ever had a purient thought about Jennifer Lawerence's hips? Of course I have.

In a movie. Or in a nice dress on a red carpet.

But NEVER when she wouldn't have consented to my gaze.
posted by Cyrano at 2:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


i dunno - i run across images of disney star's leaked nudes and some joke about disney princesses.

This may be getting into the weeds but, like, isn't that the definition of confirmation bias? You ran into it occasionally and so believe it happens more than it does? There are, unfortunately, plenty of hacked pics from non-Disney stars. But people don't make Disney jokes about them because they aren't related to Disney in any way, so you don't remember them.

But it's of course hugely creepy either way so eh, not that important a distinction.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


we're all making opinions on this stuff based on our impressions. it's my impression that part of the hacking is to take women down a peg and that they specifically target at certain type of entertainer with a certain reputation. you're free to disagree, but your disagreement isn't based on anything more than my impression is.
posted by nadawi at 2:15 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I went back and forth on this before I came to the conclusion that this is definitely a sexual crime. The seriousness is up for discussion (certainly, some sex crimes are more serious, perverse and disturbing than others), but to me, this is as much as sexual crime as if a man forcibly disrobed these women in public. It might be a little less serious due to the lack of immediate physical contact, but it's otherwise essentially the same kind of thing, whether committed for personal titillation, profit, bragging rights or general misanthropy (not to mention misogyny).
posted by Edgewise at 2:17 PM on September 1, 2014


I'll run my earlier comment back. This is similar to paparazzi culture in that there's a certain degree of misogynistic "gotcha" involved in both.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:25 PM on September 1, 2014


"What's Wrong With Checking Out Leaked Nude Photos of Celebrities" (Jessica Valenti, The Atlantic)
posted by box at 2:26 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


it's my impression that part of the hacking is to take women down a peg and that they specifically target at certain type of entertainer with a certain reputation

Nonetheless it's worth considering that this whole thread is focusing on JLaw when photos of over 20 different women have been released. Is the focus on her in this thread because we're trying to take her down a peg? Or maybe because we're most interested in her because she's at about the pinnacle of being a high-profile, well-liked, incredibly beautiful actress?

If we agree not to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, it seems even more silly to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by quite simplistic biological/social motivations.
posted by crayz at 2:27 PM on September 1, 2014


Or maybe because we're most interested in her because she's at about the pinnacle of being a high-profile, well-liked, incredibly beautiful actress?

Or maybe because it's the title of the thread?
posted by elizardbits at 2:31 PM on September 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


I have mixed feelings about Valenti's piece. I think she's wrong on some important points but arguing against it would feel too much like being on the wrong side here despite it not being that. Things can be very wrong without being very wrong in exactly the way she says they are very wrong, if you see what I mean. Sort of like what I was talking to nadawi about.
posted by Justinian at 2:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


Or maybe because it's the title of the thread?

"You can't fool me sonny, it's Jennifer Lawrences all the way down!"
posted by crayz at 2:34 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


But really, for me my interest in her aspect of this entire situation is that she has, I believe, significantly more social capital than most of the others victimized by this, due to her Oscar win, and also to her overwhelming public persona, whether real or manufactured, of "lol idgaf". That, combined with her willingness to admit that yes, those photos were actually of her and not faked, makes me very interested to see how this will pan out for her.
posted by elizardbits at 2:36 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


While we're at it, can we stop calling her JLaw?

Ever notice how only female actors get these ridiculous diminutives? Why don't we have GCloo? MDam? JRen?

On the scale of 1 to leaked photos, it's definitely closer to 1. But it's related to how we easily we judge and repackage female celebrities. It's establishing a kind of ownership, and it's gross.
posted by mochapickle at 2:37 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Alternatively, from TFA: "But the focal point for this story has been Jennifer Lawrence, since the Oscar winning actress is perhaps the most famous actress on the planet right now." kinda reinforces that this isn't some "let's crush YA-reading girls' souls!" conspiracy.
posted by crayz at 2:38 PM on September 1, 2014


Okay first of all the first abbreviation like that was RPattz, aka Robert Pattinson.
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's if they've got multisyllabic names. JGL for instance.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


See also: DanRad
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sure different hackers and different people who seek out these pictures have different reasons for doing what they do, but trying to figure out whether it's 90/10 this way or 60/40 that way really isn't going to get us anywhere. It beggars belief to think there aren't many on both sides of the supply/demand equation who do it for the "take them down a peg" reasons, but it's also hard to believe that there aren't a significant amount of hackers and viewers who have other motivations. The one thing I'll say is that, regardless of what your reason for viewing is, by viewing, you're adding to the demand side of the equation so that the market for these pics will continue to flourish, so if you are in it "just for the fap", I hope it's a damned good fap.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:40 PM on September 1, 2014


Still gross.
posted by mochapickle at 2:40 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ever notice how only female actors get these ridiculous diminutives? Why don't we have GCloo? MDam? JRen?

Not really. It basically started with Alex Rodriguez being called "ARod".
posted by asterix at 2:41 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Second of all this abbreviation phenomena came about from keysmashy celeb-adoration online fandom and was not coined by the media in an attempt to infantilize these people.
posted by elizardbits at 2:41 PM on September 1, 2014


Okay first of all the first abbreviation like that was RPattz, aka Robert Pattinson.

Not really. It basically started with Alex Rodriguez being called "ARod".


Ahem, it was ol' Jenny from the block.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:42 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


i was more talking about the glee and disney actresses and the like, along with jennifer lawrence. the media focus is interesting for what it is, but doesn't necessarily speak to the motivation of the hackers and those that seek out this material. whatever, disagree with me. i think it's a factor.
posted by nadawi at 2:43 PM on September 1, 2014


Nonetheless it's worth considering that this whole thread is focusing on JLaw when photos of over 20 different women have been released.

I'm not. In fact, I'm struggling to see how "JLaw" is a magical word that puts this above revenge porn, webcam hacking, and sexual harassment by forwarding images.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:44 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


And lastly why not take it up with the writers of the old testament who started this whole deal with their whole "this fandom cannot speak the name of the lord so let's just call him adonai" mishegoss.
posted by elizardbits at 2:44 PM on September 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


good day sir
posted by elizardbits at 2:45 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


but trying to figure out whether it's 90/10 this way or 60/40 that way really isn't going to get us anywhere.

Probably not. But we don't have enough info to really say anything meaningful about the technical aspects of the hack. Hell, we don't even know if it was one hack or many hacks over several years. Nobody here disagrees that the hack is a bad thing and should be punished. And while there is some debate as to what level of skeeviness should be assigned to the mere act of viewing the photos (as opposed to distributing them) that is likely unresolvable and has played out.

So we're left with parsing weeds.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


kinda reinforces that this isn't some "let's crush YA-reading girls' souls!" conspiracy.

Fantastic that no one here is saying that, isn't it?

Ever notice how only female actors get these ridiculous diminutives? Why don't we have GCloo? MDam? JRen?

On the scale of 1 to leaked photos, it's definitely closer to 1. But it's related to how we easily we judge and repackage female celebrities. It's establishing a kind of ownership, and it's gross.


I've always assumed it is a false intimacy plus diminutive, more than ownership. Still gross, just differently gross, like with Brangelina, say.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:46 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dip Flash, maybe that's the reason it feels so gross. I think you put it much better than I did.

We don't even know these celebrities and we feel they owe us full access to their lives. I will not be looking at the pictures, and I will not be calling her JLaw.
posted by mochapickle at 2:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope Apple releases a statement about this. This is seriously awful and I wouldn't doubt if it is mostly lax security on the part of iCloud.
posted by mathowie at 2:51 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I find it difficult to believe all of the leaked photos of McKayla Maroney are after she turned 18 last December . . . Perhaps if they catch the dudes she'd be willing to testify her age and they'd get the book thrown at them for distribution of child porn.
posted by schroedinger at 2:51 PM on September 1, 2014


This conversation makes me nauseated.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:56 PM on September 1, 2014


Should be EXIF data on the supposed nude which would either make or break such a case.
posted by Justinian at 2:57 PM on September 1, 2014


Perhaps if they catch the dudes she'd be willing to testify her age and they'd get the book thrown at them for distribution of child porn.

Pretty bad idea, unless she wants to be charged for creating child porn.

(Then again, she's famous, so would probably just get a slap on the wrist.)
posted by ymgve at 2:59 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing about this thread I find interesting is the lack of outrage/concern for the actions of paparazzi.

Think about it; you have an *army* of stalkers, many that are a block or more away, with telephoto lenses, constantly following you. Waiting for any moment of potential intimacy or undress that you might have on a beach halfway around the world, or in your backyard, or whatever. They are waiting to sell photos of you with whatever potential budding romance you are currently trying to establish.

I would rather have the 10 most intimate/embarrassing moments of my life online and posted for the world to see than to have an army of photographing stalkers that I had legal recourse against.

I have so much sympathy every time a celebrity physically assaults a paparazzi. Honestly, if we had armies of paparazzi treating politicians like they treat celebrities, we'd have anti-paparazzi laws passed in a heartbeat.
posted by el io at 3:05 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


If Mefites are getting off on outrage the way redditors get off on pics of naked women, by all means enjoy yourselves. It just seems like a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, against a cultural background that people seem able to admit exists without understanding the degree to which it demands a little more perspective and less grrarrr. Or go protest next to the tabloid section of your local supermarket or gas station if you want to be consistent.

I wonder if outrage media is pornographic, not so much in a directly sexual way, but that it titillates and draws upon raw emotions to extract money from its consumers, much as sexual media companies do. Different side of the same figurative coin, perhaps, as modern culture evolves.
posted by Mr. Six at 3:08 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's a lack of concern so much as that when the pro-paparazzi photo viewpoint was expressed, getting into an argument about how terrible they actually are seemed like an unnecessary derail.

But yes, I totally agree that they are fucking vile human beings and it would delight me to no end if celebrities decided to treat them like the potentially violent stalkers that they are.
posted by elizardbits at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


One thing about this thread I find interesting is the lack of outrage/concern for the actions of paparazzi

Because everyone knows that paps are bottom-feeding scum.
posted by Justinian at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I wonder if outrage media is pornographic, not so much in a directly sexual way, but that it titillates and draws upon raw emotions to extract money from its consumers, much as sexual media companies do. Different side of the same figurative coin, perhaps, as modern culture evolves.

I think it's really just the zeitgeist. This year- hell, this summer- has seen no shortage of moral outrages and things to shake up the internet. We've progressed from the eternal election cycle to the eternal outrage cycle.

That isn't to say this is necessarily wrong. There's been big celebrity nude leaks before and there wasn't this sort of dialogue before. I don't think the politicization of this attack on privacy is necessarily bad. It gets people talking about women's sovereignty, about objectification. We're in a post-Ferguson, post-Elliot Rodgers, post-Sandy Hook, everyone-with-an-comment-account-is-discussing-about-social-justice climate. The downside, though, is that yeah, outrage isn't enough. You need solutions, you need to try to fix a problem. And I think the problem with eternal outrage cycles is that the outraged end up feeding on the emotions and after the catharsis, everyone just goes home.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:19 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I expressed concern about the paparazzi in this thread, for the record.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:20 PM on September 1, 2014


There's been big celebrity nude leaks before and there wasn't this sort of dialogue before.

I think this one is qualitatively different. The scale is pretty much unprecedented as is the way it is being leaked out. People may not realize that the leaking is still ongoing. Right now while we're discussing it. And Jennifer Lawrence is probably the single most famous and well-liked actor to ever have this happen by a pretty wide margin.
posted by Justinian at 3:25 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


It certainly has been an intense and awful summer. It's amazing how much has happened in the past few months.
posted by naju at 3:29 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


If we agree not to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, it seems even more silly to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by quite simplistic biological/social motivations.

I've never agreed to the "Not malice, just stupidity" excuse.

So, can we next expect you to post that women getting catcalled in the street or groped at conventions can be best explained by simplistic biological/social motivations? And that women shouldn't complain when that happens? Why don't you tell us all exactly when women can have some expectation of privacy or dignity?
posted by happyroach at 3:32 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


I thought the one that resulted in the hacker being sentenced to ten years in prison back in 2012 was just as significant, actually. But that's partly because the celebrities who were harmed seemed like bigger names to me- "Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and Jessica Alba among others." The creep also harassed people he personally knew, as well.

At any rate, the way this story unfolded seems to be more sensationalistic, and thus, befitting the times. The leaker holding a fundraiser drive (in Bitcoins, no less) and intermittently sending out the leaks, as if he was the Joker. Crack internet detectives trying to suss out his identity. Everyone's a participant in the ubiquitous online media circus.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:34 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Alba, Aguilera, and Cyrus are absolute nobodies compared to Jennifer Lawrence's fame. Scarlett Johansson is pretty well known but doesn't have the same box office draw. And remember that Lawrence has been nominated for one Oscar and won another (both in the major Best Actress category) all by the tender age of 23.

Both sets of leaks were obviously awful, though, yes.

