Celebrities’ financial info: Is it illegal to publish?

KWIKA attorney Aaron Liskin was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter in Eriq Gardner’s article about recent hack attacks and subsequent unauthorized publication of the personal financial data of Hollywood stars Jay-Z, Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Mel Gibson, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, plus Vice President Joe Biden and FBI director Robert Mueller.

Certainly it is illegal to trespass into computer networks.  However, for a second party who receives information legitimately and then publishes it, the law is a bit murkier because of First Amendment protections.  Aaron, however, believes that publishing extremely sensitive information could be viewed as complicity in identity theft.  He thinks it’s similar to cases of unauthorized circulation of nude photos of celebrities, admittedly an area where the law is not clear.

Read the Full Article.  Aaron’s comments are in the 8th, 14th and 15th paragraphs.