Monday, September 1, 2014

Horrified

So there's a bit of a scandal going on right now. If you haven't already heard, some mouth breather from 4chan hacked/phished/accessed/stole hundreds, if not thousands, of photos from (allegedly) the iCloud from dozens of young (female, of course) celebrities.
And, yes, most of them (at least the ones he's selling) are of these girls in various states of undress... and some are downright X-rated.

I hate to lump all of everyone in together, but for the purposes of this post, I'm calling a group of people who are accessing these photos, and defending their actions, "the internet".  I'm really referring to a select group of male internet users. So when  you read this and decide to nail me for lumping everyone in together, if you're as outraged by this huge illegal theft as I am, then I'm not talking about you.
If, however, you're one of the people who've found a way to justify this crime, then this is absolutely for you.

I have a few issues with this whole travesty.

First off, there is the group of men (I've yet to see a female making this distinction) who view Edward Snowden as their god for exposing the horrors of the NSA, yet lose their shit when this crime is compared to the NSA spying because (quoting from Reddit here) "It's not the same thing, you fucking retard faggot!" Name-calling is particularly popular with these gentlemen. Especially the use of "faggot" and "retard", thus displaying both their own lack of confidence in their own sexuality and their lack of maturity beyond 7th grade.
Here's the thing: Of course, it's not the same thing. But do you think for one second that these women give a single shit about the who? No, they don't. Doesn't matter to them if it was Barack Obama himself, or Todd, the computer geek living in his mother's basement.

They are victims of a crime, plain and simple. A really horrible crime, at that. Such an incredible violation. I'm not going to compare this to rape or sexual abuse, but this is a sexual crime... and in some cases, child pornography as at least one of these women was under 18 at the time the photos were taken.

These were moments that were private to them... to be shared with someone special. And this isn't a case of an angry ex sharing their photos on one of those trashy websites. This was some creepy anonymous stranger that must have spent hours and hours on this little crime. That's beyond creepy... that's... sick.

So, no... this isn't quite the same as the government spying... but that doesn't make it any less of a violation.
Secondly, there is a large number of internet users who are falling back on victim blaming. Nothing on the Internet is private and if they didn't want the world to see these photos, they shouldn't have taken them.

Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

NONE of the fault lies with these women. None. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of this little turd who stole the photos.

Oh, and yes, the thousands of people (men) who hunger with this need to see a woman naked. Because there aren't millions of photos on the web of women who willingly pose for photos to be published for their fapping enjoyment.
How about we stop blaming everyone except the one single person responsible for this? These women own these photos, just the same as they own their clothes, or cars, or bottle of shampoo. And they can choose to take these photos and share them with whomever they want.

And just because criminals can access them doesn't make it okay to do that. It is a crime. It is theft.
The shame is NOT in these women taking these photos. Bravo for them for embracing their sexuality and sharing it with the special person (or persons) in their lives. Bravo to them for seeing the beauty and sensuality in their bodies.

The shame is in being a criminal. A thief.

This guy has become some sort of Internet hero in the last 24 hours. He is being lauded and praised and celebrated.
That's fucking disgusting. It's god damn grotesque and I'm horrified. I'm horrified for these women and I'm horrified for society. 

What the fuck is wrong with the world when we turn a common thief into an idol? How is this okay?

Is it okay when a thief breaks into someone's house and steals their belongings? No, of course it isn't. How is this any different? It's not.

This is a new world we're living in... our property and possessions aren't all physical objects. But, damn it, it's NOT okay to steal them just because you don't have to physically break a lock and cart something out underneath your arm.

Jesus, people... this whole situation absolutely sickens me. 

These people have been violated. Personal space isn't just a physical thing. This little shit-head will be caught... and I really, really hope that he rots in prison for a very long time. I hope we as a society can absolutely destroy his life. He's utterly despicable. 

And you know what else is a fucking shame? I hesitated writing this post. I don't want to be doxxed by someone who reads this and gets all butthurt by being called out for being scum. 

But I'm doing it anyway, because fuck that. I won't stand by quietly giving my tacit consent to this crime. I know I'm taking a risk. I only hope that anyone who reads this takes a good hard look inside themselves and finds their humanity. 

I know there will always be people who commit crimes. I'm not that naive. But I refuse to give up hope that the world will get its shit together and start holding these people accountable. To shame them. To refuse to give them the praise and attention that they want.

Because if that doesn't happen... I don't even know what hope their is for us. 

Decency. Compassion. Empathy. Find it.

7 comments:

  1. I shall summarily +1 upon this post. You said it well, Beth, and I hope that whoever you were concerned about reading this takes the mature path and sees the wisdom in your words.

    I will say one thing though. I shall not shed an ounce of victim-blaming, but there are smart ways to manage private data and not-smart ways. Keeping photos on the cloud is a NOT smart way, and I hope society starts to learn this valuable lesson.

    Of course, regardless of where the photos were kept, private data was stolen and used in an illegal -AND- immoral manner, and this crime is not one ounce less heinous just because the photos were kept on the cloud.

    My 2 cents.

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    1. See, I'm pretty smart. But I have no fucking idea WHY it's not smart to back stuff up on the cloud. I protect my stuff with a password and the little thingie always tells me I've chosen a strong password, and I change it regularly.

      You know what I don't do? I don't change the locks on my doors at home, nor my car door locks.

      And I'm not expected to. Hell, even if I left my doors unlocked, people still generally can understand that taking something that doesn't belong to you is wrong. It sucks that I have to lock anything. It sucks that we have to lock anything.

      And I understand why we do... because there are criminals.

