Opinion: Let's Make A Deal About Those Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photos, Ok?

You may have already heard today that a 4chan hacker allegedly leaked nude photos of attractive female celebrities on the internet. Said celebrities include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Ariana Grande. Before you fire up that incognito window in Chrome to look at said leaks, let's all take a second to think about where you stand on a few issues. It's time for us to make a deal about those nude photos.

Image: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

For those who are out of the loop, nude photos of the aforementioned celebrities were leaked on 4chan overnight, with the alleged leaker reportedly in possession of loads more images of other female celebrities. The so-called "master list" is being circulated online, and some 4channers are even asking for donations to leak additional video footage.

We won't link to the photos. We won't link to the 4chan thread or the Imgur thread or the Reddit posts about any of these photos. Not just because it's wrong and will get us sued, but because privacy is a real thing that should be respected by all.

You can accuse me in the comments of being too sensitive, or a closet feminist, or whatever the internet is calling people who stand up for the right to privacy these days, but this should go beyond simple name calling. It's about everyone having the right to privacy.

Even in 2014 where the culture of invasive paparazzi and rumour-mongering about celebrities runs rampant: everyone should feel like they can do things in the privacy of their own bedrooms and not fear them being splashed across the internet.

Host of The Feed and Download This Show, Marc Fennell said it best this morning.

If you've ever objected to your privacy being violated by tough policies like metadata collection, or mass surveillance, or Facebook toying with user emotions in news feeds or whatever, you probably shouldn't look at these photos — for risk of being a massive hypocrite.

Everyone has the right to privacy, even celebrities.

Even if you think they're just still images and can't hurt anyone, consider Mary Elizabeth Winstead's words:

These aren't just photos of people in movies. They're people who are most likely horrified that stuff they thought was private is now all over the goddamn internet.

So now that you've read all that, let's you and me make a deal. Right here and now.

If you read this and then go and look at leaked celebrity nude photos, you have to promise the internet that you'll never complain about policies like data retention, NSA mass surveillance or any of that sort of shit ever again.

Furthermore, you must take to the comments section and upload your own nude photo, because sharing is caring. Mmm, k?



    If you take photos of yourself naked, even if you aren't a celebrity, and then proceed to be 'shocked' when they leak then I have little sympathy for you.

      what's your email login and password?

        What I'm saying is if it got hacked I wouldn't be shocked, it's the internet.

          don't backtrack now, you were saying you would 'have little sympathy', I wanted to put that to the test.

            It's not backtracking at all, it's exactly the same thing... these celebs didn't freely hand out the photos just like I wouldn't freely hand out my login details but if my details were hacked I wouldn't be surprised. The internet is a public network where private things can be (albeit illegally) accessed, I don't see why anyone is surprised, nor do I care.

            Last edited 02/09/14 5:25 pm

              And the biggest douche on Gizmodo has been found!

                Do you feel better about yourself now? That added nothing to the conversation at all, it didn't form an opinion on the topic at hand or try to offer a different way to think about the issue. My point is and always was; the internet is not safe, why are people shocked this happened? Granted my opinion is a purely objective way to look at it but at least it's an opinion, all you have achieved is calling someone on the internet a douche.

                  People don't feel bad because they're shocked, they feel bad because their naked bodies are all over the internet. I've got sympathy for that, I'd hate it to be me.

          So if your online bank details got hacked and you lost all your money, you wouldn't be shocked?

            Money is replaceable. You can't exactly delete a nude picture off the internet, especially not when it gets circulated like this.

        He did say hacked.... it's up to you to get those details. He'd simply be handing them out otherwise ;)

          I was trying social engineering, the easiest, most successful form of hacking.

          Last edited 01/09/14 4:16 pm

            Sounds good, I also know someone who's opinions don't line up with mine. Teach me this "social engineering" so we can get even and post their pictures on the web ....oh wait....

      So if I took photos of myself naked then put the memory card in a safety deposit box at the local bank, and then I'm shocked that they get leaked, you'll have no sympathy for me? What if I keep the memory card in a safe at home, bolted to the floor? Better yet, what if they are prints in a safe at home bolted to the floor? How about then?

        If you are taking those kinds of photos of yourself then you want them to be seen, so none of these people have my sympathy in any way, shape or form. These are celebrities we're talking about - They have more than enough money to hire wunderkind IT advisors and specialists and protect themselves, and they are well aware of the risks.

        The same goes for Joe Blow and his wife Mary - Anyone taking nudes or sexual photography is creating a medium that they want someone to see. Whether it's for them or someone else, it doesn't matter. Once you have created it, it's there, and you can't complain if you're stupid enough to let it get out.

          "If you are taking those kinds of photos of yourself then you want them to be seen".
          Only by the intended audience. Just because you take them doesn't mean you want them up on the internet for the viewing of millions. Not a difficult concept to grasp.

            Intended audience is irrelevant. What happens when they die and their grandkids find SD cards with "Grammy's Saucy Pics of 2014"?

              Completely different situation. If they're dead, they're not likely to care are they? Besides, I'm taking issue with the fact that you seem to think if someone takes sexy photos, that automatically means that they want them to be seen by anyone and everyone. This is obviously a completely absurd statement to make.