And I'll agree that the real difference is the sensationalistic and almost hollywood thriller-esque way this one is playing out. The hacker guy might as well be sending those cliche'd ransom notes of cut-out newspaper text asking for ransom. Hell, that's basically exactly what he's doing except updated for the digital age.
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


[Comment removed, cool it or go do something else.]
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on September 1, 2014


I hope Apple releases a statement about this. This is seriously awful and I wouldn't doubt if it is mostly lax security on the part of iCloud.

Apple Says It Is “Actively Investigating” Celeb Photo Hack
posted by Mr. Six at 4:02 PM on September 1, 2014


Ugh. The old "can't you people take a joke" defense.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:24 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ugh. The old "can't you people take a joke" defense.

The best part of Talking Funny is when Seinfeld looks Rickey in the eyes and says "That's very funny, Ricky" without a hint of mirth.

Dude's a hack.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:43 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


they could get a really good writer to incorporate a nude leak plot into the next movie

The book already includes a subplot about the forced prostitution and sexual exploitation of one of the Tributes; it's an interesting part because he basically turns around and spills all of the secrets of the Capital residents who used him this way and turns their prurient interest back on them. He's shown as someone who is constantly objectified and sexualized, but because we're seeing the world from Katniss' perspective, this is really uncomfortable. He manages to take the power that was accidentally given him by making him this celebrity figure of titillation and adoration by the residents of the Capital and then goes and spills all of their secrets at once on television, and everyone watches, because it's the juiciest story there is, but they end up accidentally learning the horrors of that kind of exploitation at the same time.

Anyway, I just assume everyone who intentionally looked at the photos is a bad person who doesn't give a shit about women's consent, and I think it's really common for men to be bad people who don't care about women's consent, because rape culture is huge and exploitative and it encroaches into every bit of our culture. But, like, I probably wouldn't want to be around dudes who look at this kind of shit, because I figure that people who don't care about the consent of the people in their pornography are more likely than average to rape me.
posted by NoraReed at 4:56 PM on September 1, 2014 [18 favorites]


Adding to the creep factor, some guy actually tweeted to one of the actresses in the leak, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and told her that she deserved this to happen to her because women like her would never date him.

WTF. That is disturbingly reminiscent of Elliot Rodger and his MRA apologists.
posted by homunculus at 5:39 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Morally reprehensible that a person would do this.


I have to wonder about the notion of what constitutes privacy, in the way that term has been used in the discussion here.

I just turned 30. Less than half my life ago, if I said to anyone "I can take a photograph with a telephone," they'd probably have had me committed. The ubiquity of wifi and 3G connections are suddenly a reality of life as well. We live in an age in which the technology would seem like absolute mind-boggling magic to anyone who lived in the past. You know, back in the time when a nude photo had to be printed onto paper and physically present to be seen, and in the decision to keep that photo private, a thought like "well I just won't send that as an electronic signal through the air to someone far away" never even entered the equation.

Why is the notion of privacy, as it has existed for thousands of years prior to the advent of the iPhone and social media, supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology? Long-held believes and concepts such as these are being outpaced by technological advancement.

Nothing that is digital, and nothing that is done whilst connected to the internet, should ever be considered private.
posted by wats at 5:43 PM on September 1, 2014


In business, in politics, in the arts it's the perennial argument: can you divorce the artist from the art?

In what world are a person's private snapshots which they take for their own jollies considered to be "art"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:44 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why is the notion of privacy, as it has existed for thousands of years prior to the advent of the iPhone and social media, supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology?

You are confused. Privacy doesn't limit means, if a new mean develops we do not extend privacy to that mean. Privacy is a human right which is an right that all human possess qua human. I don't see how technology changes that.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:50 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


As a man, I kinda have to say I don't like men much right now.

Yeah, yeah. Not all men, whatever.
posted by Mooski at 5:53 PM on September 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Are we done with the JLaw thing? Because if it's not too late, I would like to take advantage of my oldness to point out that, as noted above, it derives from the nickname JLo, given to Jennifer Lopez by her fans (and adopted by her with enthusiasm - she later used it as an album title) around the time of the millennium, when she was a fellow named Sean Combs, who had just changed his stage name from Puff Daddy to P Diddy.

We do presume to a false intimacy with celebrities. Sometimes that overfamiliarity is taken to terrible extremes, more so when celebrities are female and thus assumed to have fewer rights than real humans i.e. men. I am not convinced that fan nicknames are particularly part of this constellation of misuse.
posted by gingerest at 5:54 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nothing that is digital, and nothing that is done whilst connected to the internet, should ever be considered private.

Do you extend that to financial transactions and records? Medical records? And do you really think the iPhone and social media are any more revolutionary than the actual phone or the camera were? We still understood that people have private things that they do not want everyone to see.

This hack is predicated on that very concept. The whole reason why these photos are exciting is that they were private, secret and unshared. This hack doesn't undermine the idea of privacy; it transgresses against it.
posted by gladly at 5:54 PM on September 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


I agree with Ricky Gervais. Something can be shitty and still be worthy of mockery. You can make a joke and still have empathy. Something horrible is the exact thing you want to eviscerate with humor.

See, my joke would be:

"The people who hack photos are asshole because they make it harder for honest guys to get their girlfriends to pose nude."

It's true. I had nude photos of one of my first girlfriends. I deleted them when I got into a new relationship. I loved she trusted me enough to allow the photos and she made the right call. Guys who fuck this up are assholes. Stop it. You're the reason my current partner won't allow this.

When I was in the military (20 years ago) there was a joke that went:

"Have any naked photos of your girlfriend/wife?"
"No."
"Want some?"


So jokes may be shitty, but it's how a large potion of the population deals with shitty things.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:55 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Why is the notion of privacy, as it has existed for thousands of years prior to the advent of the iPhone and social media, supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology?

Because it is still human beings who are USING the technology.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:56 PM on September 1, 2014


MisanthropicPainforest, "privacy" might be some static, theoretical thing that is timeless and neverchanging, but one's expectation of privacy does change over time. Technology, as well as the evolution of social norms, is a significant factor in setting our collective expectation of privacy. But--it also seems to me that taking that point any further in this thread is a derail, and an ugly one at that. Even if it's true that technology affects our expectation of privacy, we aren't yet talking about a society where you cannot or should not expect private photographs to remain private. Introducing the question of privacy expectations into this discussion feels like a sort of victim blaming. No one consented to this, and we are still living in an age where we should expect that consent matters.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:01 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Privacy is a human right which is an right that all human possess qua human.

including hunter/gatherer societies? - i'm not so sure about that - in fact, one could make a case that it was technology - or at least the wealth created through technology - that made privacy possible by making separate, small households possible

if technology can create it, it can destroy it

not that it's real germane to this discussion, but i'd be careful about sweeping assumptions like this
posted by pyramid termite at 6:02 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why is the notion of privacy, as it has existed for thousands of years prior to the advent of the iPhone and social media, supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology?

In IT, we refer to this confusion as "policy vs. procedure". They're orthogonal. If the latter changes in a way that compromises the former, you don't shrug and say "oh well, so much for the policy".
posted by fatbird at 6:03 PM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


All cloud services are a completely fucking terrible idea for exactly this sort of reason. End users have no control over security, and what's more, might not even realise that the "service" even exists, let alone that it's sucking all their data to a remote server (possibly even putting multiple copies on multiple servers) over which they have no control. It's essentially spyware.
re:sys rq: this is based on a misunderstanding of the threat model. The problem isn't cloud services per se but the fact that the computer industry has yet to provide a workable security model which non-experts can reliably use in real world conditions. We know how local storage works out: malware and permanently lost data. Many people switched to cloud services in the first place to avoid having to play sysadmin at home.

Telling people Want to make sure it doesn't get hacked? Easy: Don't connect it to the internet is a classic example of technically correct but counter-productive security advice. People need to access data and they use the internet to share things but as soon as you that, your data's at risk from whatever device you use to access it — and that's not hypothetical in a world where there are large organized groups who actively target women trying to install rootkits to either collect pictures or hold data hostage and demand sexual services as ransom: see e.g. Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams (ArsTechnica) for an introduction.

So … maybe you're savvy enough to manage to avoid all of that, never click on a dubious link or get hit by a zero day (which is itself rather a big step up from the norm). Then, your computer has a problem of some sort or that non-redundant external drive has a problem of some sort and you head back to Best Buy. Uhoh, they seem to have endemic problems with their techs search female customers’ devices for anything salacious. Or your friend tries to help and you forget to turn remote desktop access off afterwards.

Spreading FUD about the cloud doesn't solve any of these problems and it delays the discussions which should be happening. There's a technical conversation about making this harder – e.g. using full-disk encryption and a separate account for anything private, only using software which uses client-side encryption, pervasive non-phone multi-factor authentication, changing the OS model to aggressively sandbox and encrypt data per-application, etc. – but ultimately the solution will require law enforcement. It's unrealistic to think that the large groups of obsessed individuals are going to stop trying to find new attacks unless the likelihood of being caught increases and it's similarly unlikely that companies are going to prioritize user privacy in the absence of liability.
posted by adamsc at 6:04 PM on September 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


Privacy is a human right which is an right that all human possess qua human.

including hunter/gatherer societies?


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights thinks so.
Article 17

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:25 PM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Why is the notion of privacy, as it has existed for thousands of years prior to the advent of the iPhone and social media, supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology? Long-held believes and concepts such as these are being outpaced by technological advancement.

That technology includes encryption systems that can't be meaningfully hacked without a dedicated supercomputer. I don't see why waving our hands and saying "technology" only plays to the distribution of information, and not the securing of information.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:26 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


hopefully reddit, 4chan, Imgur and the like will get sucked into the upcoming morass and be forced to take responsibility.

I doubt it. My understanding is this started at AnonIB (a site that keeps disappearing and reappearing) and spread from there. Imgur has been taking down galleries but that's like pissing on a forest fire because zips are just a click away on Mega, DropBox, Google Drive etc... and the pics keep reappearing. Child pornography didn't kill 4chan so this won't even be a bump in the road for them. As for Reddit, well, they don't actually host files so they'll probably just point the finger at Imgur.
posted by MikeMc at 6:27 PM on September 1, 2014


Do you extend that to financial transactions and records? Medical records?

Good point.. but personally, I think my answer would probably be a shurg and an "I guess so?"
If my credit card got compromised through paypal or whatever in some way (which also does happen!), of course I'd be pissed, but I don't think I'd be surprised or incredulous that it happened in the first place.


And do you really think the iPhone and social media are any more revolutionary than the actual phone or the camera were? We still understood that people have private things that they do not want everyone to see.

A good point as well, but as someone who was not around during the first few years that either of those were becoming widely used, I have no idea what expectations of privacy people held surrounding the phone or the camera.. which is kind of what I was getting at.. I may be way off here, but I don't think it would be a stretch to presume that the notion of whether a phone call was expressly considered "private" (as one certainly is not nowadays) might have evolved over time.

Thanks for your questions, they've helped me clarify what I am trying to say here (and sorry if this is a derail,, this thread has moved fast)
posted by wats at 6:31 PM on September 1, 2014


there are large organized groups who actively target women trying to install rootkits to either collect pictures or hold data hostage and demand sexual services as ransom: see e.g. "Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams" (ArsTechnica) for an introduction.

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 6:33 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I may be way off here, but I don't think it would be a stretch to presume that the notion of whether a phone call was expressly considered "private" (as one certainly is not nowadays) might have evolved over time.

Phone calls are probably more private than they used to be, now that the party line has gone away.

supposed to be extended to the abilities of this brand new, fucking magical technology

Lockpicks and bumpkeys exist, but walking into someone's home uninvited is still not okay no matter how easy it is to do. There's no "but sir, his password was only 6 alphanumeric characters long" exception to the rules, for the same reason there's no "but the lock on his door was trivially pickable!" excuse.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:48 PM on September 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


Really women should just stop using computers. You know just to be safe. I mean it's basically men's rights to break in to women's computers and take things. And it doesn't count, because a crappy British tabloid does almost the exact same thing only it's totally different. BTW did you know men are the real victim in this?

Related: Now for all you women, whatever happens, do not stop for a police officer, stay in your car.
posted by Nelson at 6:48 PM on September 1, 2014 [19 favorites]


Oh look, we're talking about women's bodies as if they're inanimate property again. Nice to see this watch is still working.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:56 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


but I don't think I'd be surprised or incredulous that it happened in the first place.

But your rights would still be violated, which is worth discussing. I dont know why people keep focusing on what is unexpected/expected about this crime.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:59 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apple is selling a service to store your files and as a customer you have every expectation that those files are only visible to you and who you chose to share them with. The fact that they were unable to provide that security puts part of the blame on them.

I don't believe this is quite accurate. Apple is selling you reasonable security, not perfect security; it's not a reasonable expectation that Apple has promised to keep your data secure from every attacker in the world, ever. Especially since this particular attack sounds more like an APT than a run-of-the-mill compromise.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:00 PM on September 1, 2014


it's not a reasonable expectation that Apple has promised to keep your data secure from every attacker in the world, ever.

