Celebrity Hackers Are a Violation of Human Rights
By Levuanna Gray, Junior Writer
Albert Einstein once said, “It is appallingly obvious our technology has exceeded our humanity.” This statement is totally true especially in today’s society. If this is not the case, what other plausible explanation could there be for the recent leakage of celebrity nude photographs on the Internet?
For most of September, the media has been plagued with stories of the circulation of the nude photos of female celebrities. Is it that as a society, we are so engrossed in this new age of technology that we have forgotten the common simple traits that make us humane?
It is sickening to think that we have been so desensitized to violating another’s private space to the extent where we are no longer alarmed or repulsed by these photographs, and hence, we pass them off as the norm. The question I ask is how long will we remain silent while more and more women are being denied their right to privacy? Are we going to sit back until it is someone near and dear to one of us, for us then to decide to just cause an uproar? These women, despite celebrity status, are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of individuals in society. They are the wives of pastors and businessmen and are subject to undue attention because of an apparent gender bias.
This September, virtually all of the top media powerhouses, including CNN, NBC and BBC, all reported how hackers breached the security safeguards of iCloud and gained access to the accounts of various celebrities with the sole aim of leaking their nude pictures.
Shortly after the leak, it was discovered that the hack was planned on AnonIB, an anonymous internet forum. Since then, many screen captures of the conversations of the hackers have been circulating on the internet. One website, Businessinsider.com, shared most of the original conversation. One of the alleged masterminds behind this act, who goes by the pseudonym “Original Guy”, stated that his sole reason for gathering the pictures was to get money. According to the article, he said, "Sure, I got $120 with my Bitcoin address, but when you consider how much time was spent acquiring this stuff (I'm not the hacker, just a collector), and the money (I paid a lot via Bitcoin as well to get certain sets when this stuff was being privately traded on Friday/Saturday) I really didn't get close to what I was hoping for.”
It is really shocking to believe that this man was unremorseful. His only concern was that he never got what he believed was an appropriate price for the exploitation of these women. His actions caused showers of comments and critique upon women whose intentions were likely nothing more than sharing their bodies with their significant other. Images like these, it is sad to say, will always be “out there” once they hit the Internet. It is absolutely sickening to think that his concern is simply that he wasn’t paid enough.
The leak has been the recurring “trending topic”-- a cycle on various social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as being spoken about by different people in daily conversations. The alleged leak has been wagging on the tongues of virtually every person, and how the hackers were unforgiving when it came to choosing whose photos they leaked. They posted pictures newly-wed actress Gabrielle Union, teen stars Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande, megastar Rihanna and an abundance of other celebrities. Married or not, these hackers didn’t have a care in the world, as they made sure to include many married celebrities as well, including Haley Cuoco, Meagan Good, Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and Jennifer Lawrence.
Many of those affected in the leak have released statements regarding the leak, but in all reality, why should they have to? Why should they have to explain? Many persons are unaware that Celebrities have a “Right to Publicity” which means that they reserve the right to profit or earn from their celebrity status. This means that celebrities can potentially sue any party who profits off illegally obtained images of their likeness. Parties, who, despite not hacking to receive the images, but disseminate them, are also liable. The loophole is however that most if not all celebrities cannot be bothered to track and sue each person who is involved in the perpetuation of the cycle of leaking nudes, but should they decide to do so, they are legally entitled to.
It is awkward to think that women, now more than ever, have to go to extremes to protect their passwords. Images have to now be password protected and encrypted, so that private lives now have to be compromised as to not to risk the circulation of these images. We all now have to think about what we do behind closed doors because there are sick persons out there who are going above and beyond to access our private lives. It is sickening. While Apple can only do so much, people will just have to understand that every inch of our privacy boundaries are being violated.
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