Monday, July 09, 2007

Miss New Jersey a victim of a dangerous Internet prank

John Springer has a story on the NBC Today show and MSNBC regarding the private photos of Miss New Jersey, Amy Polumbo. She posted some pictures on a “whitelisted” site that only people with passwords could access. She did not post them on a public site accessible to search engines or the public. Apparently, someone obtained the photos by hacking and then tried to use them for blackmail. The photos apparently do not contain anything illegal or violating her contract, but she fears that someone could doctor the photos. State and national pageant winners are held to very strict publicity and moral turpitude clauses (including appearing in the nude), that can be easily undermined by others.

The correct link is here. (There is a bad hyperlink on the Today site today; one of the links takes the visitor to the incorrect story, about Atlantic City.)

Generally, schools and universities have encouraged students to consider posting pictures and personal information only on private servers, not open to the general public, as a way of protecting personal and familial privacy and personal information. Some of these concerns have been also motivated by recent trends among employers to troll social networking sites for undesirable information about job applicants.

(Later information is that her title will not be taken away.)

Apparently the current Miss America (Lauren Nelson) assisted NBC Dateline with a well-publicized sting in New York (on Long Island) attracting internet predators.

Update: July 25, 2007

On July 24, 2007 Miss America (Lauren)told Congress that education in legal and safety issues in Internet use (provided by public schools) should be mandatory before minors can go online.

Update: Aug 26, 2007; Teacher apparently defamed by video on Net

In a somewhat similar situation, ABC News posted a story "Teacher's Nightmare: Ogling Video on You Tube: Internet Videos such as 'Hot for Teacher' Clip Raise Privacy Concerns," here.
The inappropriate video of a female teacher was shown at a fifth grade graduation ceremony in Charlotte, NC. It got posted on YouTube, which removed it for copyright infringement upon notice from the teacher. The story indicates that the law on this is still hazy. However, in December, Dr. Phil had reported about a teacher about whom some kids made a fake profile on Myspace (see my "issues" blog Dec 6).

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