          Sure you want them to be seen, but by whom? Themselves the following year? Do you seriously believe that everyone who has ever taken a photo of anything wants everyone to be able to see that photo? Photos of gran's funeral? Must be for everyone. Video of giving birth to firstborn? Share away! Hell, you've hit the nail on the head! Tell Vimeo! They are wasting developer time implementing a 'password' function. YouTube has permissions! What a waste of time.

          Let's go further. I wouldn't write something if I didn't want everyone to read it. I wouldn't record something if I didn't want everyone to hear it. Brilliant!

            I did quite specifically state that I was talking about "...those kinds of photos...", obviously referring to photos of a sexual and/or explicit nature.

              So you're saying that photos of a "sexual and/or explicit nature" are fair game to be seen by everyone, but photos of funerals and childbirth are not? Are you kidding me? SMH.

              I'm starting to feel you are a hard core christian, on the nudity is sin bandwagon. Your arguments lack common sense.

                Stupid argument is stupid. Your comment is nearing the stupidity levels that his do.

                Or maybe religion has nothing to d with it and he is just an idiot? No need for ignorance!

          You bought a car, so clearly you wanted it to be driven. Just because someone else stole it and is now driving it, I have no sympathy for you.

          Sorry mate, but your argument is completely and utterly moronic.

            That comparison is so bad it's laughable, no wonder your handle is jester!

              Just because you don't have the capacity to follow a line of logic that nobody else seems to have a problem with, doesn't mean the problem exists within the logic.

          What if they do not know it is happening. You can't protect yourself from what you do not know or understand. Most likely these people do have security people in IT that are helping them. but its for things like websites, their own personal firewall etc.

          They do not know perhaps that their photos are being uploaded to a cloud where they are being kept. How can you protect against this. I'm in IT and even I sometimes get confused about settings on my Samsung which automatically syncs with my dropbox or google drive.

          Thankfully for me I am savvy enough to find the issue and fix it. but if you didn't know then how can you prepare..
          That's like trying to prepare for NSA spying without knowing that they are intercepting data straight out of the pipe.. YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!!

          Judging by your standards of privacy the following would be true
          - You can never be robbed because you should always carry a weapon, a police whistle and have safety systems installed on your phone
          - You should never be able to lose your phone because apps exist to help you locate it. and you should have a secondary backup gps installed in the back cover of your phone in case the first one is turned off.
          - Your computer and Hotmail accounts should never be hacked because you should know better than using the internet
          - Your house should never be robbed because you can afford a security system. and because you know they can be beaten then you should also have a dog and a security team check your house to make sure everything is ok

          "If you are taking those kinds of photos of yourself then you want them to be seen"
          If you wear short skirts you want to get fucked.
          If your an asshole you want someone to kick your head in.
          Guess what, what you think people 'want' has nothing to do with the law.

          Why are people so deluded in thinking their sympathy is in any way important?

        Or just like, on a computer/phone somewhere... ready for the taking.

          Just because something is stored digitally doesn't mean that it somehow becomes acceptable to harvest it. It may make it easier to harvest it, but the same argument could be made about storing passwords in an electronic password database, logging into your internet banking, or any number of other things. They are done electronically, but that doesn't mean they should be considered a free-for-all.

          Edited to make response more civil.

          Last edited 01/09/14 1:21 pm

            Do you honestly believe that everything you do online (be it banking, photos etc) is completely private and safe???

            Sorry to burst your bubble but every time you connect to the internet you're accepting a certain level of risk.... how much of that risk you are willing to accept is up to you.

              No, but nor do I think that it not being perfectly private or safe means it is ethical or legal for someone to take that data and distribute it.

                No. I'm not saying its OK to steal it. I'm just saying if you put it in a position that it can be obtained, don't be surprised if it eventually gets stolen.

                At the end of the day it's happened heaps before, and it will happen again. If people don't learn from past mistakes we'll just keep getting more nudes. I feel like a celebrity who is a much bigger target for this sort of hacking should be far more vigilant about what they do with this kind of data.
                I'm not saying they shouldn't take private photos, they can do whatever they want, but if you are going to do that... take the proper precautions.

                  Ok. I think that the discussion of "don't be surprised" often drifts dangerously close to victim-blaming: particularly with statements like those made by @ymode which are enormously over-reaching (i.e. "if you ever take a nude photo of yourself then you shouldn't complain when everyone in the world has seen it!"). That's just a stupid position (which I'm not accusing you of taking, I should add).

                  'Proper precautions' are challenging because there is often a trade-off between security and reliability. For example, if you have a backup of all your photos on a hard drive in your car, as well as one inside the house, then you increase the risk of those photos being stolen but decrease the risk of them being lost by the house burning down. You could make it safer by keeping the drive in a safety deposit box, but then it is harder to keep the backup up-to-date. You could encrypt it, but then you increase the risk of problems due to data corruption (e.g. in the key) or losing or forgetting the password.
                  Even if you do encrypt your backups, they have to be decrypted when the drive is connected to a computer to update the backup (or when you want to view the photos). I suppose you could keep a computer which is never connected to a network, and which only ever interacts with a digital camera to store images and backup drives, but I am not sure it is a reasonable expectation. Even then, if someone breaks into where the computer is or nabs the backup hard drive it could all get exposed anyway.

                  My point is that almost any precautions which are actually practical for an individual - particularly precautions for something really private (because we all know that a celeb's 'close' friend can be more than willing to spill everything for a few bucks, and that could easily include copies of photos) are never going to be adequate to ensure that data theft doesn't occurs. Particularly if someone is really dedicated to getting those photos.

