Catching Leslie Jones‘ hacker may prove as difficult as grabbing a ghost without a proton pack.
Las Vegas First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza told TheWrap he sees just a 1 percent chance of finding the perp(s) who broke into the “Ghostbusters” star’s iCloud account, stealing and posting nude photos of the comedian as well as other personal information.
“Ultimately, I would be really shocked if the person with the expertise and the know-how to do this didn’t also have the expertise and the know-how to cover their tracks,” he said.
Randazza was quick to point out, however: “And the thing that’s sad is it probably wasn’t all that sophisticated.”
He dropped even shorter odds during our discussion — and they could theoretically help ID the bad guy. Or at least, narrow down the field a bit.
“There’s zero chance that this wasn’t a fan of Milo’s (Yiannopoulos),” he said. “The other zero percent here is it’s zero percent Milo’s fault.”
Also a fat goose egg are the chances that Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos — who was recently suspended from Twitter for “targeted abuse” of Jones via the social media platform — will face any legal trouble over this ordeal, Randazza said.
“If this was somebody who was a fan of Milo Yiannopoulos, unless he directed it, he has no liability at all,” Randazza continued. “If he just created a culture of it — as he has been accused in the past — that’s legally nothing.”
“Had Twitter not banned Milo Yiannopoulos, I bet it wouldn’t have happened,” he opined.
After all, “This guy’s got millions of fans, so just do the numbers, man,” the revenge porn lawyer explained. “All you need is one out of 10 million to have the motivation to do this. Now, I’ll bet there was one in 100,000 that had the motivation to do this … maybe one in 200,000 had the motivation and the ability.”
Randazza never liked the term “revenge porn,” by the way. It’s just an easy descriptor for something he’s been fighting heavily in recent years. Randazza actually prefers “non-consensual porn,” as most of these incidents are not actually out of revenge — though he knows that phrasing doesn’t have the same ring to it.
It’s a complicated subject, all the way down to what laws are even in question. First, that depends on the states involved, of course. Jones likely primarily resides in New York because of her “Saturday Night Live” gig, though who knows where her hacker lives. Plus, everything lives everywhere on the internet. Anyway, criminally, it’s potentially a non-starter for practical reasons, Randazza told us.
“This might wind up getting the attention of law enforcement because it is a high-profile case, it’s a hacking case — and there may be ways to find out who did it,” he said. “As far as a civil action, there would be a tort of invasion of privacy, which may hold up, but again, you have to find out who did it to have any claims.”
OK, so how do we nail this scumbag?
“You gotta get lucky,” the revenge porn lawyer stated. “Somebody has to just leave their fingerprints on something, somewhere and make a mistake.”
In March, Ryan Collins, a Pennsylvania man, pleaded guilty to hacking into the email accounts of more than 100 people, most of them celebrities, in a large-scale nude-photo dump that became known as The Fappening. The investigation revealed Collins obtained his victims’ usernames and passwords by sending emails that appeared to be from Apple or Google, asking them to provide information. It is unclear how Jones’ hacker accessed her information.
“Maybe the NSA would be able to figure out who they are and where they are, but I very much doubt anybody at the level that this would be prosecuted would want to do that,” Randazza concluded. “You’re talking about ’24’-level stuff.”
What a time for Jack Bauer to leave us (again).