Oklahoma residents may have heard or read about the recent hacking of emails and other documents from Sony Corp. As of this writing, the identity of the hacker or hackers has not yet been determined. Some have speculated that North Korean agents, angered by the upcoming release of a film that portrays their leader in a bad light, may be behind the hacking. Others suspect a domestic hacker. Gossip websites and others have had a field day with hacked embarrassing emails between Sony movie executives in which they insult each other, movie star Angelina Jolie and even President Obama.
However, there was a darker side to the hacking incident. Along with the embarrassing emails and salary information, hackers also apparently stole and made public personal medical information about dozens of Sony employees. Some of this information included private medical records of the employees' spouses and children.
People often play fast and loose with privacy on the Internet. This is perhaps especially true when the subject involves famous people like movie stars. It can sometimes be confusing for people to see the difference between a public figure and public property. Internet users may be trying to find and share information, but end up breaking the law and finding themselves in much more trouble than they expected.
Just as the Internet is always changing, so too are Internet crimes. The justice system has wrestled with ways to handle privacy issues for decades, and is still trying to figure out how to handle Internet-based identity theft, hacking and other online crimes.
All those accused of crimes in the United States are entitled to a defense. Those who are accused of Internet crimes need defense attorneys who understand the Internet and Internet-related law.