                  I completely agree with what you're saying @vj9c9
                  Problem is... how important are your nude photos that you need that level of protection and redundancy for them? take them, sure, share them, sure but why even bother backing them up? We're talking specifically about these nudes not data in general.

                  The level of risk you're willing to accept depends on what you're protecting right? If it's my holiday happy snaps, I don't want to lose them but I don't care if they get out.
                  If they're some nudes I took one night while half drunk... what do I care if I lose them or not? They aren't expensive studio shots.

                  And also how much does the leak mean to you? If my photos got out they would struggle to get 1000 views. I'm not a celebrity, they are in a position where they are a target, they should take the proper precautions.

                  The idea of how important the nudes is to warrant protection and backup is an interesting one. I haven't looked at the pics, so I'm going to enter into a bit of risky speculation.

                  I think that the 'Mary E. Winstead' tweet is interesting:
                  To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.
                  For someone in a long-term relationship, those pics they took in the privacy of their home may actually be as important as holiday happy snaps to them as a couple. It could be part of their experience as a couple and so important to record to them.

                  Although this isn't what they are, I think the question 'expensive studio shots' is an interesting though. What if a celebrity did actually have expensive nude studio shots? Could they be sufficiently valuable to that person (or to the couple - perhaps they were a birthday gift to the partner...?) that they would warrant keeping and backing up?

                  I mainly just trying to prod people to think about a few things which I see as being at the heart of the issue:
                  1. What are 'sufficient precautions'? I mean, if these pics were stored on iCloud with a very strong password and someone socially-engineered access to them through a crappy Apple helpdesk staff member, then would that make it 'insufficient precautions'? What if they were stored there encrypted and someone's phone was stolen on which they had texted the password to their partner? I think that there is a lot of victim blaming going on which assumes that the images were not carefully protected. It is clear they were not sufficiently protected to prevent them being leaked, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were not stored very securely indeed. Hell, Snowden got docs out the NSA, right? Nowhere is impenetrable.
                  2. The fact that they didn't sufficiently protect them doesn't itself mean that it isn't or wasn't an invasion of privacy for them to be obtained and distributed.
                  3. Even if these people have appeared nude in pictures by choice that were intended to be public before, that doesn't mean it isn't an invasion of privacy for these photos which were never intended to be public to be released.

                  I think, as you suggested, that we probably broadly agree on the key issues here.

                  I agree with what you're saying here. My bottom line is this ...

                  If it was me, if I was a celebrity, If nudes getting out meant that much to me (lets face it, ppl like Kim Kardashian who's whole career exists because of a sex tape really have no right to complain about stuff like this), I would do everything in my power to keep them private (and safe).

                  I would back them up to an external hard drive. I might even print them up and keep them in an album at home. If I kept them on a normal connected PC I might encrypt them.

                  I wouldn't keep them on the cloud. I wouldn't send encryption keys around (just like I don't send my bank PIN number for example). I wouldn't keep them on my phone which can be left at a bar or easily stolen etc....

                  It all comes back to that level of risk. This is probably just the engineer in me talking but it's normal to employ enough mitigation so that the risk drops to acceptable limits. The only way to completely remove 100% of the risk is to not do that thing at all. So in this case.... don't take those photos. If you must, then you protect them well enough so that the risk is at a level you're willing to accept.

                  It's not the users fault for placing too much trust in Apple's security. It's naive but not their fault. What is their fault is relying on a single point of failure and not taking enough precaution.

                  If someone broke into a house, stole the hard drive, decrypted it ... well that's just shit luck (remember that 100% risk mitigation thing being impossible???) but this sort of leak is only 1 step above leaving your phone unlocked at a bar.

                  I think the fact that some of these photos are many years old even proves my point. Eventually stuff like this will get out. A password on icloud isn't going to last forever. Hell even 2 factor authentication would have been a huge step forward.

                  From an engineering risk mitigation point of view... you're never 100% covered. NEVER. But you do as much as is "practicable" and as much as is "worth it" to mitigate the risk. How much that is depends on the user.

                  I believe if you did the bare minimum then you can't really complain about it. Same as the people who use the same password for every single website, email and bank account.... don't cry if all your money is stolen because you used you're birthday as a PIN.

                  @inquisitorsz Cool. Just one question, though: is there any clear info about how these photos got out? You and I have talked about iCloud, for example, but is there clear evidence that some of these got out that way?

                  I'm not 100% sure. I saw icloud thrown around a few times on reddit. I think some of the photos in the leaked albums show screenshots from some kind of browser or file program but I didn't have a close look. 4chan probably has the whole story somewhere.

                  My guess would be a random email and password leak from some news website or something like that and then someone simply cross referenced celeb's emails with their icloud accounts. I don't think icloud itself was hacked it would have been some form of social engineering or simply using the emails and passwords hacked from somewhere else. I don't think it was anyone's actual phone.
                  Most news sites are claiming icloud but that's probably coming from 4Chan and Reddit anyway.

                  Another interesting point is one of the celebs has said these photos were deleted long ago (and some are confirmed to be quite old) so either someone's been sitting on them for ages (unlikely) or users need to learn how to delete things and check auto backups etc...

                  If in fact it was some sort of direct iCloud breach and the hacker got access to some cached or backed up archives then that's potentially a whole different kettle of fish... (most of my previous comments are still valid RE uploading stuff in the first place). However it's going to raise some concerns about Apple's security and why they keep stuff that's been deleted by the user (if that's true at all).