That's fair. I don't expect Apple to keep my data safe from the NSA, Russian intelligence, Chinese intelligence, or the Mossad.

I sure as fuck expect Apple to keep my data safe from horny teenage script kiddies*. And while these teenage script kiddies may be a persistent threat, we've seen no evidence that they are an advanced threat.

*while they may not be teenagers, it seems like a reasonable assumption they are adolescent in many ways.
posted by el io at 7:39 PM on September 1, 2014


All the available evidence points to them very much not being script kiddies. "They're just kids" is a great way to underestimate the threat posed by a determined attacker.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:44 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


A good point as well, but as someone who was not around during the first few years that either of those were becoming widely used, I have no idea what expectations of privacy people held surrounding the phone or the camera..

Here are two stories from the Sydney Morning Herald archives that might give you a feel:

April 25, 1912
Ordered off the beach
“Recently, at Manly, a photographer on a visit from the city endeavoured to secure a number of photographs of the lady bathers as they left and entered the dressing sheds.” A life-saver asked the man to move on several times, but he refused. “A threat from the council’s surf inspector that his camera would be kicked into the breakers had the desired effect of causing the gentleman to move away from the spot.”

July 17, 1914
Photography and the law
Angela Maude-Fortey, spinster, brought a case against Harrington’s Ltd. The previous year she had sat for a portrait at a Pitt Street photographic studio. “No one at the studios asked her permission to publish the photographs… At the end of last month she learnt that the defendant company had reproduced her photograph by some process, and printed it in an advertisement in Harrington’s Photographic Journal.”
posted by misterbee at 7:46 PM on September 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


one more dead town's last parade: Okay, maybe not script kiddies (time will tell, eh?). A brute force attempt on an insecure API sounds only moderately sophisticated, however. But generally, when people refer to APT they are talking about a nation state, or perhaps sophisticated organized crime (target hack, for example).

At the end of the day it seems evident that modern cloud storage doesn't have sufficient security for anything remotely sensitive. And Apple/Microsoft/Google/Dropbox should quit pretending that it should be used for private storage. And quit advertising that its suitable for private data.

If it's victim blaming for me to blame Apple (/MS/Google/Dropbox) then hell yes I'm victim blaming. I don't blame the people who had their data stolen, however - they were given the impression that it would be safe with these companies. It was not.
posted by el io at 7:52 PM on September 1, 2014


I despise everything about this. That these women were hacked, that anyone thinks the argument that they are celebrities justifies this invasion, that paparazzi, that hive of scum and villainy who I've hated for years, are also being used as a justification. The only good thing about it has been that, for the first time I can remember, instead of the media being all, "We're shocked and appalled that we're bringing you these scandalous photos to look at!", there's actually been more, "These photos are out there, but that doesn't mean we're going to show them to you."

I just hope they remain as easy to avoid as they currently have been, because these sorts of images have a way of popping up even when you're explicitly trying not to see them.

As for male celebrities, sure, they get some of the same treatment, especially when the sex tape thing was at its peak. Not as much, but it's there. But the majority of nudes of male celebrities come from them sending a picture to someone else, sometimes even unsolicited, rather than someone hacking into their private devices. Sharing an image with someone who then shares it with others isn't good, but it's not as bad as what has happened to these women, and involves at least a choice of sending a picture out, often to someone they have no reason to trust.
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


April 25, 1912
Ordered off the beach

...
“A threat from the council’s surf inspector that his camera would be kicked into the breakers had the desired effect of causing the gentleman to move away from the spot.”


That I can imagine the next week's letters to the editor pages being all about how this man's property rights were disrespected is almost funny to me tonight.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


i hope the guy who admitted trying to sell ms. lawrence's image for bitcoin has someone upstream to roll over on for a lighter sentence, and that he's smart enough to take a plea before this gets to a jury with me on it.
posted by bruce at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


bruce: is this the guy giving media interviews? yeah, i don't think 'smart enough' is one of his attributes.
posted by el io at 8:00 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


he was linked to upthread.
posted by bruce at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2014


"Privacy is a human right which is an right that all human possess qua human."

pyramid termite: including hunter/gatherer societies? - i'm not so sure about that - in fact, one could make a case that it was technology - or at least the wealth created through technology - that made privacy possible by making separate, small households possible

if technology can create it, it can destroy it

not that it's real germane to this discussion, but i'd be careful about sweeping assumptions like this
"

I think you'd be hard-pressed to come up with an example of a society, even small hunter-gatherer groups, where people didn't have some activities that were expected to be conducted alone or in a restricted environment. Cultural universals are a myth, but having interaction rules is a defining aspect of society. Technology doesn't necessarily come into it.
posted by gingerest at 8:10 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


A brute force attempt on an insecure API sounds only moderately sophisticated

That may not have been the only attack vector.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:12 PM on September 1, 2014


Top searches on Google yesterday were as follows:

1) Jennifer Lawrence (5+million)
2) Caroline Wozniacki (100,000+)
3) Mary Winstead (100,000+)
4) Becca Tobin (100,000+)
5) McKayla Maroney (100,000+)
6) Justin Verlander (100,000+)

the rest are 50,000+ or less.

Note that it's impossible to say exactly how many searches for JL were made but it was at least an order of magnitude higher than the next highest and more than the next like 50 searches put together.

Also note that apart from Wozniacki who I guess is in the US Open the next 5 searches are also related to this event. Justin Verlander is Kate Upton's boyfriend and apparently is in some pictures with other people or something.

So that's the scale. Basically more people are interested in these pics than everything else happening today combined.
posted by Justinian at 8:13 PM on September 1, 2014


I assume that's why they were searching for Wozniacki anyway. I guess its possible she got hacked too but...
posted by Justinian at 8:14 PM on September 1, 2014


The only good thing about it has been that, for the first time I can remember, instead of the media being all, "We're shocked and appalled that we're bringing you these scandalous photos to look at!", there's actually been more, "These photos are out there, but that doesn't mean we're going to show them to you."

I'm guessing that has a lot to do with Jennifer Lawrence's representative making a widely disseminated statement that they would sue/prosecute everyone who posted the photos within hours of the leak. If the FBI and or Lawrence's legal team follow through, and I suspect she will at least, more than a few celebrity gossip sites are going down. She's got plenty of money, access to the best legal teams on the planet and no reason not to screw them to the wall. I'd do it and I'd enjoy every minute of it.

Keep in mind they also got these women's email and text messages most likely. My understanding is that most phones back up everything to the cloud. These are wealthy businesspeople, they're not going to be happy.
posted by fshgrl at 8:20 PM on September 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Wozniacki upset Sharapova at the US Open. That's why she's there.
posted by King Bee at 8:26 PM on September 1, 2014


Thanks! So at least there's one happy and good search I guess.
posted by Justinian at 8:27 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


So that's the scale. Basically more people are interested in these pics than everything else happening today combined.

Maybe, maybe not. I googled a couple of those names today (and then looked at the google images results). Not because I wanted/needed to see them nekkid (I have not and have no plans to seek out those photos), but because I literally have no idea who these people are (despite having seen some of their movies, their names just didn't ring a bell).

I'm sure a ton of those folks were looking for those photos. I'm sure some of those people were like me and were asking "who?".

And who goes to google for news (well, I use news.google.com, but that's different than the main search engine).

I wonder 'who are these people' every time I'm at the supermarket and tabloids use only the first names for various celebrities - I really don't know who most of these folks are.

I'm pretty comfortable with that particular ignorance.
posted by el io at 8:27 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think those search results have anything to do with Google News, I'm pretty sure Google Trends are what people are typing into the main search engine.
posted by Justinian at 8:29 PM on September 1, 2014


i don't trust google enough to be sure that google trends isn't just a honeypot for publicists paying google to hype their clients. sometimes i see the trends and tell myself "the american public can't be that shallow and stupid."

can they?
posted by bruce at 8:37 PM on September 1, 2014


I think this whole experience should show us that you really can't underestimate some of our fellow human beings.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:40 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is very horrible and I agree with the argument the article makes. It's another example of how poor mainstream news is. The word scandal gets more attention so they use that, to potentially create more revenue. News is merely an event that can somehow be presented in the most revenue generating way possible. Analysis is very often entirely absent. I've never heard of any of these people personally, until this, which is also quite sad. I won't be looking at the images and indeed, I won't remember anyone's name anyway.

Going to Best Buy or whatever and picking up a physical backup drive is the infinitely superior option.

Not in my case. Thefts happen locally, as does hard drive damage. I feel infinitely better that certain things are on "the Cloud" in addition to local backups. Take security cameras that are triggered by motion detection and video is recorded to the cloud so it isn't vulnerable to local theft or a fire or something.

This is turning into one of the weirdest threads.

Or it's just like many other fighty emotional threads over the last half year at least. I used to view Metafilter as nice place to read and/or engage in interesting disucssions with occassional flare ups. Now it's the constnat flair up with occassional great discussion. It's become quite nasty in many ways. SOmetimes people are making rather horrible arguments but many times they are not, but the worst is assumed.

It also may be that they literally cannot provide that security in a way that people would find convenient enough.

Indeed. Outside clients in the financial industry it's been a huge struggle to keep clients from sabotaging their own security because it's too hard to remember the password or it's too hard, apparently, for people to click the "Forgot your Password" link and God forbid they have to answer questions to confirm they are who they claim to be. There's also the SPAM angle. We try to persaude the use of anti-spam methods for any forms on web sites. No way is the most commony answer. A couple of months later, "Were getting to much SPAM!".

they aren't all iphone users according to people looking at the pics, as apparently some of the women are obviously holding android phones. it being one big hack also doesn't explain the fakes.

I've had pictures not taken by my Android phone on my Android phone and I've had pictures taken on my Android phone find their way on to friends' iPhones.

I think this whole experience should show us that you really can't underestimate some of our fellow human beings.

Unfortunately there are 1000s of experiences that teach us this, daily if not more. People treat other people (and animals) very badly. I've had the unfortunate experience to meet many people who just think this is normal.

Does anyone remember that when a scandal was Johnny Marr buying boxed meat after the Smith's Meat is Murder was released?

posted by juiceCake at 8:47 PM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


[Comment removed and a couple of replies. Coming in late to declare everybody wrong and tell Metafilter as an undifferentiated whole how it is is not something that is going to make a hard thread go better.]
posted by cortex at 9:02 PM on September 1, 2014


I just wish the FBI would take the non-celebrity victims of nude-photo-hacks as seriously as they are going to pursue this case. The individual devastation on non-celebrities is at least as serious.
posted by el io at 9:03 PM on September 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


But then again, who would have thought that Find My iPhone had an exploitable security hole? It does not seem to be a high value hack. The security measures were focused on preventing people from discovering your location, which is an appropriate risk to target. But nobody realized the risk of privileges escalation.

Non-rate-limited password testing? This is clearly a huge, massive security hole. Any competent security review team should have caught that. Now, mistakes can be made but I think that it's not right to say that actual hackers wouldn't see the value instantly. It's standard operating procedure to look for obscure corners where the security holes live. Read how the attack vectors in pwn2own work. Those are obscure.

Sorry if this is sort of an out-of-order comment but I may have missed the find-my-phone hack angle before and read about it elsewhere just a little while ago. It's such a huge, huge security hole.
posted by GuyZero at 9:18 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree that the violation and humiliation are the same, and that the FBI should take non-celebrity and celebrity cases equally seriously, but I'm not sure the impact isn't greater for celebrities. If a naked picture of me was posted somewhere without my name, it's pretty unlikely no one would recognize me, and since the internet is a very big place, it might never come to my attention, much less the attention of others who know me. Not so for a famous woman.
posted by gingerest at 9:24 PM on September 1, 2014


If a naked picture of me was posted somewhere without my name, it's pretty unlikely no one would recognize me, and since the internet is a very big place, it might never come to my attention, much less the attention of others who know me.

I wouldn't count on that at all. My understanding is that the 'revenge porn' (which are apparently often mislabeled - they are hackers, not jilted ex-lovers most of the time) often comes with tagging your real name on the porn and potentially contacting people you know. So yeah, friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances could all be made aware of its existence.

Even without this active-notification its likely someone you know will stumble upon the pics. I stumbled across a neighbors pics on the internet (15 + years ago). A good friend of mine stumbled upon pics of his ex-girlfriend (with her ex-husband). He strongly suspected the husband posted the pics (the woman did not) and had a real ethical dilemma of if he should tell her or not (pretty awkward as they were ex's, but he felt obligated to, I'm not sure what his final resolution of the matter was).

So yeah, the devastation/impact is very real for non-celebrities. In my friends case (and many other non-celebrities) the person's job was potentially in jeopardy if it were to be made public - this is not an uncommon occurrence. And while it sucks (and I don't mean to minimize the impact of the folks impacted by these pictures) for the victims of this incident - most likely they will be able to continue to get work in their chose profession.
posted by el io at 9:37 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ars Technica has reported on multiple sextortion arrests, in which, an extortionist attempted to use photos as blackmail. Earlier this year an FBI investigation led to the shutdown of revenge porn site, "Is Anyone Up?". So there is at least some interest in investigating cases in this area independently of whether a big name is involved.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:59 PM on September 1, 2014


We do presume to a false intimacy with celebrities.

