It’s been just over a year and a half since the giant celebrity nude photo theft that made our collective faith in human goodness drift that much further into the realm of laughable myth. A pretty big blow has been struck, though, against the human sinkholes who think any and every woman’s privacy, sexuality, or general personhood is up for grabs. According to Variety, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man named Ryan Collins has signed a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, admitting that he “gained illegal access to at least 50 Apple iCloud accounts and 72 Google Gmail accounts, most belonging to Hollywood celebs.”
In an era when our law enforcement and criminal justice systems are notoriously and utterly oblivious as to how to deal with cyber crimes— especially cyber sex crimes— this is a great step forward. But it could be a whole lot bigger. Because the sex part of that crime isn’t actually being prosecuted. Apparently, no one has been able to find evidence that Collins was the person who made the photos public, only that he hacked into the accounts and gained access to them.
According to U.S. officials, between November 2012 and September 2014, Collins engaged in a “phishing” scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims using emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google asking for usernames and passwords. In some instances, Collins downloaded the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups, according to prosecutors.
So that’s the crime he’s actually being charged with. Phishing. And sure, that’s something, way better than nothing. That charge could get him up to five years in prison, though prosecutors are looking to lower that to 18 months in exchange for a guilty plea.
Now, I know we live in a civilized society and have ethical structures and boundaries and blah blah fucking blah. Great. Good for us and the world. But here, in the privacy of our own little internet pod, I think we can do better than 18 months for this cretin. Let’s see…
Oh, I know! We should throw him a dinner party.
With a big, well-curated guest list.
And, like, fancy hats.
In a nice, secluded location.
We’ll even spring for transportation.