              What if you are unaware of the risk because you aren't tech savvy.. It's called informed consent. How can you accept a level of risk unless you know exactly what risk is out there..?

                Isn't it up to the user to find out what the risk is? If you had sensitive stuff you wanted to keep safe/private would you do a bit of research first to find out what the best option would be?

                Again, this isn't the first time stuff like this has happened (to normal people and to celebrities) it's not some brand spanking new virus or whatever. It's most likely people using weak passwords, trusting big corporations, and uploading stuff to the cloud.

                How many times have big companies been hacked and released Credit Card info or passwords or personal details? This stuff has been happening for years. It's up to the user to protect themselves accordingly.

                like I said elsewhere. If you're silly enough to use the same password for every website, email and bank account then you can't be surprised when you lose all your money. I don't really care what happens to my holiday photos as long as they are backed up... but if I was a celebrity and had nudes that for some reason I really wanted to keep, I'd make sure they were safe. icloud is just one lost phone away from total exposure....

                  Not really no.
                  and how about if someone found you have a weird fetish for certain pornography and then released some of the weird searches for the world to see.

                  would you expect that because you searched on the internet its your own fault. and take it with a pinch of salt.. even though it may cost your your job/family/reputation.

                  you are looking at it with the wrong eyes. that's like saying if I leave my car unlocked in driveway I deserve to have it taken? NO I don't.. I worked hard for it and it belongs to me. you didn't buy it.. you didn't earn it and you shouldn't be able to blame me for not having to secure everything I own to the enth degree!

                  I bet if you own a house and I break into it and then tell you that a 400,000 house should have better locking systems and security you would sing a different tune. just because for me breaking your lock is childsplay doesn't mean that you should have to secure everything for me to not be able to break into your locks

                  Last edited 01/09/14 5:03 pm

                  Read all my other comments in this tread. You're making the same points that have already been discussed. It's not the same as breaking into a house, it's not the same and finding a weird fetish.... which by the way, if I had one I would do everything I could to hide it (if I cared about hiding it). And apart from this being a breach of privacy, these leaks are not going to affect these celebrities' careers at all.

                  The golden rule of the internet for the last 20 years has been "Don't do/say/post/view anything that you don't want to be public knowledge." It's that simple. If you think any of your browsing, email, photos, banking etc is 100% safe then you're kidding yourself.
                  Everything I do online I expect is in (or can be in) the public eye. It's much easier to stay safe if you just work with this assumption. That's why most of my accounts have 2 factor authentication and I use multiple emails and multiple passwords for all my stuff. I back up documents and some photos to dropbox but nothing that's sensitive, nothing I couldn't lose and nothing that I care about getting out into the world.

                  As for the house thing... If it was that easy to steal a $400K house, then I agree with you. But you're taking about breaking IN and stealing something inside it. If you're going to use analogies, make sure they make sense.
                  I don't care if you break into my house since all my stuff is insured. That's the level of mitigation I employ to protect my belongings. That's the level of risk I accept. If I wanted to protect certain things more than others I'd get a safe or store it in a bank etc...

                  to add to your house breaking point.... think of it as breaking into a car.
                  A car is just as secure as a house. It has locks, windows and alarms. But if you leave your wallet or phone out in plain view, you're silly and basically asking for it.

                  This is the same thing. If you don't take the necessary steps to secure your super private nude photos then don't be surprised when someone smashes a window and grabs them from the passenger's seat.

        That's completely different to just letting them sit on icloud.

        It's more like you leaving the photos in an envelop on the seat of your car at dark corner of a carpark over night. They are technically locked up and private, but it's not exactly the safest place to leave them.

          It isn't completely different (in my opinion). They are both ways of storing data that is intended to be private and secure. One is clearly safer than the other because software has vulnerability, passwords can be weak, and so on. However, they are both ostensibly private means of storage. Thus, if someone breaks into your safe or iCloud they are by any reasonable definition invading your privacy.

          Edit: I think we're having the same conversation in two places at once.

          Last edited 01/09/14 1:29 pm

            Yeah we are... BTW it's been a pleasure debating with you. Not often we can get some intelligent, polite debate on an internet forum

              Thanks. Likewise, I really enjoyed the debate.

          You got what I was trying to say haha, thanks for getting to it before me :)

          Of course it SHOULDN'T be taken and is massively illegal, but if they were my photos... hot damn I'd be careful as hell about where they were stored.

          So here is what happened
          1. they all had an email that they didn't make public (IE kept private)
          2. They all had passwords which as far as you know were safe and not duplicated elsewhere (IE kept secure)
          3. They uploaded them with or without knowledge of doing so. either way they were uploaded.. ill give you that
          4. They uploaded them with the intention of keeping them safe and secure if we will use your safe example.

          as far as they knew no one had or could gain access to them and they took measureable steps to secure the information necessary. its not like they left their unlocked phone in a nightclub. So which part of this makes it ok to break into their account and to take their photos?

          In your example they should never be able to use the internet o its fair game on them? that is exactly how the people like this intend to justify their acts. It's not fair game if you use it on the internet. people wouldn't break into your house to take them and then post them, they wouldn't put their name up there so that they can be charged. they know what they are doing is illegal and wrong. so you have no valid point in which to justify this action.