To be fair, I know far more about what is going on with celebrities than I do my neighbors. I see celebrities far more in the media/online/television and film than I do whoever the hell is living next to me, who I might only see if I walk out at the right time. Of COURSE we feel intimate with celebrities, we see them as often as we do our own family members who live in our house with us. Of course we kinda forget that they don't know us right back, given how omnipresent they are. That's why we have the fucked-up and weird dynamic that we do with them.

Because that argument invariably boils down to "Any woman that s known on the internet is fair prey for sexual harassment."

What the truth is is that any woman, period, is fair prey for sexual harassment. The ones that are known just get more attention and are more of a target for it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:14 PM on September 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I went eagerly looking for these pix but soon realized I don't know what any of these actresses look like and I wouldn't be able to tell them from the usual porn pix. /report from the fringe
posted by telstar at 11:34 PM on September 1, 2014


So that's the scale. Basically more people are interested in these pics than everything else happening today combined.

Well, if you assume only 2% of men are creeps, that gives you 3 million creeps out there in the USA who could be looking for Jennifer Lawrence pictures. If you assume the same percentage for Europe, that's another 3.5 million creepers. So that's a believable number of searches.

And actually, that's generous. If you assume like I do, that 10% or more of men are at least part-time creeps, then the question is why more searches haven't been done for the pics. Either fewer people use the internet than I thought, or I'm overly pessimistic. Ina any case, you don't have to assume that "Men are inherently driven by their biology to seek out illegally obtained nude celebrity pics."
posted by happyroach at 11:48 PM on September 1, 2014


Those are just the people who searched Google for the words. A lot of people probably already knew that Reddit and 4Chan are the places to go when you're looking for wretched hives of scum and villainy.
posted by Justinian at 12:00 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I went eagerly looking for these pix but soon realized I don't know what any of these actresses look like and I wouldn't be able to tell them from the usual porn pix. /report from the fringe

So it wasn't even a prurient interest based on their appearance; you literally went looking purely because the photos were violations, pictures taken without consent. Not that it's ok to look at such pictures to get off on, but Jesus, this even fails to hide behind the usual "but I really wanted to" "I couldn't help it" bullshit that men whining about their participation in rape culture try to hide behind.
posted by NoraReed at 12:11 AM on September 2, 2014 [11 favorites]


[One comment deleted by poster's request. Folks, please, if you type out a comment and then think, or actually say/type "hey, this is something I'm going to regret," just don't hit "post." Take a breath, take a walk, think it out a bit, so you won't have the regretsies, and we don't have to do that thing we don't like to do and delete baked-in comments. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:56 AM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


'I went eagerly looking for these pix but soon realized I don't know what any of these actresses look like and I wouldn't be able to tell them from the usual porn pix. /report from the fringe
posted by telstar at 5:04 PM on September 2 [+]
'

This is a gross, creepy, invasive and repugnant thing to do.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:53 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've been assuming that telstar was trying to make a "hah ha im so cool I don't even own a TV you pop culture plebs" joke rather than an "I'm a creepo" joke, but maybe I'm naive.
posted by Justinian at 2:01 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's surely just a joke, and telstar presents her or himself as the butt of it, for not having a clue about who these people are and just being content with looking at porn yet again.
posted by colie at 2:30 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I definitely read that as a joke, but jokes are probably not the greatest in a super-heated discussion – and jumping to attack other commenters is definitely not a good way to go here. Everyone, please, "measure twice, cut once" with comments in a tense thread, and keep the focus on the topic, not on other members... And let's let this tangent go now, please.
posted by taz at 2:48 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


6:32 am Eastern time. Fox & Friends reported on the phone hacking scandal while playing by "I'm Too Sexy" Right Said Fred. I know Fox being that ridiculous won't surprise anyone here, but I just saw it and have to tell someone and don't want to wake anyone I know in real life. Like, a hack morning zoo show wouldn't even do that.
posted by riruro at 4:32 AM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Making the tangent relevant: for me, the weirdest part of this story is how many people on the internet have been seeking out these pictures. Okay, so now there are some naked pictures of some famous people. So what? Have you never seen boobs before? They're everywhere, you know. I'm a straight guy, and I am flummoxed by the idea that people are apparently titillated by these pictures. Are these people getting off on the idea that these pictures represent a violation?

One of the gossip sites I read had a primer as to who some of these victims are, for the "I don't even have a television" crowd. This only confuses me more. I guess I could see why a (creepy) JLaw fan would be interested in seeing her pictures, but why on earth would you give a shit if some random actor whom you don't even know is naked? At that point, as far as you're concerned, the news story is just "SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE WAS NAKED".
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:38 AM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Are these people getting off on the idea that these pictures represent a violation?

Yes!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:42 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Top searches on Google yesterday were as follows:

1) Jennifer Lawrence (5+million)
2) Caroline Wozniacki (100,000+)
3) Mary Winstead (100,000+)
4) Becca Tobin (100,000+)
5) McKayla Maroney (100,000+)
6) Justin Verlander (100,000+)
Wow. If you ignore what I've recently learned by reading the comments in this thread, then:

(1) I... think she's an actress? Even assuming that's correct, I have no idea of even a single thing she's been in. I have no idea what she looks like.

(2) Never heard of her.

(3) Never heard of her.

(4) Never heard of her.

(5) Never heard of her.

(6) Well I know he's a baseball pitcher, and he was at some point (and possibly still is) a good one. I don't know if he's still playing or not, though I'd guess he probably is. I want to say that he pitched for the Tigers at some point. I have no idea what he looks like.

I don't know whether to react with a smug and self-satisfied "I don't even have a television" or a weary and wistful "I'm gettin' old".
posted by Flunkie at 5:01 AM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


From Genevieve Valentine, on this and related stories (including but not limited to Sarkeesian):
Being a woman with any degree of public life in the age of social media is to be constantly sandblasted; you know the sand was always there, but the sheer force and volume with which it hits you isn't something you can ever get used to. You have to brace yourself to turn on your computer; stepping out your door becomes a thing you have to armor against.

Many of them are such small things, but there are so, so many, and there are always more.

It's suggested, often, that women develop thicker skins; before that can happen, of course, the sandblasting would have to stop.
The entire thing is worth reading

Accidentally posted this in the Meta, too.
posted by jeather at 5:13 AM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Flunkie, if you haven't heard of Jennifer Lawrence then you are way beyond 'don't own a TV'. She is an Oscar winner and ranked No. 1 in the 2014 Forbes list of most powerful actresses in the world.
posted by colie at 5:16 AM on September 2, 2014


Flunkie, if you haven't heard of Jennifer Lawrence then you are way beyond 'don't own a TV'.
Well, I had heard of her - like I said, I thought she was an actress. I hadn't heard of four of the other five, but I had heard of her.
posted by Flunkie at 5:17 AM on September 2, 2014


[A couple of comments deleted; once again, please focus comments on the topic rather than other members, and there's a Metatalk already open if you want to discuss commenting standards in this thread. Also, I do think we can leave off with the *who even are these people* extended side convos (they are famous stars and celebrities, even if some people aren't familiar with them). Thanks.]
posted by taz at 5:42 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


That'll teach these women to have a sexual life of their own that isn't shared with or profitable for other men.
posted by Legomancer at 5:47 AM on September 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am sure some of the interest in these photos is simply prurient, these people undoutedly look nice with their clothes off, that's part of the reason they're movie stars. That's a duh, though of course doesn't justify anything.

But most of the interest is definitely a lot more problematic. Worst of it is hate based: taking people down a notch by invading their privacy and trying to shame them.

And of course some of the hate-based stuff isn't celebrity specific, but just misogyny, especially focused on attractive women who "nice guys" feel, as a group, should be falling over themselves to dispense sex to them.

Just as problematic is the false intimacy idea posited many times in this thread. In our society, we generally don't see people naked unless we're intimate with them. It seems like a lot of men try to reverse-engineer that: if you've seen someone naked, then it follows you're intimate with them, so their logic goes. I don't mean a big percentage of them really believe they're dating the person, but that they now have a magic token they can use: "I've seen you naked anyway, you might as well do it with me."
posted by maxwelton at 6:48 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Alternate link to the Genevieve Valentine entry that jeather posted (livejournal is down at the moment). Indeed well worth reading. The opening really hits with a punch:
The list of celebrities who had their pictures stolen numbers over seventy-five. Some of them aren’t even capitalized; not names, really. They’re just folders where the prizes go.
posted by Drastic at 7:24 AM on September 2, 2014


Jennifer Lawrence
posted by cjorgensen at 7:41 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is absolutely no way I'm clicking a random imgur link with that descriptive text.
posted by introp at 7:45 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


There is absolutely no way I'm clicking a random imgur link with that descriptive text.

Understandably. It's an image of a fake news front page with a picture of Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet at an awards show, next to a headline "Jennifer Lawrence has two nipples and a vagina as confirmed by millions of lonely people".
posted by fatbird at 7:49 AM on September 2, 2014


Creeper, sex crime, paparazzi... whatever, the one thing I've learned from this whole debate is that evaluating the cost of a click (and there IS a cost attached to each one) needs to evolve from "can this cause any harm?" to "this is a vote, what does it say about me?"
posted by SoFlo1 at 7:50 AM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


evaluating the cost of a click (and there IS a cost attached to each one) needs to evolve from "can this cause any harm?" to "this is a vote, what does it say about me?"

As the saying goes, "character is what you do in the dark".

There's a tweet I've seen recently that also seems relevant: When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you. Not exactly about clicking, but what do men who click on those links think they're saying to the women around them?
posted by immlass at 8:07 AM on September 2, 2014 [24 favorites]


So is the consensus that watching ANY amateur porn, where one can't ascertain whether the parties involved consent to being watched, is wrong?? Cause that's where all this leads.
posted by victory_laser at 8:37 AM on September 2, 2014


Even if you're right, there's still three buses, eight bucks and a taxi and a long walk in between "watching amateur porn" and "looking at pictures that were obtained by hacking into someone's computer".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on September 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


So is the consensus that watching ANY amateur porn, where one can't ascertain whether the parties involved consent to being watched, is wrong?? Cause that's where all this leads.

That seems like a reasonable consensus. Look at porn when it's done consensually, otherwise don't.
posted by jeather at 8:40 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's an obtuse argument, victory_laser. If you can't tell the difference between "this video may have been released without the consent of those involved" and "here are some images which were clearly stolen and published without consent"...
posted by introp at 8:43 AM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


So is the consensus that watching ANY amateur porn, where one can't ascertain whether the parties involved consent to being watched, is wrong??

Are you looking for a moral absolute or just an "is this aspect of a thing problematic" sort of answer? Because we can respond to the latter—yes, the lack of provenance and of documentation of consent is a problematic thing in some porn—without getting definitive about the former.

Like folks are saying, that's a different question than one about images that are pointedly, explicitly stolen. But in any case you need to be careful about what question you're actually asking.
posted by cortex at 8:44 AM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'd be willing to wager that most amateur porn was shared without consent.
posted by victory_laser at 9:00 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


By the way, I'm not telling. I'm asking. I'm trying to figure this shit out, and I can't remember ever really asking myself this question before.
posted by victory_laser at 9:03 AM on September 2, 2014


So is the consensus that watching ANY amateur porn, where one can't ascertain whether the parties involved consent to being watched, is wrong?? Cause that's where all this leads.

[...]I'd be willing to wager that most amateur porn was shared without consent.


I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be proud of telling the world that you actually don't give a shit whether your porn was produced non-consensually as long as you can masturbate to it.
posted by sukeban at 9:09 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: there is absolutely no way I'm clicking a random imgur link with that descriptive text.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:10 AM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


there's a lot of amateur porn which was recorded as part of cam shows and the like where the people in it talk to or about the audience. that seems pretty ethically clear, as far as consent goes. on the way other end of the scale there are hidden camera videos, that unless you know for sure it's a set up that everyone is in on, are pretty much always non-consenting. everything in the middle is for you to figure out and decide how you feel about it. personally, i have a hard time enjoying porn where one of the partners (nearly always the man in hetero porn) doesn't show their face. i feel like this makes it more likely that the video was released without the consent of the shown partner. there are also some porn sites that send cameras to couples so they can film themselves - this seems like a good compromise for people who prefer to see non-professionals in porn - you know they're of age and consenting, but they are generally less, uh, acrobatic and more subdued.
posted by nadawi at 9:11 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


To address cortex's concern, isn't it wrong to participate in an activity where I can say that most of the time when I do it, it's wrong?
posted by victory_laser at 9:13 AM on September 2, 2014


isn't it wrong to participate in an activity where I can say that most of the time when I do it, it's wrong?

Why are you even asking this.
posted by sukeban at 9:14 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


evaluating the cost of a click (and there IS a cost attached to each one) needs to evolve from "can this cause any harm?" to "this is a vote, what does it say about me?"

