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OFF BEAT: Hacked celebs going public against Google


When it comes to photos of naked celebrities, American companies are finding there is plenty of risk to go around.

Apple Inc. came under fire when a number of celebrities apparently had their iCloud accounts hacked over Labor Day weekend, and now — with the threat of a $100 million lawsuit — Google is taking heat for its handling of the leak.

Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton are among the stars fighting for their reputations after being hacked.

In a letter to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, among others, Los Angeles attorney Martin Singer said his firm Lavely & Singer P.C. is representing more than a dozen female celebrities whose private images were recently leaked online.

“Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimized women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimize these women,” Mr. Singer wrote.

Unlike other Internet service providers, such as Twitter, that expeditiously removed the stolen images in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Google has failed to do so, Mr. Singer alleges.

Google responded to the letter in a statement obtained by CNET on Thursday.

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

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