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Celebrities hit by ‘Nudegate’ iCloud hack may file $100M lawsuit against… Google?

Updated 8 years ago
Published Oct 2nd, 2014 8:30AM EDT
Nude Celebrity Photo Leak

There’s little question at this point that the recent round of nude celebrity photo leaks are Apple’s fault. Hackers supposedly used simple brute force attacks, which consist of quickly and repeatedly guessing different passwords for an account until one works, to infiltrate iCloud accounts belonging to celebrities. Hacks of this kind are quite old and a simple security measure that restricts access to an account when incorrect passwords are used too many times in a short span would have prevented the leaks, if brute force attacks were indeed the hackers’ weapon of choice.

But now, it looks like this huge ordeal could end up costing Google, not Apple, millions of dollars.

FROM EARLIER: It’s Apple’s fault that the world has seen naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence

A new report from Page Six claims that well-known Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer represents more than a dozen of the celebrities whose private photos and videos were leaked, and he’s threatening to sue Google for $100 million.

Why Google? Singer sent a letter to top Google execs including Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt claiming that their “blatantly unethical behavior” has helped Google make millions from nude photos and videos of the celebrities that were hosted on Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger. The lawyer claims takedown requests were sent within days of the leaks, but Google failed to remove the images.

“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,” Singer wrote in the letter. “Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations”

UPDATE: A Google spokesperson contacted BGR via email with the following statement in response to Singer’s letter:

We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures — within hours of the requests being made — and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.