Thursday, 4 September 2014


In an ideal world it should be possible for me to take photos of myself naked and leave them on my own computer without fear of somebody hacking it to obtain and share them.

In an ideal world it should be possible for me to leave my phone on a bar while I went to the washroom and still find it there when I got back.

We do not live in an ideal world. Our world is full of people who will take the opportunity to steal things from us at every chance they get. So, we don't leave our valuables lying around, because that's careless and stupid. The question then, seems to be what the definition of careless is, and how far we are expected to go to keep things secure.

In the recent discussions about such things as the above, and the date rape nail polish (which doesn't work, so don't get too excited) there have been those who say we shouldn't need to go to these lengths to stay safe. That people shouldn't hack or rape. Quite so. Alas, they do.

How much responsibility falls to the "victim" to prevent these crimes?

There can never be a hard and fast rule here. Situations vary.

And, it is no secret that I vehemently oppose the suggestion that a woman wearing little clothing, being alone with a man she doesn't know well, or is drunk, somehow makes her partially responsible for rape, for example. No. Why? Because women in sweatsuits get raped by relatives when stone cold sober, that's why. And far more often. Actually.

And nobody is saying that it is wrong to have naked photos of oneself stored anywhere.

However, if you go down dark alleys at night, alone, then no amount of protesting that you SHOULD be able to do that safely is going to save you from harm. Do you understand the difference? There is something called common sense.

We cannot carry on our lives as if constantly under siege. And, while it would be madness to leave the front door unlocked at night (and possibly even during the day) in the centre of a city, it would be somewhat paranoid to lock it where I live. Each decision we make with regard to personal safety and the security of our valuables must be made individually, based on where we are, and when too. That alley is fine in the middle of the day when being used constantly by other people.

You could, I suppose, wear body armour and never leave the house without an armed guard. And then if you were shot from a helicopter we could say you were careless not to think about overhead threats. No. We can all assess what overkill is, if we use our brains. We just like to argue on what is and isn't too much or too little caution, and that will never end, of course. There is a balance, and we have to find it for ourselves and then constantly adjust it.

Some security measures are too expensive or too oppressive. We weigh up safety against comfort and convenience, always. This is why we argue about the worth of the intrusive checks at airports. This is why we don't have 5 point harnesses for adults in cars (yet). There is no person alive who does not take risks because the safety measures they could potentially be taking are considered to be "too much". And there is no person alive who does not exercise caution in some area of his life that is seen as "too much" by others. This is all to do with attitude, experience, phobias, rumours, and so on. It will never be cut and dried.

But some of us do have half an ounce of nous, and we can tell you this much:

Nothing stored or transmitted electronically is secure.

If you understand that simple fact, perhaps you will get the balance right.


  1. Hell, if they got *my* nude photos, I pity them.

    1. I keep trying to get mine distributed but nobody wants them!

  2. Far too many people don't understand that fact, particularly those in the 13-25 age range. What's that saying where by the time you reach age 35 you've finally got your head screwed on right but your body starts to fall apart?

    1. I once danced naked on a table and it was caught on video. You Tube didn't exist in those days, and with any luck that tape is long gone.

      The rules have changed. We have to keep up.

  3. The desire for absolute Anything is the source of much misery.