What Should Be The Punishment For Jennifer Lawrence Photo Leak? Should There Even Be One?
Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and numerous other lady celebrities have had their naked photos published by hackers who gained entry to Apple’s iCloud.
Queue the predictable outrage. In this day and age it’s really stupid to take naked selfies, especially if you are a celebrity. Don’t do it. It’s dumb. Like really dumb.
It’s a terrible thing to break into someone’s computer and to take images that don’t belong to you but is it really a felony? And if so, what should be the punishment?
Incredibly some stars are comparing the photo leak to rape and saying that it’s blaming the victim to offer that obvious advice.
Guess we’re blaming the victim then for pointing out that we live in the real world or something.
I’m sorry but stealing nude photos isn’t anywhere close to rape, a violent crime that damages a woman’s body forever.
Anyway, all links to these leaked/hacked photos should lead to a website about consent and rape culture. Tech people: you can do this, yes?
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) August 31, 2014
Nor is clicking on the photos somehow causing the invasion.
— Alex Needham (@alexneedham74) September 1, 2014
Okay, or maybe you’re just curious and not a rapist?
And what about all the media that profited off of the photos?
Does someone who wears a catskin suit and is painted blue really have something to say about the modesty culture?
Jennifer Lawrence’s spokesman has said that they will prosecute anyone who publishes the photos. Twitter says it will suspend the accounts of anyone that reposts them.
But what should the punishment be?
In 2012, a hacker posted just two nude images of Scarlett Johansson and got ten years in prison.
As best as I can tell, the photos had zero effect on Johansson’s career and may have actually given her more notoriety.
I wonder how long this new one will get? Probably more. "Scarlett Johansson Hacker Gets 10 Years | WIRED http://t.co/78nnh3Acnh"
— Erika Cruz (@EverErika) September 1, 2014
In 2012, Aaron Swartz was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for downloading academic articles even though his alleged “victim” — JSTOR — didn’t want him prosecuted.
Had Swartz served 30 years, he would have served more time than the eight years meted out to Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s girlfriend and accomplice. He would have served more time than a runner in a sex ring (15 months); a Roxbury city councilor who took a $1,000 bribe (three years); and a state senator who took more than $23,000 in bribes (four years). Swartz would have spent even more time in prison than Tarek Mahenna, a U.S.-born Muslim pharmacist sentenced to 17 ½ years for helping Al-Qaeda kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq and for translating the terrorist group’s propaganda material.
Instead, Swartz, drained of money, killed himself.
These laws will be necessarily poorly applied and selectively enforced.
Sarah Palin’s hacker got only one year probation for breaking into the emails of a vice presidential candidate.
Remember when, coincidentally, Sarah Palin's email was hacked by the son of a Democratic politician during the 2008 race?
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) June 14, 2013
It looks like we’re talking hundreds of years for the hundreds of celebrities hacked. It seems crazy that a hacker could get hundreds of years for all infractions.
Does someone really deserve to go to jail for that long when we don’t even give murderers that much time?
And what’s the role for publishers here?
And what if you are given images you don’t know to be hacked? Should you be on the hook for it? Do you have a responsibility to know?
Better start jailing all of those reporters who posted the hacked documents from WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden rather than giving them Pulitzers then.
And what about when companies have data breaches and your material is free?
What if Andrew Breitbart were given photos that may have been hacked of Anthony Weiner taking dick pics of himself?
This is not an ideal concern for those of us who are publishers in the new media age and who routinely deal with anonymous researchers who trade information.
Should Andrew Breitbart not have published them?
It’s a problem without an easy solution but we used to have a notion that the punishment should fit the crime. Let’s get back to it.
@ChuckCJohnson that's 9 years and 6 months longer than the guy who was convicted of murdering my grandfather got.
— Chris Ballance (@ballance) September 1, 2014
Perhaps we should have laws that allow people to file copyright claims on themselves, in much the same way that Hollywood studios file DCMA complaints against people who take content without permission.
And before you go on and on about how terrible hacking is, I’ve been hacked, too.
I redouble my security and hope for the best. Everyone else should, too.