Another day, another deeply compromising story about America’s first son.
This weekend, a hacker on the 4chan messageboard claimed to have cracked Hunter Biden’s iCloud password — and proceeded to dump what appears to be the contents of his phone and iPad online.
The images and videos in question are more or less exactly what you’d expect: Hunter smoking crack, Hunter brandishing firearms, Hunter cavorting with sex workers, Hunter naked displaying his large appendage.
For readers, such as Cockburn, who managed to sidestep the Big Tech-media effort to suppress the New York Post’s “Laptop from Hell” story in October 2020, the iCloud leak contains no new revelations, just more of the same.
But revisiting the Post scoop in the light of this weekend’s events does throw up some interesting ethical quandaries.
Twitter blocked the sharing of the Hunter Biden laptop story on the grounds that it contained “hacked” material and personal information. That was not the case: Hunter left his laptop in a Delaware repair shop, forgot about it — and it was eventually passed to reporters by Republican operatives. Yet the videos and photos posted on 4chan on Saturday are undoubtedly and unequivocally hacked — and what’s more, screenshots of messages in the leak appear to contain the personal cell phone numbers of the president, the first lady and several other members of the Biden family.
Earlier today, NBC’s Tom Winter reported that the Secret Service “are aware of online posts saying Hunter Biden’s current iCloud account was hacked and ‘are not in a position to make public comments on potential investigative actions.’”
If ever there were a “hacked material” or “doxxing” justification for preventing the free circulation of media online — surely this is it?
But unlike in October 2020, this time round Hunter’s crack-and-hooker videos are freely circulating on Twitter. One user even cut together a laudatory rap-style music video of the clips:
“Hunter Biden” This guy is seriously whacked out! “First Lady”
Thanks! https://t.co/pUfX0z9ltv pic.twitter.com/sMR8QiL9DR
— dancingjones59 (@dancingjones59) July 11, 2022
Cockburn isn’t one to traffic in conspiracy theory — but it does strike him as rather odd that two weeks before the presidential election, damaging information about Hunter was snuffed out of circulation… yet now, as poll after poll emphasizes the president’s unpopularity, embarrassing videos of his son seem to be fair game…