Tag Archives: privacy

The Hacked Sony E-Mails Are A Distraction From The Larger Issues, And It’s Wrong To Use E-Mails Stolen From Anyone, Ever

I don’t take George Clooney that seriously, most of the time, but his interview with Deadline spoke to a lot of things I’ve been reflecting on about my job lately. In it, Clooney spoke about a petition of support he tried to circulate after Sony was attacked by what the FBI has now concluded were, in fact, North Korean hackers. The petition read:

“On November 24 of this year, Sony Pictures was notified that it was the victim of a cyber attack, the effects of which is the most chilling and devastating of any cyber attack in the history of our country. Personal information including Social Security numbers, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and the full texts of emails of tens of thousands of Sony employees was leaked online in an effort to scare and terrorize these workers. The hackers have made both demands and threats. The demand that Sony halt the release of its upcoming comedy The Interview, a satirical film about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Their threats vary from personal—you better behave wisely—to threatening physical harm—not only you but your family is in danger. North Korea has not claimed credit for the attack but has praised the act, calling it a righteous deed and promising merciless measures if the film is released. Meanwhile the hackers insist in their statement that what they’ve done so far is only a small part of our further plan. This is not just an attack on Sony. It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country. That is why we fully support Sony’s decision not to submit to these hackers’ demands. We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty. We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear. We will stand together.”

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Life After Dating: Writing While Coupled

Over the weekend, my boyfriend Michael visited his mom and his sister, who was home from school for the weekend, out in the burbs. He told them he was going to propose to me soon, and his sister said she already knew that because she reads my work. Whoops! I’m so glad I don’t talk much about our sex life here.

The reality of working as a writer, and specifically as a woman writer, while in a relationship comes with a few problems. I can’t say anything too specific about Michael, and I’m glad he has such a common first name, because it makes him hard to identify. Part of that gladness stems from the fact that there are nutso predators on the Internet who might take issue with what I have to say and decide to make my life worse by making life worse for the people I love. The other part of it is that I am an unconventional woman with strong, non-mainstream opinions, and I don’t want them to be attached to my boyfriend’s public persona. Dating someone doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or believe, after all. My job in terms of his career is to show up at the annual holiday party and be charming. His bosses don’t need to know anything else about me lest they start believing that because I’m unconventional, Michael is also less conventional than they’ve been led to believe (he is less conventional than he comes off, but not in the leftist/feminist/sex positive/gender nonconformist/takes clothes off on the Internet sort of way). Keep reading »

Arizona Gets Strict On “Revenge Porn”

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This week, Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a law cracking down on so-called “revenge porn,” classifying it as a sex offense. “Revenge porn” consists of sexual photos or videos which are posted online without the person’s consent. Generally speaking, ex-boyfriends or jilted partners post intimate images or videos of ex-girlfriends, which go up along with the women’s full names, addresses and employers. The aim is to ridicule humiliate their victims.

AZ’s strict new law makes “revenge porn” a felony, establishing an initial 18 months in prison, or two-and-a-half years in prison if the person in the image can be easily identified. It will apply to any “photograph, videotape, film or digitial recording of a person” and makes it a crime to “disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer.” It doesn’t include an exception for photos deemed by the press to be in the public interest, such as celebs’ or politicians’ sexy photos. It does make an exception for “voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting.”
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True Story: My Crash Course In Porn And Empowerment

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It’s easy to say that pornography is empowering for women, or that it degrades them. Oversimplifying, certainly, but easy.

The truth is it’s much more complicated than that.

I was 19 when I realized I could go to college without the debt that my friends were already beginning to complain about. I could take care of myself. It was when I held in my hand $100 for one hour of nude modeling, something I never even realized a chubby girl could make money doing. I was juggling three jobs that paid me only twice that amount per 40-hour week doing physically stressful work for minimum wage.

At the time, it was simple mathematics. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Anthony Weiner, Kate Middleton & Who Should Have The Right To Privacy

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The Soapbox: On Anthony Weiner, Kate Middleton & Who Should Have The Right To Privacy

Yesterday was a big day: the Royal Baby! Carlos Danger! New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin publicly “forgiving” him for his latest sexting/Internet affair gaffe! While Kate and Wills were unveiling their new baby, Weiner was doing damage control and responding to claims that he’d been sexting and consorting with women online (under the moniker Carlos Danger) as recently as 2012.  This was after Weiner was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 amid a sexting scandal.  At a press conference on Tuesday, Weiner sounded almost annoyed, and certainly not particularly contrite about his most recent troubles. Keep reading »

Are Creepy Hackers Watching You Right This Second?

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Stealing credit card information and social security numbers is so passé nowadays. The new fad of invading privacy online is to actually watch unsuspecting victims, or, I’m sorry, “slaves” as these hackers like to call them, through their own webcams.

That’s right, ladies: internet hackers have just found an alarmingly inventive way of invading your privacy by actually watching you through your own computer. Cue the goose bumps.

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