          And because you have knowledge of the internet and technology you assume that all others have the same understanding. a fundamental flaw in your argument to begin with. Whilst I am a "demi genius" compared to most users. My sister and the rest of my family barely comprehend how email works. you know that everything on the internet is accessible because you may have a better understanding then these people.

          Paris Hilton, kim k. these are different examples where a specific person has taken their film and then tried to sell it. but with these people they were not released by the people they were sent to. You cant call it their stupidity.. it was just someone who doesn't comprehend ownership and privacy with skills that outweigh their morality.

            I never actually said any of this was OK. It's clearly a breach or a hack or account theft or whatever. I'm not trying to justify any of these actions. Clearly you haven't read any of my posts if you think that.

            All I'm saying is that when you use the internet, you accept a level of risk. Nothing is risk free. If you don't know anything about the internet or computers then, honestly that's your fault for not wanting to protect yourself.
            You wouldn't fly a spaceship without the proper training, you wouldn't use dangerous chemicals, you wouldn't even drive a car without training, a license and a test.
            I'm not saying people should have a license to use the internet (although that might solve so many problems..... discussion for another day).
            You have to remember too that these are celebrities. They deal with this level of attention and scrutiny every day. It comes with the territory. Again, I'm not saying it's OK, but i you're in that position then you should be protecting yourself. More so then some other people.

            Just like locking your car doors in a rough neighborhood, just like not walking down a dark alley by yourself at night... We make these sort of risk mitigation decisions every single day. Uploading private photos or info is no different.
            Everyone should think twice every single time they fill out a survey or answer a questionnaire online too. Hell, even having your privacy settings open in Facebook can tell robbers when you're on vacation for example.
            People have to be smart online. It's that simple. It's not a justification, it's just life. That's how these things work.

              I couldn't agree more with you about protecting yourself and everything your saying

              Inquisitorsz I agree completely with everything you've said and don't agree with apple being hacked I work for Apple only way someone got anything from them is by getting they're passwords period

      I do sympathies with them, and everyone is entitled to their privacy.


        I'm not aware of any evidence that they were uploaded anywhere. (That said, the story may have progressed from this and I haven't been paying close attention to that).

          The most likely answer is that they emailed the photos, and either they or their recipient's email account was hacked.

        To be honest, it's a shame to see your favourite actress in unintended nude photos. But the moment you store the photos, you have to accept the risk that they will have a chance to be leaked.
        And more important, instead of asking us to respect their privacy, they should ask news websites like gizmodo stop spreading news about it or posting on social media, you are just asking for more attention. I dont even know they have nudes if i didn't read news.com.au or gizmodo. It's not us who isnt respecting them, it's the hypocrites working for news.

          if it wasn't intentionally stored.. what then? say icould uploaded them without them knowing?

            Then Apple could have a serious lawsuit on their hands

              You know apple.. they just turn crap on for you and dont even tell you about new features.. obviously 1 girl didnt know because she had deleted them from her phone (or so she thought)

        If you do have to upload naked selfies make sure it is encrypted at the source. There are good tools around to do this, even automatically. Truecrypt http://truecrypt.com works great with DropBox, and SyncDocs http://syncdocs.com is good to encrypt to Google Drive.

      Let me change a few words to make a point:
      "If you wear clothes like that, even if you aren't a celebrity, and the proceed to be 'shocked' when you get raped then I have little sympathy for you."

      The victim is not to blame.

        Not the same thing. Rape can happen not matter what clothing you're wearing... a nude photo can't. You either take it and upload/email it or you don't.

        It's not blaming the victim but the victim has to take some responsibility for their actions in this case. The nude's were not taken without their consent. They were just stolen... It's a completely different thing.

        Last edited 01/09/14 5:40 pm

          It's not completely different at all.
          Yes, these people took photos of themselves naked. For private consumption. They were contained within a supposedly secure environment. There's them taking responsibility. Making sure the place where the photos were kept was password protected. They didn't take polaroids on a bus and toss them on a seat. They took reasonable steps to protect the images they wanted to be private. Yes, it's the internet and "nothing is truly safe" but that doesn't negate the action they took to keep it private.

        Sorry, but that's an inapt comparison, and it perpetuates an activist fallacy that there's some kind of mutual exclusivity between the fault resting solely in the hands of the perpetrator, and the importance of taking preventative measures.

        If someone comes into your house and steals all your belongings, you aren't to blame, but you still should have installed locks to reduce the chance of it happening. Bad things happen, whether they 'should' or not. The world is a dangerous place and dangerous people will always, always exist. Teaching people that they have zero responsibility for their own safety and well-being is reckless and misguided.

          True. It was a fairly crude analogy but the point is made.
          But then the analogy you use is also making my point. You buy a house, you install locks to give it some measure of protection. You have an iCloud account, you put a password on it to give it some measure of protection.
          As I stated above, these people didn't take polaroids on a bus and just leave them on a seat. They took measures to protect their privacy and their privacy was breached. To say they're responsible is to say, "Yeah, you put locks on your doors but you shouldn't have bought such a nice tv in the first place."

            I don't agree with the person you replied to either, don't get me wrong. I just think it's important to try to keep things rational and in perspective for debates like this. I was mainly just responding to the victim-blaming comment, as I've seen it come up a lot recently and it's being used (not necessarily by you) to absolve victims of all responsibility for their safety.

