The Benefits and Dangers of the Internet

Paris Hilton doesn’t have anything on Edison Chen.

Like fire, the internet is both a powerful energy force, as well as a dangerous destructor. For Hong Kong movie and popstar Edison Chen, he now knows this all too well. Vancouver born, Edison, who resembles the star power of a younger Leonardo DiCaprio, is known in Asia for his many Hong Kong movie roles, music performances, started a fashion line, and was to appear in the upcoming US Batman movie. His star power great, yet mastery over his own personal data, not the savviest. The Wall Street Journal reports in on the details.

Like many celebrities, a life of debauchery is common in nearly every culture, and for Edison, he taped his conquests with many of the movie industry’s stars and saved to his PC. Sadly, many of these other pop celebrities had bubble-gum reputations, (like Hannah Montana to other Disney Kid stars) were featured in this raunchy tapes. Here’s where Edison could have learned some skills in IT, to be specific, data protection, a service offered by many data storage companies. Edison took his broken computer to a PC repair shop, the videos were discovered and apparently leaked to the internet.

Damage Control: Hong Kong police try to stop the hosting of images, but it’s too late, they’ve already spread internationally. One of the men who uploaded was held for a ‘obsenity law’ and Hong Kong bloggers have been protesting. Recently, Edison released an apology and plea for the destruction of the videos from his personal blog using a YouTube video.

A few lessons to be learned:
This isn’t a blog about morality, so I’ll avoid all the ethical implications and focus on what I know best:

1) Control your personal and private information, don’t let your computer out of your sight, and find a trusted repairman.
2) The internet fuels growth, governments and officials who try to control it actually will fuel it further.
3) The web is a tool for great communication opportunities, but can also be used for ill-intentions, beware.

For many of those involved, their lives, careers, and families (Family reputation is often far more important than anything else) are ruined, damaged, and in one case, one of those celebrity women apparently tried to commit suicide. Be careful out there friends, information spreads fast and far.