Just two months after Ryan Collins was named as the hacker that violated the privacy of Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, and Kate Upton, he has pleaded guilty of stealing private information from them, including nude photos that later leaked on the internet. The official charge that Collins pleaded guilty to in Federal court was one count of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. This charge alone could put Collins in a Federal prison for five years.
As much as cases of invasion of privacy and illegal use of images are on the rise with better technology, so is the prosecution rate, according to The Inquisitr. Recently, two men were sent to prison in a case of revenge porn, where they accepted money to publish private photos and video of ex girlfriends by their former boyfriends in order to get revenge. Often, the images were stolen or hacked and used to attempt to ruin women. Though both men alleged that they had done nothing wrong, they were charged and convicted
Vanity Fair is reporting that the accusations against Ryan Collins were so vast, it is a bit shocking that his plea deal was only for one count of hacking. Court documents say that Collins was up to no good for years before he finally got caught.
“[Collins] was accused of gaining access to more than 100 Google and Apple accounts from November 2012 to September 2014.”
Collins created a major phishing scheme where he allegedly sent e-mails to his victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google. Collins would then ask for usernames and passwords. After Collins gained access to some accounts, he downloaded the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups.
DTN Dubai: Jennifer Lawrence hacker to plead guilty to felony charge: Ryan Collins accessed iCloud accounts of... https://t.co/4zIyyV4frE— DTN Dubai (@DTNDubai) March 19, 2016
Jennifer Lawrence in particular decided not to remain quiet about this invasion of privacy by Ryan Collins. She went public and said that she considered the stolen photos splashed on the internet to be a sex crime, with herself and the other women as the victims.
“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.”
Lawrence said that she found the crime and the criminal, Ryan Collins, disgusting. Lawrence shared her thoughts at length with Vanity Fair.
“It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Deadline says that the Celebgate hacker, Collins, admitted to illegally getting into the accounts of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities for the purposes of accessing private information. Ryan Collins, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in Federal court in Harrisburg on Tuesday, putting the case to rest for now.
Collins intentionally attacked the accounts of women in the entertainment industry. In all, Collins accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities. Of the women who were victimized, Jennifer Lawrence has been the most vocal about the invasion of privacy she experienced.
PennLive says that, in addition to five years in Federal prison, Ryan Collins is facing a $250k fine in association with the hacking that included Jennifer Lawrence’s private images. U.S. Attorney Peter Smith said that through his phishing scheme, Collins would send victims fake requests allegedly from Apple and Google for account information. At that point Collins would use that stolen data to access their accounts, obtaining personal information including nude photos and videos.
Do you think that Ryan Collins’ punishment for hacking the accounts of Jennifer Lawrence and others was fitting?
[Photo by Evan Agostini/AP Images]