In the wake of a massive breach of digital security that left dozens of celebrities exposed (literally), two Free Press writers find themselves at the opposite sides of a heated debate.
Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson and Columnist Nancy Kaffer hashed out their differing opinions on who's to blame for the celebrity iCloud hack that included nude photos of Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and his supermodel girlfriend Kate Upton.
Check out their arguments then tell us who you side with in our poll:
Henderson: Life is risk, and we all assess risk according to the things we have and how much we value them. Right? This is absolutely not the fault of the people whose photos were stolen. But did they indulge in careless risk with something extremely valuable? Absolutely. I only need figure out your password to steal something you keep on iCloud. Thus, I'd think you should be reluctant to keep anything of value there. I'm just saying I think most people know that.
Kaffer: I only need a crowbar to get into your apartment, thus you should be reluctant to keep anything of value there.
Henderson: You can't see the risk difference between a physical invasion of my home and swiping your password to swipe digital photos?
Kaffer: They're both crimes.
Henderson: But they [affected celebrities] did indulge careless risk, which has its consequences.
Kaffer: Frankly, the person who did this will probably go to jail longer than someone who broke into your apartment would. Also, I vehemently disagree with "careless risk." These people used a service for what it was created and marketed to do.
Henderson: Yes, they're both crimes. One very difficult, another relatively easy. My only point is that I think a pretty simple risk assessment would prevent most people from putting naked photos on iCloud. That's you and me, I'm talking about -- people whose naked photos are relatively worthless. (Ok, maybe not mine, lol.) But for celebrities, whose naked photos are of unbelievable value? This should have been a no-brainer.
Kaffer: One hopes you mean that someone using a crowbar to force your door open is the "relatively easy" crime? Because I can guarantee I could bust into your apartment in a tiny fraction of the time it'd take you to get my cloud storage password.
Henderson: I'm simply saying that the risk/reward calculation involved in putting naked photos on iCloud is pretty heavily weighted toward risk. Especially if you're a celebrity. [Follow-up:] So you think the risk-reward calculation for living in an apartment that might be broken into is the same as a celebrity putting naked photos of themselves on the internet?
Kaffer: I think more apartments are broken into each day than nude celeb pics are leaked each year.
Henderson: I think the apartment analogy also fails on the reward side of the equation. These photos are of fantastic value -- to the person who stole them, and to the people who buy and distribute them. So they are far more likely to be targeted for theft than anything in my apartment. Right?
Kaffer: And we come back 'round to victim blaming -- JLaw [Jennifer Lawrence] etc. should know their naked pics are a lure to criminals, so the onus is on them to ensure criminals can't get them? Perhaps if ladies wore burkas, we'd just be safer.
Henderson: Yes, I'm victim-blaming even though I'm explicitly saying it's not their fault.
Kaffer: What you're saying is, that it's not their fault, but they should have known better and took a stupid risk. One of these things is not like the other.
Henderson: Yes. Walk. Chew gum. Same time. It's not impossible to say it's not their fault that someone stole their photos, and that they should have known better than to put the photos there in the first place. [Follow-up:] These celebrities KNOW people want their nude photos, which is why I'd think they wouldn't trust something as flimsy as iCloud to store them.
Kaffer: Flimsy? Please source that.
Henderson: Yes, flimsy. It's just pwd [password] protected. That's not very secure. [With link to this recent Infoworld magazine article.]
Kaffer: "It's not impossible to say it's not their fault that someone stole their photos, and that they should have known better than to put the photos there in the first place." But it is a tad hypocritical. It's a bit like saying, she didn't deserve to get raped, but why was she in that bar in the first place? I mean, you can make the point that you *said* she didn't deserve it -- but the subsequent comment undermines the first.