Story 2014-09-04 2S24 Naked pictures, privacy, security, and you.

Naked pictures, privacy, security, and you.

in internet on (#2S24)
New York Times journalist Mike Isaac comments on the recent release of celebrity naked pictures of terms of what it means for our collective privacy, online security, and rights for websites to police themselves.
The images are hardly the first nude celebrity pictures to make their way online. But their publication has touched off a larger discussion on the state of privacy and civil liberties on the Internet. Some privacy advocates are focusing on the role that big tech companies play in policing - or not policing - users who repeatedly push the boundaries of taste, or those who post controversial content like the videos of the beheadings of the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff...

...Twitter, YouTube and others may ultimately decide to take a more active approach to policing user-generated content. Twitter has already shown some signs of change. But this is a fine line to tread, as these companies have long trumpeted their democratic approach to unfettered online speech...

...If these services were altered significantly, civil liberties advocates fear it could inhibit how people are able to express themselves online.
[Author note: This is a reminder to take your massive collection of nude selfies off iCloud.]
Reply 5 comments

Daring Fireball (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-04 16:14 (#2S27)

John Gruber has a long piece up about this at, and of course he rushes in to defend Apple, because that's what he usually does.
The single-worst piece I've seen regarding last week's iCloud celebrity photo leak is, by far, this one from David Auerbach at Slate. To see where Auerbach is coming from, let's skip ahead to his conclusion first:
But whether or not any of these problems were directly responsible for the leak, Apple users, from Jennifer Lawrence to corporate executives to laptop musicians to you, should be out for blood, and other companies should use this as a lesson to double- and triple-check their own security stories. Apple will probably survive though. IPhones [sic] are so cool and pretty.
The old "Apple customers are shallow fools drawn to shiny things, and easily swayed by popular opinion" angle.
Here's the problem with Auerbach's piece:
Whether or not this particular vulnerability was used to gather some of the photos - Apple is not commenting, as usual, but the ubiquity and popularity of Apple's products certainly point to the iCloud of being a likely source - its existence is reason enough for users to be deeply upset at their beloved company for not taking security seriously enough. Here are five reasons why you should not trust Apple with your nude photos or, really, with any of your data.
Don't trust Apple "with any of your data" isn't just wrong because it's a hyperbolic overreaction, it's wrong because it's potentially dangerous. What has been mostly overlooked in the reaction to this photo leak scandal, and completely lost in Auerbach's argument, is that backups are a form of security - in the same sense that life insurance is a form of security for your children and spouse.

Re: Daring Fireball (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-04 16:29 (#2S28)

*face palm*
backups are a form of security
Two different forms of security, making backups will ensure you can retrieve that data if your primary source is lost/wrecked/stolen/whatever. The security John's arguing about is where and how that backup is kept safe from people it doesn't belong to. One type of security helps you if you lose the data, the other type of security helps keep others from stealing your data.

Not like life insurance in the least.

Re: Daring Fireball (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-04 20:06 (#2S2G)

The NYT article is good but not revolutionary, concluding that communities ought to be better at self-policing because implementing policies that limit free expression have more downsides than benefits. That's sound advice, I think, but I'm disheartened by the ruckus. I think communities like Reddit have proven they are all but totally unable to self-police, and their echo chamber can be dangerously misinformed. The article mentions the Boston bombers and I think it's a great example of communities totally losing their heads. 4Chan of course was never about self-policing. They are intensely proud of their anarchy and frankly, so am I, sort of.

Re: Daring Fireball (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-05 12:56 (#2S3A)

Indeed, leaking those nude pictures to the world is even more security in the backup sense: Now if your hard disk is crashed, you can just download them from Pirate Bay!

*Cloud (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-09-05 01:05 (#2S2T)

All cloud based infrastructure is susceptible to data breaches like this, so this should serve as an example that sensitive information should not be trusted to cloud providers.