I agree, but I think the way young digital-native people consume and surf media is so far removed from this kind of attitude that it may as well be the dark side of the moon for them.

In the 60s, parents were horrified to see kids flipping through magazines while listening to the radio and chatting on the phone and eating and scratching their arses and lying on a couch. Now it's kind of that times a billion.
posted by colie at 9:15 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


So is the consensus that watching ANY amateur porn, where one can't ascertain whether the parties involved consent to being watched, is wrong?? Cause that's where all this leads.

Just go with yes. There's plenty of regular porn out there.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:17 AM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


chill out sukeban http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method
posted by victory_laser at 9:20 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


To address cortex's concern, isn't it wrong to participate in an activity where I can say that most of the time when I do it, it's wrong?

Probably, yeah. Let me be clear, part of what's hard to answer about your first comment is that it's not totally clear where you are coming from with it: a construction like "so you're/we're saying that X? Because that leads to Y." can be read both as someone thinking out loud about something you just haven't thought through (which your later comment suggests you're doing) or it can be read as someone trying to present "surely you recognize the absurdity of asserting Y, ergo X is an absurd thing to assert" as a sort of flip-the-script argument about slippery slopes.

I was talking about about problematic vs absolutely morally wrong up there partly to try and figure out where you're coming from on this: there's a big difference between asking if there's a consensus about something problematic and asking if there's a consensus about a moral absolute, and if you're asking other folks to tell you where they draw a line then you need to be really clear about what kind and how bright of a line you're putting them on the spot to commit to in that conversation.

Basically I think it is great that you are trying to figure this out for yourself and trying to think through something you haven't grappled with before, but for the sake of both clarity and avoiding an accidental argument it'd probably be better for you to approach it as "here is how I am sorting through my thinking" rather than "here's what I think you're collectively saying". Getting all socractic (on preview, bingo) may seem like a good idea from a debate club perspective but it's actually usually pretty confrontational and non-ideal for a Metafilter thread where people didn't sign up for abstract debate.
posted by cortex at 9:22 AM on September 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


Since everybody from these assholes to revenge porn douchenozzles to the NSA has decided that availability of personal activities outside of those involved is something to be disregarded, I'd say that yes, it's time to revisit the idea of consent as it applies to publicly-shared material. Maybe it's shitty that we've come to this point, but the problem isn't some sort of morality policing or sexual hang-ups anymore, it's that a significant number of people feel that some combination of being female, a public figure, and/or having network access means that they don't have the same rights to have their activities remain private. And not to say that you're doing this, but if there's any wailing and gnashing of teeth about how unfair this is, the complainers (a) should realize that the above groups are the only ones to blame, and (b) are themselves part of the problem.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks cortex. You're right.
posted by victory_laser at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2014


chill out sukeban http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

Wise Socrates, please enlighten us about why it is ethically alright to fap to revenge porn!
posted by sukeban at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2014


I'm actually saying the opposite of that
posted by victory_laser at 9:24 AM on September 2, 2014


You aren't doing a good job of it.
posted by sukeban at 9:25 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


as cortex pointed out and you seemingly agreed to, that wasn't actually clear. you can't really blame sukeban for being confused about your intent.
posted by nadawi at 9:25 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's my fault. I'm sorry.
posted by victory_laser at 9:28 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Absent of explicit consent, all the rationalizations in the world don't make this shit acceptable, or even tolerable. I'm absolutely gobsmacked there's a discussion of this where every single comment isn't some variation on "this misogynist bullshit has got to fucking stop."

So done with reddit; guess I'm going to have to figure out popular culture from my niece and nephew now.
posted by Mooski at 9:35 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Please don't play devil's advocate or ask disingenuous questions with a socratic excuse in this kind of thread. Most of us have met plenty of trolls in the past and you were almost indistinguishable from a "just asking questions" troll.
posted by sukeban at 9:36 AM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


sukeban, I was asking that question honestly. I'm sorry. Can we please move onward.
posted by victory_laser at 9:38 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, I'm OK.
posted by sukeban at 9:39 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd guess people clicked on the images for all sorts of reasons: prurient interest, simple curiosity, the lure of the forbidden, a desire to judge others, even just so they know exactly what it is they're talking about.

I would think the overwhelming reason would be the first, but that not all reasons would be misogynistic. But honestly, I don't really care, because this violation of these womens' privacy is offensive, and it should be possible to control the impulses that might lead one to check them out.

I don't know if they could ever figure out who each individual was who looked at the images, let alone disseminated them. But I hope they can at least prosecute those who stole them.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:54 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


i think these assholes cheered when vanessa hudgens was forced to apologize and shamed by her network. i think it's part of what they want.

I sort of thought you might be overreaching with this but then I followed immlass' link in MeTa to the responses to Mary Elizabeth Winstead's tweet and discovered that there is already at least one online petition for Nickelodeon to "issue a formal apology for the display of sexual immorality shown by their stars", being promoted by the same people who are merrily informing Ms. Winstead that they do, in fact, feel great about looking at her pictures.

Please excuse me, I need to go sob into a cup of tea.
posted by lwb at 10:13 AM on September 2, 2014 [13 favorites]


I'd guess people clicked on the images for all sorts of reasons: prurient interest, simple curiosity, the lure of the forbidden, a desire to judge others, even just so they know exactly what it is they're talking about.

I don't know if they could ever figure out who each individual was who looked at the images


If the FBI did try to apprehend all those people I think it would have more negative than positive consequences.
posted by colie at 10:18 AM on September 2, 2014


there is already at least one online petition for Nickelodeon to "issue a formal apology for the display of sexual immorality shown by their stars"

I hope that Nickelodeon agrees to this, but then the "apology" is just a John Kricfalusi cartoon of neckbeards farting and shitting and saying "duh", as the phrase "THIS REPRESENTS YOU" flashes over and over.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:26 AM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]




Terrence McCoy is a foreign affairs writer at the Washington Post. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cambodia and studied international politics at Columbia University and writes about 4chan and /b/ and Jennifer Lawrence here.
posted by maggieb at 10:50 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the FBI did try to apprehend all those people I think it would have more negative than positive consequences.

Apprehend them for what? It's not illegal to click on the pictures.
posted by Justinian at 11:14 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lainey Gossip: Nude value.
I’m not sure if it’s reassuring that Jennifer Lawrence and the other women who were targeted have so far been met with support. I’m not sure it should matter that their careers and reputations will not be affected. Damage control only implies that this is the kind of situation that could and should cause damage.
posted by immlass at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2014


"I'm absolutely gobsmacked there's a discussion of this where every single comment isn't some variation on "this misogynist bullshit has got to fucking stop."

What you describe doesn't sound like a discussion, but a group meeting of some sort.

I mean, I don't think I see anyone here actually advocating for the hacking into people's machines and stealing their sex-photos.

Now if by 'this misogynist bullshit' you mean the way the press is taking this story and running with it, calling it a 'scandal' (regarding the victims) and essentially profiting from the hacking (often helpfully telling their readers how to find the images in question), yeah, I agree. The media as a whole is pretty fucking misogynist.

But we knew that, right? When I bring up paparazzi, I don't mean to minimize the impact or awfulness of these hacks, but instead want to point out that the press (/tabloids) has been profiting from the creepy stalkerlike harassment of women - this is the tabloids business model. To the point where they themselves have been hacking into people's lives illegally to get more content (I'm looking at you Murdoch).

No, this isn't offtopic, this is smack on topic - their business model is based on violating the privacy of these women, and this is legally protected behavior.

Imagine if you could never sunbath because someone half a mile away was going to take pictures of your breasts - this is part of rape culture. And celebrities (or women celebrities) live this reality 24/7.

Now the 'respectful' media may not employ these paparazzi. Instead they will tell you stories about their take on the women who have been violated. But really, they are literally profiting from the hackers crime, while titillating their readers (and often give their readers a roadmap to the pictures). And then slut-shaming the women (by calling it a 'scandal' or otherwise blaming the victims).
posted by el io at 11:37 AM on September 2, 2014


Apple says they have found no security vulnerability exploited for these pictures and says it looks like it was weak passwords and security questions.
posted by Justinian at 12:03 PM on September 2, 2014


Speaking as an IT professional, allowing "weak passwords and security questions" is a security vulnerability in itself. You can perfectly require users to use at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one number and one non-alphanumerical in passwords and require a minimum password length. This answer is absurd to anyone who's a sysadmin.
posted by sukeban at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


You can perfectly require users to use at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one number and one non-alphanumerical in passwords and require a minimum password length. This answer is absurd to anyone who's a sysadmin.

So what you're saying is that if I want to compromise your users' accounts, I just need to look for the piece of paper taped to the inside of their desk drawers.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:14 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


If someone has access to your physical hardware a password compromise is the least of your worries.
posted by Justinian at 12:15 PM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sure, but it will be more difficult to do it from your bedroom in rural Shenzhen.
posted by sukeban at 12:15 PM on September 2, 2014


No comment on rate-unlimited password guessing though.
posted by GuyZero at 12:17 PM on September 2, 2014


Apprehend them for what? It's not illegal to click on the pictures.

I thought that's what the commenter was getting at. To some extent, you have to seek out the pics rather than just 'click on' them like walking past a newstand. That's also what I meant about young people's attitude towards digital media: do you have to take responsibility for seeking stuff out, or is it the case that there's shit everywhere - gore, porn, heads chopped off in Iraq, selfies, nude selfies, celebs, more porn, Twitter, Vice magazine, MetaFilter, etc... why not just click on anything?

And 'disseminating' the pictures might be a shifting definition at the moment as well, since they're all over Twitter (probably that's where most people heard about them) and retweeting or replying to a tweet is not quite the same as publishing - is it?
posted by colie at 12:19 PM on September 2, 2014


You'd think Apple would have heard of brute force and dictionary attacks, yeah.
posted by sukeban at 12:20 PM on September 2, 2014


If someone has access to your physical hardware a password compromise is the least of your worries.

Any situation that causes your users to record their passwords in cleartext is risky (because there's no guarantee it won't be stored electronically instead of on paper). If increasing password complexity requirements to the point that users start doing this, it is not a solution.

Sure, but it will be more difficult to do it from your bedroom in rural Shenzhen.

I don't think we know that this is what happened.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2014


Update to Celebrity Photo Investigation

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of 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 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 user names, 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.
posted by Mr. Six at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Passwords in general are a terrible form of security. Particularly for mobile devices, where typing that thing with capital letters and numbers and symbols is not particularly easy. Apple does support two-factor. I don't know how well it works, but presumably it's better than passwords alone. No idea about the Android equivalents, or whatever other random place your photos may end up without it being terribly obvious to non-technical users. (Dropbox, at a minimum.)
posted by Nelson at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2014


Apple's only supported two-factor since March 2013, and doesn't seem to have really pushed it to your average user in any visible way.
posted by smackfu at 12:26 PM on September 2, 2014


a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet.

One problem that famous people have is that if everyone knows your childhood puppy's name, they can figure out that security question. That was what happened to Sarah Palin.
posted by sukeban at 12:30 PM on September 2, 2014


No comment on rate-unlimited password guessing though.

We know they weren't practicing lockout, but it's not clear from what I've seen that they weren't practicing any rate limiting at all. Even something like a couple hundred milliseconds to the password hash operation can be a pretty significant defense against brute force attempts.

allowing "weak passwords and security questions" is a security vulnerability in itself.

In general, yes, but consumer devices haven't found a happy medium yet between convenience and security. Apple may not be better here, but they're not worse without a demonstrable vulnerability.
posted by fatbird at 12:32 PM on September 2, 2014


Dean Norris (Breaking Bad, Under the Dome) weighing in with his fantasy on how to deal with the hackers.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:37 PM on September 2, 2014


Spoiler: Dean Norris shares his rape fantasies.
posted by Nelson at 1:47 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't recommend nude photos for any reason if one is uncomfortable with one's body as a jpeg, but if not then what the hey, if it's released who cares, all bodies are more or less the same. That does not define you as a person.
posted by koebelin at 1:50 PM on September 2, 2014


According to this guy:
In reviewing months worth of forum posts, image board posts, private emails, replies for requests for services, etc. nowhere was the FindMyPhone API brute force technique (revealed publicly and exploited in iBrute) mentioned. This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t used privately by the hackers – but judging by the skill levels involved, the mentions and tutorials around other techniques and some of the bragged about success rates with social engineering, recovery, resets, rats and phishing – it appears that such techniques were not necessary or never discovered.
No idea how reputable that source is, but he's got a lot of analysis and data that points back to this being a broken wall in a private club of image swappers who've been building the collection over time. He does blame generally lax security on iCloud plus the automatic picture roll backup feature for making iPhone users into targets of choice.
posted by fatbird at 1:51 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


"All cloud services are a completely fucking terrible idea for exactly this sort of reason. End users have no control over security, and what's more, might not even realise that the "service" even exists, let alone that it's sucking all their data to a remote server (possibly even putting multiple copies on multiple servers) over which they have no control. It's essentially spyware."

