iCloud hack

Above: One of the photos purportedly stolen from the private iCloud storage of American actress Jennifer Lawrence. Credit: Celebsunmasked.

iCloud Hack

The last of four men found guilty of carrying out the 2013-14 celebrity photo-hacking was sentenced yesterday. The men were found guilty of illegally accessing at least 500 different iCloud storage accounts from Spring 2013 through Spring 2014. They gained access by using a combination phishing emails (fake emails purporting to be from Apple asking for username and password) and brute-force guessing of passwords. The four were all US citizens; each was given a short prison sentence for this criminal activity: Emilio Herrera (age 32) 16-months; Ryan Collins (age 36) 18-months; Edward Majerczyk (age 28) 9-months; George Garofano (age 26) 8-months.

Jennifer Lawrence, one of the victims, made several statements about the hack, including these words:

I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you. It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It's disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That's why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody's mind is to make a profit from it. It's so beyond me. I just can't imagine being that detached from humanity. I can't imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.

For the photo-theorist, these criminal proceedings have allowed new insights into the functionality of the iCloud (and other "cloud") digital storage: the photos saved to it, may include, it has been demonstrated, private-use-only photos, such as self-made erotic photos--many of those hacked had created-and-saved numerous erotic selfies. The digital-storage could easily also be a physical external hard-drive, the important concept is of a separate digital storage-area which is in effect a personal receptacle of lurid things. This quality of the private photo-archive including erotic self-portraits is significant in that it raises the iCloud storage (or external HD), from humdrum digital storage facility (i.e., a boring utility) to that of a fascinating and alluring place: a place where the true self is revealed without inhibition, insecurity, shyness, or repression. That is, in other words--in Freudian words actually--the iCloud is comparable to the unconscious mind, also known as The ID, a place where no law, or socially determined propriety, or personal modesty, is in force.

(30 August 2018)