Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer has written to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as Chairman Eric Schmidt, threatening to sue them for $US100 million if they don’t remove the naked photos of his clients that were posted online after the iCloud hack.
Page Six reports that Singer represents over a dozen of the celebrities whose naked photos were posted online after hackers used a flaw in Apple’s password recovery system to gain access to their iCloud backup files. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna and Ariana Grande were all targeted by hackers, but it’s unknown which women Singer represents.
In his letter to Google, Singer accuses the company of “making millions from the victimization of women” and engaging in “blatantly unethical behaviour.”
According to Singer, takedown requests were sent to Google days after the celebrity photos leaked online. Apparently the images have not been removed from YouTube and Blogger, and Singer is accusing Google of failing “to act expeditiously, and responsibly to remove the images.”
To be fair to Google, its staff don’t choose what the search engine turns up on the net. The system is an algorithm that simply detects what other people have published.
Singer’s letter, seen by Page Six, claims that Google is aware that the photos are hosted on its sites, but hasn’t done anything to take them down.
Google knows 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 … Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations.
Singer’s letter goes on to compare Google’s failure to remove naked photos to the recent Ray Rice assault scandal:
Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimized women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimize these women.
Google has already been criticised for failing to remove the stolen photos. Kate Upton’s boyfriend, baseball player Jason Verlander, sent DMCA takedown requests to Google asking the company to delist sites that host the naked photos. Torrent Freak reports that Google rejected nearly half of the takedown requests, and the images remain easily discoverable through the site.