            I think it's clear they had their privacy breached and I think they do deserve some level of sympathy, but the question being posed by Hopewell is more complex than I think even he realises. The argument is that the people involved have the right to control how their images (ie. both their professional appearances in movies, and their private images such as these) are released or not released to the public, and that merely viewing them constitutes a violation of that person's rights. If that argument is sound, then its logic applies broadly. For example, do companies that produce movies not also have the right to control how their content is released or not released to the public? Yet Gizmodo and Lifehacker are both strong advocates of using proxies to bypass country restrictions to view content like Netflix or Hulu here.

            I don't agree that the two are identical, but Hopewell has made what I think is a hasty and ultimately clumsy oversimplification of the issue here in an attempt to ethically shame people that really only demonstrates his own hypocrisy. This is not a simple issue and it's not one that can be boiled down to simple 'if you X and Y you're a hypocrite' arguments.

              I think we're on the same page without realising it.
              I agree that "Victim-blaming" has been a bit of a silver bullet, used to absolve people of all personal responsibility on the internet lately. In this particular case though, it's legitimate.
              And I'm all for rational and intelligent debate on any subject. Sometimes hyperbole is necessary to make an initial point though. Particularly with issues like "if you didn't want it out there, you shouldn't have done it." that are so in-grained that people will never see their own bias by gently prodding them in the right direction.
              Again, I agree. It's a gross oversimplification of the issue and, frankly, comparing stolen pictures, viewed by horny people to secure information about who you are and what you do, held by (a possibly hostile) government body, is not only a stretch but it's a little insulting.

    My brain goes - Those are some valid points Luke and I agree entirely, but my penis has been waiting for this day for a long time.

      haha! You definitely made me laugh today. Good work. :)

    Kate Upton... anyone but Kate Upton and I would be willing to hold off. I swear.

    Am I the only one who thinks jennifer lawrence is ugly?

      kinda plain jane, but the internet loves her.
      Imgur and Reddit will hunt you down if you dis Jlaw
      She seems fun though

      I get that beauty is subjective, and you personally may not find her attractive, but ugly?? You'd better have the face of an angel and the body of David to make that kind of call.

      Yes. Yes you are, Internet Male.


      Last edited 01/09/14 1:28 pm

    I've never understood the apparently powerful attraction that some men, maybe most, feel for photos of nude women. I would much prefer that what is private remain private, hidden from the wankers who are all too willing to invade the privacy of others even if the photos are only kludges made up by joining celebrity heads with the bodies of unknowns. I also do not, and feel revolted by, the apparent attraction that pictures of "lesbian" couples apparently have for (some) males. What on earth do you think you are looking at? Do really believe that you can convert them to heterosexuality with your idiotic dicks?

    Stay out of other peoples private lives, you disgusting purves.

      You realise most "lesbian" porn, isn't actually lesbians, it's just two straight girls being paid enough money to go bisexual right? It's not even targeted at lesbians, it's targeted at men.


      Whats a purves?

        i think they are a type of purse aka coin satchel originating in Turkey

        "Purves" is a contraction of "Purveyor".... as in "Purveyor of lesbian porn."

      I've never understood the attraction of people to the group Queen, but that doesn't itself reflect on whether there is something wrong with liking Queen. It's reasonable to prefer that people's private images remain private, but you're aiming a lot more broadly than that.

      fetishes aren't rational. if a naked jlaw is what turns me on so be its have a look at the list of possible catorgories that humans with get pleasure from is extensive to put it mildly. you may prefer vanilla adult entertainment but others prefer something more exotic. very simple rule for you, i wont belittle your kinks and you don't of mine.

      Invasion of privacy is one issue.. and on that I agree with your statement: "Stay out of other peoples private lives, you disgusting purves."

      As to the fact that straight men are aroused by visual stimulus.. that's just a function of biology. I think you're over intellectualising it, and kind of failing to understand basic sexuality.

      Interestingly, studies using sensors that measure physical arousal to visual stimuli (ie porn) demonstrate that most women also exhibit a physical arousal response to porn, even though they aren't always aware of it (they may answer that they were not at all aroused on a questionnaire, while the relevant measurements of their very clearly indicate otherwise). All this shows is that in men psychological and physical arousal are closely aligned, whereas in women the two are two connected but distinct responses... something considerate male partners need to be mindful of :)

    What a load of BS, they live their lives in the media spotlight and are well compensated for it. Its a choice they make to be "celebrities". You have fans, followers and masturbating semi psychos ogling your picks. This is the price you pay for being famous in Hollywood, cry me a river.

    There is absolutely no correlation between this and governments collecting average joe's private data, poor Joe does not get millions for minimal work, he does not even get a good seat a a top restaurant, never mind the price range.

    Ill look at their god damn picture all I want, they sit in their mansions crying because they are not willing to except that all coins in life have two sides, they are enjoying the good but don't want to accompanying bad, typical self serving Hollywood hogwash.

    Pay me $10mil and make me famous and ill upload a pick playing with my own balls without crying about how unfair life is.

      Pay me $10mil and make me famous and ill upload a pick playing with my own balls without crying about how unfair life is.
      This is the exact point. They didn't choose to upload the pics; you would.
      If you were talking about the challenges of going out in public without being recognised you would have a point; that really is a reasonable consequence of being a celebrity.

      What other things are fall into the category of 'totally acceptable price to pay'? Stalkers? Is that OK, or is that too far?

