Chivalry is not dead as Google, the world’s largest search engine has wiped out tens of thousands of nude pictures that were stolen from a number of popular celebrities and had been posted online.
Well, it wasn’t just chivalry that motivated the company to get rid of the pictures and close hundreds of accounts that posted and shared them, it was the heat from a lawyer, Marty Singer who is a Hollywood entertainment attorney who threatened to sue Google on the grounds of “violating privacy”. The public got a chance to read the letter Singer sent to Google thanks to the NY Times. In the letter it stated that Google had failed on several points regarding not taking responsibility to remove the pictures. Some harsh words were bandied about by Singer and Google got the message loud and clear. Singer’s firm didn’t name names but stated that they represented over a dozen celebrities.
Singer also stated that the women celebs were after damages because of Google’s “blatantly unethical behavior” as well as “knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct” of the perpetrators. Singer went on to point out that he felt Google knew the images were hacked.
Google responded that their response to the incident was fast, a matter of hours and that they rely on being notified by people who either flag the content of file DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests. Singer also pointed out that some of the pics appeared on other search engines, social media sites owned by Google like YouTube. Google said they were removing the pics from those sites as well.
This incident garnered worldwide attention as it should since it covers several major issues that the web has to address. First is the fact that hacking is illegal. The hackers attacked high profile celebrities, accessed their private devices, posted the personal data publicly allowing criminal websites to probably generate millions of dollars in revenue at pervert websites all over the planet.
Google might be able to remove the pics from their sites but the damage is already done. Untold millions of people downloaded the photos and shared them so there is no way to retrieve or delete the photos. The legal team could not in anyway send out DMCA notices to all the websites and blogs that are posting the pics as many are now on foreign sites that specialize in celeb pics and as soon as you take one down the criminals will open ten more sites.
This is the dilemma of today’s hacking and cybercrime world. Until the experts make it a major issue to revamp the web and make it more secure as well as computer networks this type of problem will continue to raise its head.