Though not directly linked to the major celebrity nude photo leak of 2014, Knowles is being sentenced on September 13 for hacking celebrity email accounts and leaking sensitive information such as scripts, social security numbers, and, allegedly, a sex tape. He has also been charged with copyright infringement and identity theft.
Though he faces up to 33 months in prison, authorities have promised Knowles a lighter sentence should he turn in his computer, which could hold more sensitive information along with the technology he uses to perpetuate his crimes. Knowles, however, isn’t playing along.
Legal documents show that Knowles has told his brother as well as other inmates that he would rather serve more time than hand over his computer, aware that he is sitting on a goldmine of illegal information when he returns.
“Yo, when I get out dog, I’m going to be a millionaire dog, trust me when I say that… I’m gonna be rich as hell,” he told his brother. According to reports, Knowles is currently working on a book of celebrity secrets which he believes will make him rich after prison.
So what happens next?
Learning From Our Mistakes
Given his absolute lack of remorse, authorities are asking that Knowles be given a longer prison sentence, but we’ll have to wait to see what a judge decides is fitting for this man.
Even if he were to serve his prison term and then return to his computer, Knowles would of course be aware that his every move was being watched, so it’s unlikely that his criminal ways could continue as easily as before. He was arrested in New York last December after undercover agents convinced him to travel there to sell the scripts and sex tapes he had stolen. Sadly, it sounds like he still doesn’t realize the impact of what he has been doing, and that he may continue to do so recklessly, in spite of the victims his actions will surely have.
The Daily Mail reports that Knowles has already stolen information from more than 130 celebrities, not to mention movie and TV scripts and unpublished music, all of which he was able to take after tricking celebrities into downloading a virus that gave him access to their accounts.
Sadly, in 2016, even our most private information is no longer safe. We need more education on preventative strategies, and celebrities and other public figures should consider hiring specific teams to protect their online and mobile security. People should feel free to live their lives without the stress of potential hackers, but maybe—just maybe—we should think twice before sending and sharing sensitive information or nude photos across accessible apps or unprotected servers.
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