Celeb Photo 'Hack' Really a Sex Crime

Blaming the celebs is like blaming any sex-crime victim
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2014 4:40 PM CDT
Celeb Photo 'Hack' Really a Sex Crime
Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers as she arrives at the "Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1" party at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 17, 2014.   (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

Jennifer Lawrence and the other celebrities who had their personal nude photos dumped online have not merely been "scrutinized" or "hacked"—they've been sexually violated for the whole world to see, writes Van Badham at the Guardian. As a sex crime, "it deserves the same social and legal punishment as meted out to stalkers and other sexual predators," she writes. "There are suggestions that prosecution may result not only for the hacker of the photos, but for those who view and share them. Good." Among other reactions:

  • To blame the victims for not storing the images safely is like saying women must dress conservatively, move in groups, "or what-have-you to lessen the chance that someone will attempt to assault them," writes Scott Mendelson at Forbes. A side note: The victims lost "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."
  • It's ironic that people "vehemently protest a free Facebook Messenger app because we're outraged at reports that it can access our phone's numbers, and yet turn around and excuse the serving up of women's bodies for our own pleasure," writes Clementine Ford at Daily Life.
  • "The really depressing part is that by even commenting on [the photos], you're advertising their existence," writes Charles Crook at CitiBlog. Others have condemned the photo leak, "and yet all this seems to be doing is alerting the previously unaware" to the photos and "almost telling them to go and seek them out."

Meanwhile, Apple says it's investigating the attack (which apparently happened via iCloud), while experts are advising people to use so-called "two-step verification" (using a password and a code sent to a device) to avoid such hacks, Re/Code reports. Lawrence and Kate Upton are both interested in seeking legal action, TMZ reports, and the FBI says it's "addressing the matter." (Read more hacking stories.)

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