And this is compounded by the TOS of many cloud systems basically saying that (in large part due to how our copyright law is structured) you're giving them access to the files. There's also — and I thought it was a Google exec, but I can't seem to source the quote — tech executives saying things like that any time you give access to a third party, there's no reasonable expectation of privacy, with the third party being them. People believe that these files are essentially in an off-site safe, rather than in a poorly-defined and vague set of abstract norms.

I will say that reading through this all did make me realize that my initial blase reactions were probably misplaced — I'd like to get to an ideal where people don't think that nude photos of anyone are that big a deal, so I was kinda shruggo, but reframing this as a privacy invasion and misogynistic attack did help me get past my first reaction to roll my eyes at a "sex scandal" that's like, hey, celebs also take nekkid pix, big deal. I think there are distinctions that can be made between this and the NSA (I think government involvement makes NSA stuff scarier, along with the scale), but I appreciate the analogy being made and hope that more of this gets discussed with that framing.
posted by klangklangston at 1:55 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am curious if we'll see an uptick in Polaroid's stock after this…
posted by klangklangston at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Practically speaking, if you don't have two-factor authentication turned on, your iCloud account is secured by your email address, birth date, and security questions. Doesn't matter how long or complex a password you use. Email and birth date are barely secrets. So, do you know how secure you security questions are?
posted by smackfu at 2:04 PM on September 2, 2014


(Notably, they do not require that you have access to the email account.)
posted by smackfu at 2:05 PM on September 2, 2014


Two factor authentication doesn't protect backups, apparently, only settings and account changes. So, not even then.
posted by fatbird at 2:06 PM on September 2, 2014


I wonder how many of the "DUH you should always turn off autobackup on everything, every idiot knows that, it's your own fault if you fail to modify your phone's software in this way" people are also the "DUH you should make sure your phone always autoloads all pictures and videos to the cloud, that way when the police confiscate your phone for filming them they can't destroy evidence, every idiot knows that, it's your own fault if you turned that off" people.
posted by KathrynT at 2:26 PM on September 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


Yep, some of it is child porn: "The Reddit community r/TheFappening has become the main hub for the leaked photos, due to the fact that Reddit is one of the few mainstream websites that isn’t proactively deleting all links to them. In an urgent post, the subreddit’s moderators warn the community that the site’s admins have informed them that Maroney was underage in the photos “and that we quickly need to remove them. "
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:27 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


One problem that famous people have is that if everyone knows your childhood puppy's name, they can figure out that security question.

Now you've got me worried. I wonder how many people know my favorite childhood pet's name was FS6MjpPLv3xAzOX?
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:36 PM on September 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


I dunno about Liz Lee (who?) but the Maroney thing is weird. How can you claim something is both fake and taken while underage? They are probably removing them just in case since she's been 18 for less than a year. Which is the right thing to do.

Or more accurately the less bad thing to do since the right thing to do would probably be not to host any of the leaked pics.

Also, the absurdity of the legal system is such that if there really are nudes of Maroney from when she was under 18 there is precedent for her to be arrested and charged for a sex crime. Which is so stupid it makes my brain hurt.
posted by Justinian at 2:38 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]




Being a woman with any degree of public life in the age of social media is to be constantly sandblasted

Perhaps I’m being overdramatic, but - prior to this I’d seen Jennifer Lawrence make so many comments about the negative side of fame – what it’s like having people gawk at you, how that even affects her craft (not being able to study other people anonymously). I imagine the possibility of her saying, “Forget this,” and semi-retiring rather young.

Which film would be the poorer for.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:20 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I had 50 million dollars I would totally retire at 24.
posted by Justinian at 5:24 PM on September 2, 2014


Justinian confirmed for being Frankie Muniz
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:33 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


50mil after taxes is only like what, barely even 30mil? What kind of deprived tragic life could you even lead with a mere 30mil I ask you.
posted by elizardbits at 5:37 PM on September 2, 2014


Via Daring Fireball: Notes on the Celebrity Data Theft. Interesting exploration of the technical issues.
posted by immlass at 5:39 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


What kind of deprived tragic life could you even lead with a mere 30mil I ask you.

I am willing to take the risk and try this out.
posted by jeather at 5:41 PM on September 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Apparently I'm going to have to eat my words about the idea of a hidden network of people swapping around a huge collection of secret celebrity nudes and videos being absurd and comparable to an Eyes Wide Shut bacchanal.

Am currently considering moving to New York and investing in Venetian masks and capes.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Password: iamgroot
posted by cjorgensen at 5:57 PM on September 2, 2014


Via Daring Fireball: Notes on the Celebrity Data Theft. Interesting exploration of the technical issues.

Waking up in the wrong science fiction future, again. It's like Anonymous, ONTD, and PUA spawned a three-headed monster on alt.sex.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:24 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]








That is awesome, moreso with the redittors getting pissy about their $12,000 being rejected. Jennifer Lawrence will dig through the couch cushions to cover that, just to pile on.
posted by fatbird at 8:44 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sara Benincasa, Playboy: Jennifer Lawrence Is Not A Thing To Be Passed Around
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:16 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


. If you assume like I do, that 10% or more of men are at least part-time creeps,

There are plenty of women looking at these photos too. Out of curiosity I guess. There was a fairly long thread on reddit about it, on one of the women's subforums (I don't read Reddit, a friend showed it to me so no idea how to link). It was an interesting discussion in that a lot of people were very concerned about something simial happening to them, but looked anyway. Weird.
posted by fshgrl at 9:23 PM on September 2, 2014


I have to admit, I did look at the photos. Why? Well, I kind of didn’t believe it. I thought they would be a hoax of Photoshopped images and wanted to see for myself if they were real (and I am weak-willed when it comes to JLaw). Once I saw that they were actually real, private, very intimate photos of someone I respect, I felt bad for looking at them. But does that make me a creep? For the few minuets that I decided to visit 4chan and find them, yes it does. Next time the net goes mad over a celebrity photo leak, I won’t be following any links because I respect people too much.

I also found it quite shocking the number of commercial websites that either hosted the images or linked to them. As for all the people justifying looking or sharing the images, I found that less shocking and more simply a sad reflection of the current state of our society, especially with the timing of the Anita Sarkeesian harrasment.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 9:27 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


In other sexism news: Jon Stewart Tears Into the ‘Sh*tty Sexism’ Going on in the Senate
posted by homunculus at 9:28 PM on September 2, 2014


NYT: In Nude Celebrity Photos, Privacy Collides With the Wild Web

The images are hardly the first nude celebrity pictures to make their way online. But their publication has touched off a larger discussion on the state of privacy and civil liberties on the Internet. Some privacy advocates are focusing on the role that big tech companies play in policing — or not policing — users who repeatedly push the boundaries of taste, or those who post controversial content like the videos of the beheadings of the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. [...] For some, though, the damage has already been done.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:50 PM on September 2, 2014


"The Reddit community r/TheFappening has become the main hub for the leaked photos, due to the fact that Reddit is one of the few mainstream websites that isn’t proactively deleting all links to them. In an urgent post, the subreddit’s moderators warn the community that the site’s admins have informed them that Maroney was underage in the photos “and that we quickly need to remove them. "

I don't know if they have released the numbers of downloads/views, but I'd guess it's well into the millions, perhaps tens of millions, of people who are now wondering if there will be a knock on the door.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:00 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's some /r/TheFappening stats. 150M pageviews in a day or so, which is absolutely enormous even by Reddit standards.
posted by Nelson at 10:16 PM on September 2, 2014


150M page views in one day is crazy. That means pretty much only Google.com and facebook's homepage would have received more hits.
posted by Justinian at 11:05 PM on September 2, 2014


(It's about on par with all of Wikipedia for comparison)
posted by Justinian at 11:08 PM on September 2, 2014


[A couple of comments deleted; telstar, cut it out or take the night off. ]
posted by taz at 12:31 AM on September 3, 2014


I guess page views combined with not seeing women as full humans is a good enough reason for reddit to contradict their own rules about privacy.
In a moment of extreme irony, the moderators of r/thefappening have actually warned redditors that if they post any information about the potential identity of the leaker(s) of the photos and videos, they will immediately be “BANNED FROM THIS SUBREDDIT.”
posted by gladly at 5:34 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Probably nothing, although they [Apple] deserve to lose a lawsuit over such an obvious, well-known, older-than-the-internet security failure.

From waaaaaaay up there, I just want to mention that Apple ALREADY has protections in place for multiple tries of invalid passwords; make too many wrong entries, and your account is locked until you talk to customer support.

...

...in iTunes.

It's telling that they're willing to protect their own IP and profits, but not the data of their customers.
posted by Evilspork at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Reddit still has at least one thriving "hidden" version of their creepshots subs that the owners refuse to do anything about. There is nothing at this point that would surprise me when it comes to the rights of guys non-consensually taking or sharing pictures of women having a blanket protection that will never be extended to those women.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:11 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


In a moment of extreme irony, the moderators of r/thefappening have actually warned redditors that if they post any information about the potential identity of the leaker(s) of the photos and videos, they will immediately be “BANNED FROM THIS SUBREDDIT.”

That is completely consistent with how Reddit handled the whole creepshot thing the other year -- they are willing to stand their ground in a big way when it comes to protecting the identities of creepers, not so much for the women who are the objects of attention.

There is something positive in the underlying principle, but the way it is routinely applied in a shitty sexist way sucks.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Its a shame too, because there are some good subreddits with some good niche stuff. But the dudes who run reddit are objectively pro-sexual harassment of women. Which makes it morally problematic to visit the site esp. when I just want to talk about shoes.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:22 AM on September 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Jim C. Hines weighs in. And speaks sense.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess page views combined with not seeing women as full humans is a good enough reason for reddit to contradict their own rules about privacy.

Remember reddit mods are not admins. All it takes to be a mod is to create a new subreddit (which any user can do) and then you are the mod of it.
posted by smackfu at 6:50 AM on September 3, 2014


It is the reddit admins who let the subreddit stand. Imagine if I created a subreddit with images lifted from the social media accounts of the people harassing Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian. Would it stand? Of course not. r/TheFappening is a subreddit dedicated to disseminating private personal information -- by the rules of the site, it shouldn't exist.
posted by gladly at 7:05 AM on September 3, 2014 [10 favorites]


Reddit quietly makes money (well, loses less money but builds company value for the owners) by quietly letting and encouraging people to be assholes. Remember what your clicks feed.
posted by introp at 7:08 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kelsey McKinney: Prostate Cancer Foundation doesn't want money from Redditors who looked at stolen celebrity photos
The joke, if you can call it that, was built off a myth that masturbation may ward off prostate cancer. Thus, by donating to the charity, the men joked that they were atoning for their behavior. They weren't.

Yesterday, "The Fappening" was the leading donor to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

Let's by [sic] crystal clear here: These men — who celebrated the invasion of women's privacy by circulating stolen nude photos of celebrities on the internet, thus contributing to the systematic oppression of women and their rights — donated money to a charity that can literally only help men. Haha. Isn't that funny!?

It's not to the PCF, which refused to accept the donation in a statement posted on its website Tuesday evening.

"Fuck them if they don't want our donations. Lets donate to somewhere else who actually wants to help their cause," A redditor wrote on The Fappening. "Charity is charity. It is not like our money was acquired directly from any illegal profits."

But money given to a cause out of implicit spite for 50 percent of the population as a joke about jacking-off isn't charity at all — it's hate money. And the PCF seems to understand that, acting as a small light of decency in a situation that has otherwise brought out the worst in a whole lot of people.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2014 [13 favorites]


Flunkie, if you haven't heard of Jennifer Lawrence then you are way beyond 'don't own a TV'. She is an Oscar winner and ranked No. 1 in the 2014 Forbes list of most powerful actresses in the world.

I haven't heard of her until this. I do own a TV. I don't give a shit about the Oscars so pay no attention to them. Surely this is easy to understand. Don't give a shit about Forbes either or rating performers based on their power.
posted by juiceCake at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2014


I saw that article about the PCF, and saw some of the Reddditor's reactions quoted; they actually want that story spread, "so everyone knows the PCF cares more about Jennifer Lawrence than they do curing cancer."

I suppose that if I went over there and pointed out that they all cared more about their own wieners than they cared about other people, it probably wouldn't sink in.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


i have never understood people waving around their ignorance with pride. "i don't know who this person is" is a statement without value, especially when typed on the internet since all the needed info is at your fingertips.
posted by nadawi at 7:21 AM on September 3, 2014 [22 favorites]


It's telling that they're willing to protect their own IP and profits, but not the data of their customers.

I think you underestimate how much users complain and/or flee (if possible) when the appropriate security measures are implemented.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:00 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think you underestimate how much users complain and/or flee (if possible) when the appropriate security measures are implemented.

So?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 AM on September 3, 2014


So?

So users choosing convenience over security is the service provider's fault how, exactly?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:47 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I suppose that if I went over there and pointed out that they all cared more about their own wieners than they cared about other people, it probably wouldn't sink in.

