Celebrity Privacy

December 4, 2013
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Celebrity Privacy
Public figures have been harassed by the media for an exceedingly large amount of time. It has reached the point that when they are stalked and have their personal devices and accounts hacked by the press. The press has done too much and it is time that the public and even the government began to take action to restrict the press and save the celebrities personal privacy. The freedom of the press has gone too far and it is breaking the boundaries of the citizens’ right to privacy.
There are acts issued by the government to ensure one’s privacy, especially from the paparazzi. There have even been assault cases as results of their persistence and desperation. In the Privacy act of 1974, it says directly that it “…prohibits the disclosure of a record about an individual from a system of records absent the written consent of the individual.” The press has no right to go up digging in the files of the celebrities without their permission, it is against the law for them to get some of the information they get their hands on. The government has to take action and if necessary, arrest members of the paparazzi. In an official police report filed by Cameron Diaz, "Diaz and Justin Timberlake were leaving a friend's home when a photographer hiding in the bushes tried to take a photograph of her, they both then chased the photographer for a short distance. The photographer then got into his car and drove toward both of them, causing Diaz to jump out of the car's way. She felt the driver was trying to hit both of them, and so she filed the report.” This is a federal crime, not only is illegal to assault someone as the photographer had, but also to take a photo of someone without consent. This is a crime against their personal safety as well as their privacy. The government has to take action and restrict the paparazzi. They do not do enough to punish the paparazzi, and so they keep on invading the persons personal space and harasses and stalks them, also a, invasion of privacy.
The Press does have a right to say what they want, but that doesn’t mean that they have a right to invade privacy. A summary of the freedom of the press states “freedom of the press protects the right to obtain and publish information or opinions without government censorship or fear of punishment” (First Amendment). The bill of rights does give the press the ability to publish what ever they want, but it is crossing the boundaries of other acts and laws about privacy, the government must change their ways. They must take actions to stop media harassment and stalking of celebrities and restrict their actions from going to far. The press is breaking privacy laws and therefore, requiring action of the court of law and trial to have the government censor the information received illegally. The Bill of rights directly says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for address of grievances” (First Amendment). The government can not restrict what they report, but it is not censoring is they simply made arrests of the invasions of privacy that had occurred. It is not against the constitution to protect one’s rights, it is however illegal to take and publish an image of a person without consent, it is illegal to assault someone; it is illegal to invade ones right to privacy.
There have been official reports and investigations that had even went to court. According to CNN news, Julian Assange, founder of wikileaks, was apprehended and arrested just outside of the Ecuador ambassador building of London, “Wikileaks posts more than 90,000 classified documents related to the Afghanistan war,” as well as the performance of several other illegal actions. He was caught and arrested in London; he did however meet his bail and was able to be put under house arrest. He broke several privacy laws including hacking personal accounts. This is one of the very few instances when the government has taken action against the press and treated one of its members like the criminal that they really are. As seen in an interview with Hugh Grant about the media issues of hacking and their coverage, he directly states that the media should discuss real issues and be less concerned with the celebrities like himself. He was able to bug and catch the hacker of his phone by himself; he even said it wasn’t too difficult too. This proves that the government has to take more action towards the press and to help prevent these invasions of privacy. Although it requires the government’s hand, it wouldn’t if the paparazzi just respect the privacy off the celebrities and stick to real-world problems that are actually important such as politics and other major events around the world.
The freedom of the press has gone too far and it is breaking the boundaries of the citizens’ right to privacy. The media has crossed to many lines and it does require action, it doesn’t matter from who, the government preventing harassment and taking the cases to court, or the people not contributing to the Hollywood drama, or if the media would simply report international issues and political events that will effect them, that the general public should be aware of, that is more important than who is considered fat and the pointless relationships of Hollywood. The press does indeed have the right to say what they want, but that certainly does not mean that they can do as they please and expect no consequence if they do break a law. Celebrities have lost almost all their privacy and everyone must respect their right to it and let them have it.

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