Maroney Hacking Case: From ‘The Fappening’ to Child Abuse?

The McKayla Maroney hacking case could be taking a very serious criminal turn for those who ended up hacking Maroney’s pictures.

The Guardian is reporting additional information on the photos that were stolen from Maroney’s hacked account. McKayla initially claimed the photos were fake, but she is now claiming that the nude and semi-nude photos of her were taken when Maroney was under 18, the legal age of consent. Under United States and many international laws, possessing or sharing nude photos of persons under 18 is illegal. The FBI is currently investigating the crime, which now changes focus from simple theft and hacking to possessing child porn and committing child abuse nationally and internationally.

Lawyers acting on Maroney’s behalf have served a legal demand on porn.com demanding removal of all of Maroney’s hacked photos.

Under United States and United Kingdom law, anyone who has viewed and/or downloaded the allegedly hacked photos is considered to have committed child abuse. The popular discussion board reddit advised persons who had the pictures to delete them to avoid prosecution.

Reddit has been one of the sites that has been a major offender in the Apple iCloud account hacking scandal. Reddit changed their policy in 2012 after Gawker found child porn throughout their site. Reddit told the site, “We have very few rules here on Reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering with the site’s functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors.”

Rt.com is reporting that more than 400 pictures of over 100 celebrities were posted to the 4chan website, apparently as part of an effort by one member of a gang that regularly hacked iCloud accounts (to which iPhone pictures are backed up) to cash in on them. Apple said in a statement on Tuesday, “We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the internet. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”

In a message to supporters on Monday, the person who claims to have led the photo hacking-and-dumping operation said he had to move to a new location to avoid authorities. He asked for bitcoin donations to aid further photo leaks and hacking by his group.

According to evidence obtained by The Guardian, members of the group responsible “are widely distributed geographically.” They include a manager of a Dutch image hosting site and a worker at a computer server company in the US Midwest.

Maroney, as well as Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, model Kate Upton, and actress Kirsten Dunst, is among the top celebrities who were alleged victims of the hacking effort.

[Image Via Geeknation.com and The White House]

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