Plus, you'd have the delightful experience of receiving death and rape threats from now until the end of time.
posted by elizardbits at 9:56 AM on September 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Here's a wacky and very tangential thing: when you activate two-factor authentication on your Apple ID, there's a three day waiting period. "For security reasons."
posted by Drastic at 10:16 AM on September 3, 2014


The hype surrounding Apple's possible unveiling of a branded watch has me curious: What are the prospects for a company like Apple using the presence of a smart "iWatch" as a convenient additional verification factor?

The token might be sent wirelessly on authenticated demand via bluetooth, or if that is not secure enough (I confess that I have little knowledge of the security of wireless technology) could be displayed on the watch in some combination of machine/human readable format for capture with the iPhone's front-facing camera or manual entry as needed.
posted by The Confessor at 10:28 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The waiting period to enable two factor isn't crazy. One attack against an account is to steal the password, then lock the legitimate owner out forever by requiring two factor. It was a common attack against World of Warcraft accounts a few years ago. (WoW was one of the first US consumer adopters of two factor.)

User authentication is hard. Strong login mechanisms are generally a PITA to use, products have to trade off security and convenience. I don't think it's right to say Apple is particularly negligent; they're on the forefront of a lot of good security practices. And some mistakes too, of course.
posted by Nelson at 10:29 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


So users choosing convenience over security is the service provider's fault how, exactly?

So the kinds of users who would prioritize convenience over security are people the service provider wants to align themselves with why exactly?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on September 3, 2014


So the kinds of users who would prioritize convenience over security are people the service provider wants to align themselves with why exactly?

Because there are lots more of them than the reverse.
posted by jeather at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


So the kinds of users who would prioritize convenience over security are people the service provider wants to align themselves with why exactly?

Because "the kinds of users who would prioritize convenience over security" are (at present, anyway) interchangeable with "most people" and "the majority of our revenue"?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:36 AM on September 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the service providers just want money for their services, so they're just aligning themselves with whatever market niche they can find. Some providers emphasize security, others convenience, and others appeal to the mushy middle. Market failures do exist, of course, but I don't see a very large gap between the security customers have demanded up until this point and the security features that are available. Maybe a high-profile incident changes peoples' expectations and their own equation of how much inconvenience they'll tolerate to get more security.

The point is that it's often (not always) a zero-sum game, and until people adjust their expectations in the direction of more security (with the likely outcome being a somewhat less convenient service) the providers won't have much of an incentive to pay attention to security. (Although rate-limiting of login attempts is kind of in the "wait, it's 2014, you really aren't doing that effectively?" category.)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:38 AM on September 3, 2014


Can we construct the rest of the thread entirely from rhetorical questions?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:40 AM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]




Okay - my point is that: I do understand that a company who is concerned with the bottom line is more likely to give in to the pressures of a user base that seeks convenience over security. However - a company who is concerned with not just the bottom line, but with the customer experience, or some other non-financial variable, may decide that oh well, if they use some customers after implementing a measure that improves security for its whole user base, so be it; they lose some revenue, but they gain more loyal customers, and it's also just the right thing to do in some cases. And there are those of us who pay attention to where a company's priorities are when it comes to choosing which service we use, and would avoid the ones for whom the bottom line was all.

So to me, a company that is sacrificing security for the sake of convenience because they don't want to lose a big user base is a company that has values with which I don't want to associate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on September 3, 2014


That is an interesting hypothesis, EmpressCallipygos. I am curious, which services have you switched to due to superior security? For which services have you decided to pay extra money over the competition?

There are definitely people who would do this but the number is tiny. Most people aren't even in a position to judge what is good security practice and what isn't.
posted by grouse at 11:55 AM on September 3, 2014


That is an interesting hypothesis, EmpressCallipygos. I am curious, which services have you switched to due to superior security? For which services have you decided to pay extra money over the competition?

....Wait, isn't the whole thing that started this tangent a Reddit Vs. Metafilter thing? That's your answer right there. I paid to become a MeFi member because I liked the culture and values better, as opposed to joining Reddit for free because they have a tendency to turn a blind eye to skeezemonkeys.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


If Reddit banned the skeezemonkeys I'm not sure what would be left. It'd look like Times Square in Vanilla Sky.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Eh, reddit's a big place. It's not like MetaFilter where everyone sees everything.
posted by smackfu at 12:15 PM on September 3, 2014


There's no reason to think MetaFilter has noticeably better security than Reddit.
posted by grouse at 12:24 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Better data security? No. Better security from people being toxic, misogynist, racist, etc? Oh hell yes.
posted by KathrynT at 12:27 PM on September 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


thank you, Kathryn. This is the kind of security I'm talking about - perhaps "accountability" is a better term.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2014


The reddit tangent wasn't about whether or not it's better or more secure than Metafilter, but the idea that reddit is an incubator for the kind of toxic culture that makes it profitable to share information hacked from a private account. Like /b/, reddit has shown that this kind of privacy violation is good and worth trying again and absolutely disseminating the results as widely as possible again.
posted by gladly at 12:35 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: This is the kind of security I'm talking about - perhaps "accountability" is a better term.

I still don't know if I buy this. Unless you can show that the service provider didn't perform as advertised -- that they somehow allowed a breach to occur through negligence -- there's nothing to hold them accountable for. This is primarily because the people using the services are only opting in in the most legalistic sense, so they don't really have any investment in their decision to choose a service, they don't know what the underlying security mechanisms are, and, quite honestly, they don't care -- they just expect the provider to do better.

Unfortunately, the providers make very few promises about how they'll protect things, and "determined hacker spent many months doing a low-and-slow brute force guess of a password" isn't in the list of things they promise to guard against.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:37 PM on September 3, 2014


I entirely agree about the culture of Reddit. But the comments you were responding to were not about the culture of Reddit, they were about data security. As far as data security for mass-market products and services is concerned, we might agree that very few customers indeed consider it or even have the knowledge to do so well.
posted by grouse at 12:42 PM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Then I misunderstood what kind of "security" was being discussed.

I was thinking more about "user can talk whatever kind of smack they want and there is no fear of consequences because they can be totally anonymous" vs. "user runs the risk of having their account booted because they had to provide a name and other salient identity details when they signed up". The "security" I was perceiving was "I don't have to attach any identifying details to my account, even on the back end".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:45 PM on September 3, 2014


Jay Smooth: The List of Rules for Women
posted by tonycpsu at 12:55 PM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know it was a quote and not a user who said this but I feel like it's my duty as a cis person who gives a shit to say this: Not all men have prostates and not everyone who has prostates are men. I doubt the redditors were thinking about this, since wankers who don't give a shit about women's consent aren't exactly known for their enlightened views on trans and/or intersex issues, but still.
posted by NoraReed at 1:10 PM on September 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Not all men...
posted by grouse at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2014




Reddit: Worse than cancer, death by dehydration.
posted by Justinian at 1:18 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The joke, if you can call it that, was built off a myth that masturbation may ward off prostate cancer.

FWIW that's not actually a myth. It's not definitively proven either way but results do suggest that increased frequency of ejaculation in men (not specifically masturbation but eh) corresponds to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

for example see Leitzmann "Ejaculation frequency and subsequent risk of prostate cancer" in JAMA.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on September 3, 2014


I suppose its more accurate to say "not necessarily a myth" rather than "not actually a myth".
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


>Come to think of it, I hope this one was forwarded to the police, because it's got a certain Elilot Rodger quality to it.

I went looking for it again in order to link to it here, but I can't find it now. If it's still there, it's buried in a sea of horribleness that I don't want to wade through.


I came across an RTed screenshot of it this morning.
posted by Lexica at 1:27 PM on September 3, 2014


There is a small part of me that wants to see these guys cycle through every damn charity out there and get turned down, and finally end up having to approach Darren Wilson's support fund. And I don't know whether it'd be more delicious to have Darren Wilson's fund accept it, and have that be a whole shitstorm of bad publicity all around, or to have Darren Wilson's fund refuse it too, so they're all "holy hell we can't even get THEM to accept it".

Most likely, they'll end up donating to some kind of free speech or civil liberties fund or whatever, but still.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on September 3, 2014




With regard to the "JL can't force us to take down the pics on copyright grounds because she probably doesn't own the copyrights", if we had images I would post that picture of The Big Lebowski saying "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole."
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on September 3, 2014


With regard to the "JL can't force us to take down the pics on copyright grounds because she probably doesn't own the copyrights", if we had images I would post that picture of The Big Lebowski saying "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole."

No, no--it was The Dude that said that, not the Big Lebowski:

"Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing."
posted by MoonOrb at 3:07 PM on September 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


There are also rights of publicity and privacy which are particularly associated with celebrities, and there may or may not be a case there. It's really pretty bad that copyright law can be used as a runaround here, and I hope anyone attempting to do so gets a suit filed against them.
posted by naju at 3:24 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I failed his Dudeness.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apropos of the last few comments: JL meeting JB
posted by zombieflanders at 4:44 PM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't buy it, given that I'm working on a project that involves multiple pages of legalese to photograph models for life drawing reference on a closed and firewalled intranet, more pages if the model is nude.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:50 PM on September 3, 2014


"Porn Site Won't Take Down JLaw's Nudes Until She Proves She Owns Them"

That's dumb. It's pretty much the fastest way to ensure a 2257 complaint, which can carry criminal charges, since it essentially regulates child porn. One of the ways that you prove that you have adequately ensured your compliance as a secondary producer is by documenting the copyright assignation from the primary producer. By denying this link, they can't say that they know that this isn't child porn. While it's rarely prosecuted, this is the sort of thing that a high profile case would include as added charges.

I mean, aside from the facts that 1) she'll have a massive civil case against them anyway for defamation as well as publicity and likeness claims, and 2) this is an unsourced page 6 blind item.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 PM on September 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Porn Site Won't Take Down JLaw's Nudes Until She Proves She Owns Them"

The speed at which the discourse over this event is changing is surprising. The first articles that I saw about the photos had direct links to the images, treating it more like a lighthearted scandal or like one of those embarrassing moments where a minor celebrity releases their own sex tape. A few days later, here they are carefully not even naming the website that is hosting the images, much less providing access to the images.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 PM on September 3, 2014


I think the scale and explicitness of the photos caught them off-guard.
posted by Justinian at 8:32 PM on September 3, 2014


Gross.
The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:05 AM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.

Helloooo lawsuit.

Seriously, the artist doesn't the copyright in those images. If they go ahead, they're toast.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:30 AM on September 4, 2014


Seriously, the artist doesn't the copyright in those images. If they go ahead, they're toast.

A 15 percent change is enough for fair use, no? I'm pretty sure that they will be ok and the free publicity will make up for any legal costs of a potential lawsuit.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 AM on September 4, 2014


The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.

Disgusting.
posted by Librarypt at 7:09 AM on September 4, 2014


urbanwhaleshark: The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:12 AM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And just when you thought things couldn't get worse.

Aliens, come beam me up. I want off this planet.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:23 AM on September 4, 2014


Er, British newspaper, am I missing something? CA and FL are two different things: "... his upcoming exhibition, named "No Delete" ... in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

I imagine the possibility of her saying, “Forget this,” and semi-retiring rather young.

If I had 50 million dollars I would totally retire at 24.
I am willing to take the risk and try this out.


OK, but first you have to be hounded by paps and scary fans for a few years (wish I could find a video I once saw of a crowd swarming her in an airport like Pod People). Then just before retiring you have stolen nude photos of yourself viewed by hundreds of millions of creeps. And turned into an "art" exhibit in either LA or FL, a Brit paper doesn't know the difference.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:27 AM on September 4, 2014


In the wake of a truly profound compromise of sensitive photographs of celebrities, those of us in Information Security find ourselves called upon to answer what this all means – to average citizens, to celebrities, to a global economy that has found itself transformed in ways not necessarily planned. Let’s talk about some things we don’t normally discuss.

(It's really a terrific article.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:10 PM on September 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I in no way mean to defend those profiting from the continued exploitation of the celebrities' private moments, but Gawker Media, with whom the feminist blog Jezebel (linked earlier in this thread) is affiliated, have a bit of a mixed record when it comes to the privacy of celebrities' sexual lives.

Hell, they have a mixed record when it comes to basic journalistic standards and human decency.

One might argue that what the Gawker mothership has done should in no way reflect on the reputation of Jezebel, much as we do not (for example) boycott The Simpsons because Fox News caters to racist shits.

But Gawker Media is hardly News Corp; it's a collection of perhaps a dozen different blogs with content that is pervasively syndicated and shared between them. Given that, I would argue that the staff of Jezebel are abominable hypocrites merely for their association and continued employment with the network.

I recognize that not everyone will have the will or technological know-how to edit their hosts file, as I did in the past to cold-turkey myself from their Kotaku property, but I hope you'll keep in mind when visiting their sites that while some good people may work for them, Gawker Media is not Good People.
posted by The Confessor at 2:11 PM on September 4, 2014


"The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles."

The "artist" seems like a schmuck, and they pretty certainly wrote their own wikipedia page, so I've been trying to a) not give them any more publicity, and b) get the page deleted.
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 PM on September 4, 2014


"A 15 percent change is enough for fair use, no? I'm pretty sure that they will be ok and the free publicity will make up for any legal costs of a potential lawsuit."

