Monday, September 01, 2014

FBI to probe iCloud nude photo leak

The FBI has launched a probe of the hacking of the Apple iCloud and the leaking of nude photos of some female celebrities (like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton) from their private cloud accounts (apparently deleted items) to “4chan”.  The Huffington Post has a headline story this evening by Anthony McCartney, “iViolated”, here.  Apparently the photos had been taken on iPhones and stored on the phones, not on personal computers.
I wrote a posting on my main blog this morning, exploring a much bigger context, exploring the context of Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which would preclude downstream liability for sites like 4chan and, for that matter, Blogger, YouTube and Wordpress.
Possibly photos could be watermarked as they are stored in private clouds, which would tell a service provider later that posting of them is illegal.  Google is already using such an automated system to identify images known already to be child pornography.  Possibly this technology could be expanded.  

Update: Sept 2

ABC News reports that Apple did not find any systemic compromise of its security, and encourages the use of two-step verification of cloud storage (with strong passwords) particularly if very private or personal materials are stored and if someone would actually make money by getting them (as with celebrities).  Hopefully, most "ordinary people" don't have images that would be compromising.   Again, the idea remains, the government could some day troll cloud accounts for child pornography with hashtag matching.

Update: Sept. 6

Apple is changing security to limit the number of wrong password attempts allowed in access to its Cloud.   It will also warn users when material from the Cloud is loaded to different devices. Here is the ZDNet story

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