      Many years ago, back in the day when cell phones were large bricks, I was in Las Vegas. I had a brick phone and left it in my car while I went into a casino with some friends. I forgot to lock the doors, and yes, the phone was stolen.

      My fault? Nope. The fault lies solely with the asshat who opened my unlocked car and stole my phone.

      A couple of years ago my elderly father got an email from "AOL" requesting his password and social security number. You can imagine what happened.

      His fault? Nope. The fault lies solely with the criminal who wiped him out.

      I understand what you're saying and you're right... but, fuck. Being not-smart shouldn't leave a person vulnerable to being a victim of a crime.

      People shouldn't be criminals. Period.

      It just makes me really sad that we have to live this way, and it's only going to get worse in the internet age. :-(

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  2. Re: [But I have no fucking idea WHY it's not smart to back stuff up on the cloud.]

    It depends on how private what you're backing up is. The thing is, anything that's connected to the internet - especially an internet service that's designed to be accessed easily from anywhere - is vulnerable to hacking. If it were me storing a sex-tape or compromising pictures, I would do so on a physical medium (flash drive/Data CD/something) which is not connected to the internet in my own house, or other location that I have control over. For extra security, encrypt the buggers. That way, someone would have to physically break into my house, find my hiding spot, AND break the encryption in order to get at my sensitive data.

    What I don't get is how these celebrities, in this age of leaked sex tapes/photos, don't have people briefing them on good practices, or at least just telling them not to put their sex videos in a location where they can be accessed via the internet.

    [I understand what you're saying and you're right... but, fuck. Being not-smart shouldn't leave a person vulnerable to being a victim of a crime. ]
    [It just makes me really sad that we have to live this way, and it's only going to get worse in the internet age. :-(]

    Agreed 100%. To make matters worse, we as a society are not educating our little humans well enough in figuring out what's a scam and what's not, what can be spoofed and what can't, etc.

    And as you noted, ALL of the fault of this violation lies with the criminals, none with the ladies whos' accounts were hacked. My heart goes out to them. If it weren't for criminals, this kind of thing would never happen.








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    1. "What I don't get is how these celebrities, in this age of leaked sex tapes/photos, don't have people briefing them on good practices, or at least just telling them not to put their sex videos in a location where they can be accessed via the internet."

      Why? You described what you'd do if you were to take "compromising" photos, etc., you'd keep them under literal lock and key. So what's the point of taking them if they aren't going to be shared with someone?

      Many of these women caught in this latest theft are often traveling for their work, possibly taking them a long distance away from their lovers.

      These photos are a way for them to continue being intimate. Hell, I should know. I'm in a long distance relationship. We're lucky enough to have SL but these folks chose to use other methods to be intimate with their partners.

      That's the age we live in. And why shouldn't they be able to do that? Why is that wrong? Why do they need someone warning them of the dangers?

      People crave intimacy. We're sometimes spread out far and wide and that doesn't lessen our need for intimacy. The internet has given us great tools to make it easier.

      There is nothing wrong or stupid about what they did. And it's not going to stop.

      So instead of being worried about educating people about what's safe and what isn't (children, yes, absolutely) why aren't we worried about stopping the crime of cyber theft?

      My love is over 1,000 miles away from me. I'm going to share all sorts of lascivious things with him... using the internet. It's my right.

      No one has the right to steal what I send. That is where the discussion needs to be.

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  3. [Why? You described what you'd do if you were to take "compromising" photos, etc., you'd keep them under literal lock and key. So what's the point of taking them if they aren't going to be shared with someone?]

    Well, yes, I'd share with those who I trusted to both intentionally keep it to themselves, and to use the proper security precautions on the data. But otherwise I'd keep them in a storage medium not connected to the internet.

    [Many of these women caught in this latest theft are often traveling for their work, possibly taking them a long distance away from their lovers.]

    This is a 100% fair point and makes the full precautions that I was talking about not viable, however, they could still store their own copy of the pictures encrypted on a flash drive, which would be highly portable.

    [That's the age we live in. And why shouldn't they be able to do that? Why is that wrong? Why do they need someone warning them of the dangers?]
    [So instead of being worried about educating people about what's safe and what isn't (children, yes, absolutely) why aren't we worried about stopping the crime of cyber theft?]

    I think you start to misunderstand my message here. They are not wrong for sharing. They are not wrong for using the tech available to them to make connections that are rewarding to them.

    They need to be warned about the dangers because the criminals do exist. And as much as it pains me to say, these people are jerks who do this kind of hacking for kicks and to show off and they're not going away anytime soon. One part of the solution to the problem is catching these people and making them face consequences for their actions. Another part is educating people to ensure that they know that private photos such as these, released without permission, are a egregious violation of privacy. The last part of the solution is to educate people so they know how to handle their data safely in the sadly imperfect world that we live in, where people either don't know or don't care that this kind of behavior hurts people.

    Again, there's nothing wrong with celebrities being human and enjoying the sharing of private photos. And I'm sure many people are deeply concerned with the problem of preventing these cyber thefts and bringing the criminals to justice (especially at this moment). But until the perfect world where everyone is respectful of each other is realized, it's also important to know how to protect yourself and your data 'cause the bad guys are out there.

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    1. Eh, I can't argue with any of that...

      I think the thing that really disgusts me most is how people are reacting. As if they have some weird right to see these photos... or that the situation is funny. That it's not an incredible violation.

      And that's a pretty ugly reflection on a large segment of society. Might have to tackle that in a completely separate post... lol

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    2. Yeah, no argument here. Although, on the positive side, I think the large majority of these cases are people who don't realize they're doing harm, as opposed to people who delight in doing harm. Small consolation for the victim, but I'd rather be surrounded by the oblivious than the malicious.

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