“The network of networks” as the Internet is commonly known has been since its inception an element that has helped to make people’s lives a little easier, allowing interaction between people far away from each other and creating various sources of employment.
However, the internet has also been used by unscrupulous people to commit countless criminal acts that sometimes cause the destruction of the reputation and privacy of others. Cyber harassment can reach the point of inducing the suicide of other people ending not only human life but at the same time creating a tragedy for the families of the victims.
Uldouz Wallace is an actress and activist who by 2014 had a very promising professional career until the case of hacking and leaking of sensitive information of many people including celebrities occurred.
“I was one of the victims of iCloud hacking and leaking in 2014. My iCloud was hacked and leaked along with many other celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Brie Larson, Selena Gomez & Kirsten Dunst.” Uldouz shares.
When the leak of her data occurred, Uldouz’s world spiraled completely out of control. She became the cause of ridicule and disparagement to millions of people, including fellow professionals she thought were her friends.
“Then actors, actresses, and influencers who I thought were my friends started harassing me. These people wouldn’t leave me alone for years, they spread so many lies about me to block opportunities, followers, and more.” Uldouz explains.
The hacker who leaked Uldouz’s sensitive data also spent two years stalking 99 other famous women, calculating and collecting enough information, private images, videos, and addresses to then auction them on the dark web and subsequently leak them.
All this experience led Uldouz to isolate herself for a while from other people.
“I remember my phone exploding and me watching that video online for the world to see. My heart just dropped and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to run home and I ended up locking myself in and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like it was the death of me and I isolated myself.” Uldouz recounts.
On top of this, all of Uldouz’s sponsors started canceling their contracts, claiming they didn’t want to be associated with her brand and wanted to go in another direction.
In the search for a solution to her problem, Uldouz realized that the people in charge of providing the solution were not doing it because if they prevented sensitive data from being shared over the networks they would stop making millions of dollars in profit.
After 7 years of making DMCA takedown requests, Uldouz was able to get in touch with the head of marketing at a well-known porn site where she was informed that they would implement the fingerprint stamp system on their video.
“I asked them what the fingerprint stamp system is, and they told me it’s a technology that scans the video in advance and doesn’t allow anyone to upload it. I asked why they hadn’t implemented this technology on my video before and they told me they only do it for a ‘select few’ who are connected and “sometimes” to cases of child sexual abuse.” Uldouz says.
This bitter experience prompted Uldouz to seek a solution so that no one else will go through what she went through. She managed to contact some senators and several non-profit organizations and ended up testifying on Capitol Hill.
This led to the creation of a bill called The Protect Act that Uldouz helped create with the National Center of Sexual Exploitation, against image-based sexual abuse.
“This is a bill that will protect people against the non-consensual sharing of images and videos. It covers everything, including hacking, deep fakes (edited photos/videos), hidden cameras, and images taken consensually that are then shared non-consensually on a website without your consent. All types of image-based sexual abuse have been covered in this bill.” Uldouz explains.
Uldouz explains that technology is updated every day, but the laws have not changed. This is why better laws are needed to protect the future generation. Senator Mike Lee of Ohio just introduced the bill, which everyone should support.
Uldouz’s bill is survivor-led and currently, over 300 survivors have signed the survivor letter, including celebrities such as Terry Crews, Whitney Cummings, and Marisol Nichols.
If you would like to support Uldouz Wallace’s efforts, support Foundation Ra and Protect America’s Daughters
Also follow her social media accounts to help push her cause.