      My private photos were leaked by 4chan number of years ago. They posted my home address online as well as a number of personal details. Was that ok too?

        That depends on if you make more money than me.

          I'm a student, so almost definitely not :P

      If something that's private is taken without your permission, doesn't matter whether you are a A List Celebrity or the next door neighbours wife, its wrong. Just because you are earning millions, doesn't mean you should have no privacy.


        When I was younger my knowledge with machines far outgrew my knowledge about right and wrong. As I became older and wiser I realised that just because I had the ability to come in and take something does not mean I had the right to come in and take something.

        To put it in a way that more people would be better able to understand.. Because there is a guy bigger and stronger than you he is allowed to come into your house at any time.. take what he wants and then walk out with you unable to do anything about it. When you ask him why he says "because I can. if you want to stop me then get bigger and stop me"

        He has sex with your wife.. abuses your children.. and then mocks you.

        Now just because you can't stop him does that mean he has the right? because that is what a hacker does to your family.. if you don't build giant metal walls or keep a gun does that mean you were asking for it.. ?

      So your right to privacy should be inversely correlated with your salary? Try again.

      Poor Joe, nobody wants to see your browser history and nobody wants to see your balls.

    If I took a picture of myself nude, I have no problem with it being out there. Digital photo's are digital, the end.

    ps. who wants a dick pic?
    pps. no dick pics for you :p

    Last edited 01/09/14 12:05 pm

      The idea that you might not mind a photo you took of yourself nude being distributed has absolutely no bearing on whether it is ethical for someone to share nude photos of someone other than themselves who would mind those photos being distributed. Similarly, the fact that the digital photos are digital makes not one piss of difference to the ethics of it.
      They are simply not even vaguely near equivalent.

      Who wants a dick pick ?


      Biggest dick pick I could find :)

        Whoh, he forgot to hide his reptilian eyes in that pic!

          holy crap he has full snake eyes....kill it, kill it with fire!!!

          He's always licking his lips just like a lizard too, it's super creepy.

    Wrong. And let me tell you why.
    Any association between a hackers release of information, and a governments retention of information is tenuous at best. Governments must be held to a higher moral account, and to that end, there policies and rules must befit the good of the nation they administer. The same cannot be said for a nefarious hacker.

    Objecting to my privacy being violated hasn't actually stopped the said violation, now has it. I have a right to feel offended. I also have a right to look at these pics. I choose to exercise both.

      It's not just the hackers who invaded privacy by retrieving the images.
      You are invading the person's privacy when you view the image.

    So here's the thing. For a while there, I used to like UGC pr0n. It's a great idea - attractive (or at least genuine) amateur couples and ladies (or dudes if you swing that way) like you and me getting their gear off for free for the titillation of us all. No money being paid. no fat a-hole low-life professional pr0n producers getting rich off it etc. etc.

    However as much as I like seeing average consenting and informed peeps in the buff for free, I've had to make the hard decision (pun intended) not to 'support'/ visit those kinds of sites anymore, because for every open-minded, totally legit, horny couple or housewife posting their pics, there are at least five or ten f*wits who deserve very very bad things to happen to them for posting 'borderline' content like so-called 'jailbait' and / or unaware pics of poor girls / ladies they know from Facebook or whatever.

    This is the world into which these pics have been released. If legions of the aforementioned sicko f*tards have no guilt about posting the kind of content they do even when it depicts people they know, what hope is there a principled stand will make any difference to circulation of these pics when they involve celebrities ?

    Or to put it another way - if you've been online for longer than 2 months and seen pr0n you've probably seen at least one (if not all) of the following - Kim K, Paris Hilton, Pam Anderson - these are the celeb sex tapes EVERYONE has seen at some point. No doubt some of these pics will end up in the same boat. It's unfortunate for the people involved, but now that it's out there there's definitely no way those pics and vision are NOT seeing the light of day.

    Last edited 01/09/14 12:16 pm

    If you read this and then go and look at leaked celebrity nude photos, you have to promise the internet that you’ll never complain about policies like data retention, NSA mass surveillance or any of that sort of shit ever again.

    I can agree with all of it except this. As painful as it is to admit hypocrites can be right. If I argue that racism has an extremely negative impact on the world, then turn around and make an extremely racist comment myself, that doesn't mean racism is ok or that I should stop speaking out against it. It would make me a terrible person and I should certainly be called out on it, but it doesn't make me wrong.

    Most people probably don't have the will power to not look up these photos. That does not change thing one about those topics and it certainly doesn't mean those people should stop demanding that privacy violations be taken seriously.
    If anything the amount of hyprocrisy here highlights just why data retention and NSA mass surveillance doesn't work. Even free of malice and personal profit people are curious and as a result of that simple curiosity they can't be trusted not to abuse the opportunity to peak.

    I havent seen them (honestly). I may or may not. Who cares. But honestly I guess a moral question becomes although it definitely is a violation of privacy, half of them have gotten nude, including Lawrence, on film already. This isnt justifying the hackers scummy actions but I guess its saying they can be offended at the violation of privacy but can they really be outraged at the content being seen given theyve gotten nude on film? Or is it because they made money off of the film... art and all that.

      There is still the issue of consent. These individuals have consented to the production of the images used in their films with full knowledge and expectation that those images would be distributed. These images were not created with the intention of being public, and there was not consent to the distribution.

