Consequences

Jennifer Lawrence and many others have had their nude photos leaked online. A shame and something I absolutely do not condone. It is a heinous breach of someone’s privacy and a generally terrible thing to do to someone. I hope the perpetrator is caught and prosecuted fairly under the law.

Blame

Blame for this act is first, and foremost, squarely on the people who committed the act. The <s>hacker(s)<s/> criminal(s) who did this should be punished fairly under the law. No question. This is a gross breech of privacy and trust. I would hesitate to blame the entire thing on one person, though, as it appears that this has been a long operation with more than one person potentially involved.

There is some blame left for the content creators. As sacrilegious as it is to say: If you’re taking nude pictures of yourself then you are making it possible for this crime to happen. It’s not that you’re not allowed to, or that you shouldn’t. You simply need to realize there are consequences to everything you do, no matter how secure you feel.

I feel like people don’t tend to understand the Right to Privacy in a similar way they don’t understand the Freedom of Speech. You are fully allowed to do these things, say what you want, take pictures of your dong. Whatever. The problem is that these freedoms don’t free you from the consequences of your actions. Yell “fire” in a crowded theater, send your girlfriend a picture of your dong, either way, be prepared for the consequences of that action.

Shame

The SJW/White Knight crowd is already out in force, defending these poor, innocent millionaires and public figures who are, by very definition famous because of our/the media’s obsession with them. They literally thrive on public attention and obsession. It sells their movies, products and other affiliated merchandise.

Some are saying that just by looking at these pictures you are some sort of pervert of reprobate. That the act of being curious and a sexual being, you are, in fact, a horrible person. I don’t even want to try and deconstruct the twisted logic on that one.

If you’re looking for shame, it should be on the national media who eats these kinds of news stories up. They sell ads on provocatively named articles and rake in that sweet, sweet ad money. Who cares if it’s a trashy piece full of incoherent facts and scathing blanket statements about a class of people?

Remedy

DON’T TAKE NUDE PHOTOGRAPHS OF YOURSELF.

Seriously. When you take a photo of yourself, you’re taking a risk of loosing control of it. Most of the time, taking a photo is no big deal. It’s not damaging that someone else sees it. I would wager that many people take pictures for the sole purpose of showing it to others.

This is further complicated when you have devices (like your phone) that are connected to the Internet and designed to either store images in “The Cloud” or you actively share these photos with someone you trust. Either way, you are actively loosing control of these images, permanently.

Now, you could set strong passwords, use two-factor authentication and encrypt the files. That would go a long way against a would-be thief. However you still have the problem that you cannot effectively control access to these things. I mean, even if you had a good, strong password and used two-factor authentication, the spooks over at the NSA have had years of practice accessing these types of systems for “legal” purposes. Who is to say that one of those people didn’t just happen to “accidentally” hoover up a folder full of those incriminating photos. Just saying…

How about we have a real discussion about why this is wrong, and why the cult of celebrity has to stop? Why not make this into a teachable moment that shows that over idolization of people can incentivize this kind of behavior? We could segue into a discussion as to why boobs, butts, vagina’s and penis’ (penii?) aren’t taboo. We all have them, why is it a big deal if you see someone else’s?

While we’re at it, we can make the thousands of smaller cases, just like this, that the FBI investigates yearly a bigger topic of discussion and perhaps the real taboo can be finally placed where it belongs: on the crime of violating someone’s privacy. Maybe that will lead to bigger changes, like less government snooping, and a real change in atmosphere around the entertainment industry being a “sex sells” kind of place to a “story sells” industry. I doubt it, but it’s worth a shot.