While you're likely right about their calculations re: publicity, the idea that there's a certain hard percentage of alteration that makes something fair use is a myth. And I can't imagine a competent IP lawyer contenting themselves with just copyright claims, versus defamation, publicity rights, etc.
posted by klangklangston at 11:49 PM on September 4, 2014


The "artist" seems like a schmuck

I quite agree, but there is a (sort of) precedent for this kind of thing, i.e. very controversial, illegally obtained images becoming later framed as 'art' due to their cultural relevance etc. Some of Ron Galella's blurry photos of Jackie Kennedy, taken as she was running away from him around the time she got an injunction against him, have found their way into MOMA's collection 40 years later.
posted by colie at 12:30 AM on September 5, 2014


The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.

It's going to be called the "Let the Rest of the World Know You Absolutely Despise Women Party."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:38 AM on September 5, 2014


The recently leaked private images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among others, are set to be printed onto life-sized canvases and exhibited at an upcoming event held in Los Angeles.

Christ, What an Asshole.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on September 5, 2014


As I’ve read more details on this entire story, I’ve become more depressed by it. The quantity of pictures, the lack of empathy, the blaming/shaming, the infantile sniggering, the downright woman-hating. Ugh. It’s a world different from just admiring and yes, perhaps fantasizing about people you find desirable.

It’s a terrible reminder that, just as gays and people of color are still treated as second-class citizens by too many people, too many men continue to view women as lesser beings: If you’re older/ not of supermodel looks, you’re a nothing. If you’re young, attractive and/or successful you’re an object to be simultaneously loathed, controlled and exploited.

(I wonder if the men who started this and reveled in the photos have ANY women in their personal/ professional lives they respect?)

By the way, in an attempt to try to feel better about people, I will pass along that some fans of Jennifer Lawrence were suggesting donating to *her* foundation, which supports a number of good charities: http://jlcharities.org.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:49 AM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I recognize that not everyone will have the will or technological know-how to edit their hosts file, as I did in the past to cold-turkey myself from their Kotaku property, but I hope you'll keep in mind when visiting their sites that while some good people may work for them, Gawker Media is not Good People.

This is why I created: http://gawkerblawker.com

I am such a happier person these days.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:16 PM on September 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't understand why nobody has been arrested yet. Haven't they had the name of that one guy who was distributing pics for a week now? The stupid one who took a screenshot of his homegroup? I suppose they could have decided he was just a dumb nobody and are attempting to use him to roll up the network.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2014


The subreddit most central to distributing the images has been banned from Reddit. There is also a Reddit statement about their policy.
posted by Nelson at 6:47 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


jesus f christ, I had trouble getting the reddit admins to shut down a subreddit that was being used to coordinate a DDoS on reddit. I should have just said hey kiddie porn.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:22 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


From Reddit's statement: The reason is because we consider ourselves not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community. The role and responsibility of a government differs from that of a private corporation, in that it exercises restraint in the usage of its powers.

Oh Reddit, you are full of teh dumb. USEnet was a network and platform and existed in the way you claim to want to exist. You are not a platform. You are not a network. You are a for profit company owned by Conde Nast.

Stop trying to make fetch "we're like a government" happen. It's not going to happen.
posted by Justinian at 7:38 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


And another lengthy explanation from Reddit.
posted by Nelson at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2014


Oh, the little man-boys ignorantly screaming about the violation of their "free speech rights," who equate their "freedom" with their right to steal, view stolen goods, denigrate and abuse women. Who give two craps about a woman's privacy rights.

But speaking of private lives made public: I googled the one guy who has been ID'd so far trying to sell some pics. An article mentioned he recently had a baby girl. Oh, the icky irony. Perhaps Jennifer Lawrence's dad could share with him the joys and heartaches of being father to a daughter.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:52 AM on September 7, 2014






We’d All Benefit if Celebs Sue Apple Over the Photo Hack

This is one case where the Streisand Effect probably doesn't apply, considering how widely known these photos are already.
posted by grouse at 2:49 PM on September 7, 2014


Reddit user made famous off celeb nude photos wants his privacy back. 'Johnsmcjohn' feels undue media attention has been turned on him"
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, poor baby.
posted by KathrynT at 8:14 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


"We're not a company, we're a government."

'Oh, I don't like your government very much. How do I change it?'

'Well, uh, you'd have to join the management team or have Conde Nast change the management team from above.'

'Gee, that sounds a lot more like a company than a government.'

'…'

'Also, how come nekkid pictures aren't "personal information"? Isn't that banned?'

'…'

'What kind of courts option do I have to pursue this claim within Reddit?'

'…'

'Isn't a for-profit "government" that's not answerable to its citizens the kind of thing that would only sound good to libertarian assholes who want to avoid responsibility when it's convenient rather than actually follow through with the obligations of a state?'

"… downvote."
posted by klangklangston at 9:09 AM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


The subreddit most central to distributing the images has been banned from Reddit. There is also a Reddit statement about their policy.

And since it's typical terrible reddit communications, the policy essentially says they don't ban subreddits. Thus the need for the lengthy follow-up saying "we didn't ban it for content, we banned it for being too much DMCA notice work." Which really pleases no one.
posted by smackfu at 9:15 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


We’d All Benefit if Celebs Sue Apple Over the Photo Hack

Problem here is they would lose.

From everything I've been reading this was a weak password/social hack. Apple has provisions in place to prevent either of these attacks. It's sort of the stepping on the top step of the ladder sort of thing. You can ignore the sign and do it, but don't cry when you break your leg. You don't have to use two step authentication and a strong password, but don't cry when your data is accessed.

People think Apple should have forced users to use these features, but then they cry when Apple does dictate. "On Android I get to make those choices!" Apple has done a lot to insure security on their devices. I trust my devices with my credit card info. I trust iCloud to store my encrypted passwords (the keys to the kingdom!). When you force someone to use this stuff, when you can't use the device until you have set everything up securely, then people get frustrated and either skip it or put in ridiculously simple pass codes.

I also have two step authentication on and my password isn't pa$$word!
posted by cjorgensen at 9:26 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, if celebs all made reddit accounts, would their privacy suddenly be inviolable there too?
posted by jeather at 9:48 AM on September 8, 2014


sure, if they're men.
posted by nadawi at 10:24 AM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Reddit user made famous off celeb nude photos wants his privacy back.

All you have to do is enter that same username into the search of a well-known, chirpy social media site and there he is. IMO he's getting off on the attention.

So there's three types of people involved in this. Could someone review again what criminal charges/ civil lawsuits could be brought against:
1) Someone who shared the pics (not sold), esp. someone like this guy involved in creating a "distribution system,"
2) People like the Georgia guy ID'd as trying to sell a pic?
3) The hacker-thieves themselves?
posted by NorthernLite at 10:26 AM on September 8, 2014


cjorgensen: I think any decent legal team have little trouble finding a panel of technical experts who would argue that not rate-limiting passwords at all or using a slow function like PBKDF2 is gross negligence for a public facing service which holds sensitive data. Slowing down guessing is a simple, easy compromise for avoiding mandatory hard-to-remember passwords.
posted by adamsc at 4:36 PM on September 8, 2014


"Virtuous behavior is only virtuous if not arrived at by compulsion"

Yo, Reddit CEO, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but compulsion of virtue has been a primary function of pretty much every government for ALL TIME. Every government for all time!

Like what is the other point of a government if not to compel "virtuous" behavior, like respect of property rights or personal freedoms, that others might run roughshod over? These guys need to at least have one liberal arts grad read over these manifestos before they release them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


The other point of government? The only point of government is seignorage! Surely the upvotes will legitimize the coinage! And people will voluntarily join the state because of the lower inefficiency of their state's seignorage! Truly this government, alone among its peers, will flourish due to the lack of negative incentives!

DGZgxnPZg1gsAcD1EX62FH7fHeGyXNa1Fx Vote with your Dogecoins!
posted by klangklangston at 7:40 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


To the moon!
posted by Justinian at 8:05 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think any decent legal team have little trouble finding a panel of technical experts who would argue that not rate-limiting passwords at all or using a slow function like PBKDF2 is gross negligence for a public facing service which holds sensitive data.

Absolutely agree, but even as the linked article states there's little likelihood of anyone actually being fined or whatnot. My guess is Apple would show they weren't the only one's hit by this attack and that it's a matter of branding your lawsuits.

Also, there's been no statement on how these hacks actually occurred. There's been speculation and theory, but someone would have to prove the passwords were compromised due to Apple's negligence and not through the users'. It's a pretty high bar, especially if there were weak passwords used.

The public perception hit Apple is taking is worse for them than any fine anyway.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:13 AM on September 9, 2014


This New York Times article about the forthcoming Apple smart watch claims that the success or failure of the thing hinges on whether Apple can get health care providers to partner with them on it, and that hinges on whether Apple can convince health care providers that the data will be secure enough to comply with HIPAA regulations. If it comes out that this was some sort of massive security problem on Apple's part, I wonder if it will tank the smart watch. The article says that they're not allowing app developers to store data on iCloud, but I still think it could make investors and partners skittish.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:21 AM on September 9, 2014


Does the new iPhone upload your nude pictures directly to 4chan or is that a separate add-on?
posted by Justinian at 12:43 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]




i don't know if anyone's still reading this thread but reddit exploded with more leaks last night. Had to log out, they were all over the front page.
posted by rebent at 11:26 AM on September 20, 2014


leaks are often something done by the entertainer to help a promotional cycle, or by a rival to embarrass - there's often a question of if it was actually ill gotten or just pr. these pictures aren't leaked, they are the proof of a criminal act.
posted by nadawi at 11:30 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think this is going to go on for months. There are clearly hundreds or thousands of pictures and videos of scores of celebrities floating around. Everything about this is crazy. I'm still very surprised nobody has gotten pinched for either stealing or distributing them yet though.
posted by Justinian at 12:01 PM on September 20, 2014


I'm still very surprised nobody has gotten pinched for either stealing or distributing them yet though.

We've had a hard enough time convincing people just In this thread that this was a crime. Why is it a surprise that the authorities don't think it is?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:49 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought the discussion was about just looking at the pictures not any debate about whether actually stealing and distributing them was a crime but I might not have been following along properly at home.

It has become obvious that internet security is mostly a joke and the only thing that is protecting most of our privacy is the apathy of our fellow human beings. Nobody cares enough about me to look for nudie pics or anything else on my cell phone or Apple account or whatever.

People do care, unfortunately, about the pics of these women and so they were stolen, apparently pretty easily. It's sad and awful. I'm just surprised people were able to keep it secret for so long and accumulate so many.
posted by Justinian at 1:20 PM on September 20, 2014


God, they need to get a handle on this somehow. Supposedly the amount released today is even larger than the initial wave. What a fiasco.
posted by Justinian at 7:51 PM on September 20, 2014


I saw the original leaked photos when they were linked in the early articles and I can't see judging anyone who saw them then or sought them out to see what the excitement was about.

But honestly I feel different about this second batch. It's more of the same but way, way grosser now that the context is clear and the parameters are established. I do feel judgmental about seeking these out in a way I didn't before and I hope they don't get such universal distribution.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:11 PM on September 20, 2014


From the Emma Watson thread, apparently since she has had the nerve to stand up and talk in public, shitty shitheads on 4chan are being all ha ha we have nekkid pix of u and will show them to everyone!

I hope their heads fall off.
posted by rtha at 1:19 PM on September 22, 2014




Other hacked celebrities include actress Scarlett Johansson, Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel, Rihanna, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Nichols, Meagan Good, and Gabrielle Union, among others.

"Among others" is an understatement. From what I understand from discussions online the number of pics and videos leaked (and the number of actresses targeted) is many times bigger than in the original crapfest a couple weeks ago. It sounds really bad. I hope the hackers get busted soon but it sounds like it will be difficult to find them.

A bunch of famous women have been forced to delete their twitter accounts because assholes were replying to every tweet they made with stuff like "I've seen your *****!!" and such except without the *.

People can be so awful.
posted by Justinian at 6:50 PM on September 22, 2014


From a quick google around to check the number of photos, it looks like this round is actually pretty substantially smaller. A lot of the photos, like many of Johansson's and Rihanna's, are ones that had already been out there in previous "scandals." The celeb's lawyers have gotten the main repository to have to locate "offshore" (I haven't done any traceroute or anything) to avoid DCMA complaints. I'm surprised that they haven't hired gray hat folks to DDOS it, especially since it seems pretty strained under the current load (there are plenty of fora where folks are imagining some feminist DDOS conspiracy already). Another interesting thing is that the guy running the site is Canadian, and they have tougher laws on a lot of this stuff than Americans do. I'd wager that he gets tracked down and prosecuted.

(I have to say, I think the precedent that linking to things can be illegal is a bad one, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it trotted out here, especially when the imgur stuff is so willful.)

So, still shitty dickbags, but a lot of it is hype.
posted by klangklangston at 7:32 PM on September 22, 2014




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