      Basically, in my opinion consenting to the former does not imply consent to the latter. Indeed, I think that distribution of photos of two porn stars having sex with each other that were intended to be private and were stolen from them would be unethical. Sure, people will have seen them nude before, but that doesn't (in my opinion) automatically grant permission for people to distribute images they intended to be private.

      There might be an argument that the 'wrongness' is mitigated if people don't make reasonable efforts to protect the images: e.g. if they posted them to an insecure web account, then perhaps it is less unethical to invade privacy by looking at them. However, whether that is the case here is by no means clear.

        Great answer have an upvote. Not casting judgement on anyone btw just wondering about moral implications etc. (Ok plenty of judgement for the asshole hackers.)

        Thanks also for contributing possibly the most rational, well thought out response on here so far.

        Last edited 01/09/14 3:56 pm

    I think the link between this is data retention/NSA is a bit of a stretch. The NSA didn't leak these photos and they wouldn't be included in a data retention scheme.

    The issue is security. How was this possible?

    Playing devil's advocate for a second; If I go out and leave my house unlocked and somebody steals my stuff it doesn't mean they aren't doing the wrong thing, but I am at least partially responsible because I didn't take appropriate measures to prevent that.

    That's the issue with Data Retention. It's mandatory. There is (in theory) no measures that can be taken to prevent that happening. There is a huge difference between being the target of a malicious attack that invades your privacy and the government recording everything you do.

    I will be interested to know what these celebrities did or did not do to prevent this from happening.

      Not the best analogy... It's more like if you lock your house and someone breaks in and steals stuff.
      I agree that all this hacking and leaking is wrong but seriously, if you put photos up on icloud or whatever backup service, don't be surprised if they end up online. It's not the first time it's happened, it won't be the last. It's not that hard to keep it 1000x safer.
      I'm not 100% sure how these got leaked but I believe it was from icloud. That's not the same as hacking phones, it's not the same of hacking directly into someones PC or laptop.

      Everything I do online is with the expectation that, if someone really really wanted to, they could find all my personal info. I don't put up anything sensitive on dropbox (it's mostly just documents) but there's things like a scan of my passport and driver's license on there. Still sensitive information but I'm not deluded in thinking it's completely safe.

      If you're a celebrity, firstly, what are you doing taking these pics (most aren't selfies btw, so there's already another person involved) secondly, what makes you think that your phone, icloud, etc is safe? Because Apple says so?
      I drive with a seat belt on because it increases my safety.... If I had photos I didn't want released... they wouldn't be anywhere online...

      Again, I'm not saying the invasion of privacy is ok, but you can't honestly be surprised it happened. Did no one learn from Scarlett's leak a few months ago?

      As for govt data retention... (I don't actually complain about that so I can stay on my high horse) it's not the same thing. One involves a choice, and one is mandatory, completely beyond your own control.

        Not the best analogy... It's more like if you lock your house and someone breaks in and steals stuff.

        What I was trying to say was that perhaps these got leaked because these people had really weak passwords?

        If it was iCloud, how did the hackers know what their email addresses where? Surely Jennifer Lawrence is smart enough to not use [email protected]?

        I am more interested in the facts behind the leak more than the content.

          Yeah fair enough.... I doubt they just left them on an open forum but having a weak password is slightly different. At least then you THINK you're safe..... you're wrong but you have the right intention.

      You must be kidding...
      I bet they sourced these photos, funded "bad guys who stole them", trolling it everywhere.

      Remember: "There is no such thing as bad publicity"!

    This is a false equivalence. The availability of these photos assists the people who argue against Data Retention, and the reasons are obvious. One of the most striking arguments against Data Retention, is Data Security and/or the lack of it. Once the data is collected and stored, it is only a matter of time/money/willpower until it is accessible due to the following.

    1. The quality of the data security.
    2. The outside interest at getting to that data.

    If 1 is less than 2, the data is available to everyone. That is a fact.

    Looking at these pictures, does not make any argument against Data Retention any less valid, as it proves that as long as the data exists on a stored medium connected to the internet, the data is available to everyone. This is precisely why we should not have data retention laws, and this is precisely why young starlets should not pose nude in front of a digital camera.


    What is NSA/Data retention have to do with your nude pictures stored on a connected device?

    Do you think that NSA is going to stop your nude pictures from reaching 20.000.000 views? Mate, I think they are the first ones that saw those pictures and the only thing they did is what I did... smile!

      This isn't about photos (nude or otherwise) or where they are stored.
      What he's trying to say is that you can't justify breaching the privacy of someone else (for your own benefit), while at the same time campaigning for protection of your own privacy from others.

    Crappy deal, offer cash next time.

    Not since the release of GTA:V have so many dudes been so desperate to finish work early and get home.

    this article is stupid.

    a person hacking into your account and stealing your 'digital data' is different from data retention and mass surveilance.

    im not okay with their private photos being stolen but there are far worse things happening in the world than their privacy being violated.

      In either case the person in question did not agree to the idea of their data being taken or kept or used in any way shape or form.

      In either case the person in question did not allow it to be used by doing something stupid like not protecting their password.

      Without their permission in both cases someone is taking their data and information and keeping it without their consent. In both cases it denies that person the right to do what they want without fear of someone using this against them. In both cass it can seriously hurt their life/family/job

      how you can see it as not the same means your name goes first on data retention support. because when they keep your data and you object they will have this post with your username and point to how you don't mind when its someone else :D

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