September 1st, 2014 -- Surrender Of Privacy
One of my favorite guilty pleasures these days is watching an endless parade of morons who scream, incorrectly, about their rights being violated.
God knows the very first thing any random idiot will post on Facebook when hearing about someone being kicked out of a store or a home for speaking their mind is a form of the following: “I thought this was America, what happened to Freedom of Speech?” Correct answer: “Well, stupid, apparently Freedom of Speech has gone the same place as common sense, knowledge and an understanding of your basic Constitutional Rights since the First Amendment has nothing to do with your ability to speak your mind inside of other peoples’ property.” Derp.
People constantly misquote the second amendment on both sides of the argument, have no understanding of where the lines begin and end when it comes to freedom of religion, and make absolute fools of themselves when they claim that “finders keepers,” and/or “possession is 9/10ths of the law,” are actual rights. Yes, I have seen both of those recently.
One of the more asinine claims of our time is the “invasion of privacy,” which is, in and of itself, a bastardization of the Fourth Amendment. You have a reasonable expectation to privacy when you are inside your own home, at least for now. But the word “reasonable,” is applied by every court in the land because times change, technology changes, and circumstances dictate different interpretations of what is reasonable at any given moment. And before we get too far, let’s not for one minute pull a “Bill O Reilly,” and start claiming that technology is the problem. It isn’t, we are. People have been wrongly claiming they have an expectation to privacy for decades by hiding behind their “personal space.” Well, guess what folks? Personal space is just that, your person. No one should ever touch you without your consent, unless they’re saving your life. Beyond that, however, you gave up basically all aspects of your personal space when you left your home. If someone overhears a conversation you’re having with your friend or significant other, they may be rude, but they aren’t actually invading your privacy. If you want to have truly private chats, do it at home.
If you Google “what is the opposite of invasion,” you get three or four consistent antonyms for the word, and I chose my favorite for the title of this week’s essay because it is so perfectly emblematic of what we’ve become. We have gone so far off the rails in this society that when most people scream “invasion of privacy,” what they are truly saying is “I surrendered my privacy and someone held me accountable for my actions and now I’m angry and I’m going to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum over it because I don’t believe in personal responsibility at all. Whaaa.”
Over Labor Day Weekend, there was a massive dump of nude celebrity photos, all of them reportedly culled from the celebs’ own, personal, cell phones. Jenifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna, and a half dozen other big names as of this writing were the victims. Since I have an obligation to research such things, I took to the internet, knowledge in hand, to track down said photos. Since I was about 10 hours behind the story, it wasn’t easy, but I made my way to a few different sites (Thank you Reddit) that still had the pictures in question and let me saw, in the immortal words of Jackie Chiles and Terri Hatcher,” They’re real and they’re spectacular.”
One funny side note to this whole story was that mental midget Victoria Justice, who tried at first to claim that the pictures were fake….something that was shot down by every tech geek on Earth in about 5 milliseconds, and made totally absurd when Jennifer Lawrence acknowledge the pictures were real while simultaneously crying “Whaaa, whaaa, someone caught me being myself stupidly, whaaa, whaaa.”
Let’s start with the Rob & Arnie Question of avoidance: What is the one sure fire way to guarantee that nude photos of yourself will never be found, stolen, discovered or disseminated?” If you said “Don’t ever take any,” you win the grand prize!
I’m no altar boy or prude, and I realize the day and age we live in. Plus, I want people to have fun and be sexual, but the more impulsive and brazen you are, the more likely it’s going to come back and bite you in the ass. If you’re going to sext phots of yourself, do it smartly, at least. Don’t put your face in the shot, for starters, moron.
Beyond that, ignorance is never an excuse, and claims of invasion of privacy are beyond ignorant in the practical sense here. Oh sure, it looks like a hacker may be responsible ultimately for finding and distributing these pictures, but come on, man. All technology today is on the cloud; as in, you are storing all of your data on someone else’s device(s). All it takes is a good hacking program, publicly available information (like your mother’s maiden name), and some time, and none of your info is private. For 99% of us, hackers will find recipes, dog pictures and endless facebook status updates. Booooorrrriiinnnngggg. For others, they may find a few naked photos, but in this day and age, no one blinks an eyeball over naked, everyday people since the majority of adults in America are now engaging in amateur porn on their own.
Which, to me, makes it more egregious when it involves a celebrity. This is as insulting to my intelligence as these professional athletes who claim, after being caught with illegal performance enhancing drugs in their system, that they “didn’t know what was in the supplement they were taking.” An Athlete’s entire career is based on every single thing he does to, with or in his own body and I’m supposed to believe he just didn’t know? Wrong, he either didn’t want to know, or he’s just lying.
So when Jennifer Lawrence take a half dozen topless photos and few full frontal nude ones (she’s clean shaven, by the way), it makes me wonder what she’s thinking. Ahhh, there’s the answer, she isn’t. She’s just an entitled, uppity bitch who believes that being the biggest star in the world doesn’t come with any consequences or behavior changes. Sorry, hon, life doesn’t work that way. If you’re so concerned about your naked body not being on display, don’t put your naked body on display for anyone with a camera, including yourself.
If celebrities are so concerned about such images coming out, there are options beyond not taking such pictures which are available to them; information companies have special security systems for high profile clients which place their data on the same level as our passwords, bank accounts and credit card information. Of course, it costs a lot for that type of protection, and, as we’ve seen lately with all of the data breaches, even that is no guarantee of safety, but it’s a start.
I’m not suggesting that all of us who use technology should be prepared to have our identities stolen, but I am. We live in a world where the United States Pentagon is hacked on a regular basis, for the love of Pete. It’s no wonder Target can’t protect our account numbers.
Yes, of course, the authorities should track down the hackers, but what good does that do you after your identity is gone? Jennifer Lawrence’s Hoo-Ha is out there now for the world to see, and no matter how many people she sues, everyone and anyone who wants to see these photos will, eventually. Screen shots are an amazing thing.
It isn’t an invasion of our privacy, it is our willful surrender of such in the name of convenience. No government nor authoritative body will ever be able to stay a step ahead of the hackers, so we must all accept the consequence of our choices. I know, I know…I just slipped into Dawn’s La-La land version of America, where we once accepted our role in the outcome of our own lives. My bad.