On October 1st, high-powered Hollywood attorney Marty Singer, who represents over a dozen stars whose naked pictures were leaked by hackers on 4chan and Reddit, including Lawrence, Upton, and Ariana Grande, threatened a $100 million lawsuit against Google.
In a letter to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and the company’s legal counsel.
Marty Singer threatened the lawsuit for not only “failing to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images,” but also for participating in “blatantly unethical behavior” and “making millions and profiting from the victimization of women.”
Google knows that the Images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and videos unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims’ privacy rights and basic human decency by stealing and displaying confidential private photos and videos (most of which depict the women in private settings, while nude or semi-nude, engaging in private intimate conduct) without the permission of the owners of the Images. Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations, or to limit the Images from appearing in Google search results.
Below is Google’s response claiming to have closed “hundreds of accounts” that propagated the stolen media.
The statement said:
Of course people continue to post these images on the web, so—like other online services—we rely on people notifying us to help us take them down, whether by flagging content, or filing DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests. We’re removing these photos for community guidelines and policy violations (e.g. nudity and privacy violation) on YouTube, Blogger and Google+. For search we have historically taken a different approach as we reflect what’s online—but we remove these images when we receive valid copyright (DMCA) notices.
It’s still unclear how many celebrity accounts have been breached, though leaked lists indicate more stolen iCloud content could be forthcoming. We however have a list of 101 alleged leaks that were originally pasted on 4chan.