Analysis Of The Brazilian Supermodel Sex Video Story In One Short Sentence - InformationWeek

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1/8/2007
12:22 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Analysis Of The Brazilian Supermodel Sex Video Story In One Short Sentence

If you didn't want crowds of people seeing you have sex, why did you do it on the beach with other people around? OK, I can't leave it at one sentence, so here's a little more.

If you didn't want crowds of people seeing you have sex, why did you do it on the beach with other people around? OK, I can't leave it at one sentence, so here's a little more.

Brazilian supermodel Daniela Cicarelli and boyfriend Tato Malzoni were cavorting amorously on a Brazilian beach, and their exploits were videotaped and posted to YouTube. The video is actually all over the net, but Cicarelli's lawyers targeted YouTube, which is owned by Google, in their lawsuit. YouTube claims it's trying to take the video down, but people keep posting new copies. A Brazilian judge ordered YouTube shut down until it complies.

It's unclear what the judge's order means, since YouTube is based in the U.S., outside Brazilian jurisdiction. According to Internet reports, Brazilian users are having difficulty accessing YouTube, which may be due to state-imposed blocks on the whole site and may simply be a coincidental technical foulup.

I've seen the video in question -- oh, the sacrifices I make for you, our readers! -- and here's what's going on:

Cicarelli is wearing an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini, and her boyfriend is wearing skimpy swim trunks. They stand around on the beach engaging in what my junior high school health teacher used to call "petting." Now here's the thing: They're already doing it in front of other people. There's people standing right next to them, and people walking by the camera.

If I were on that beach, I'd likely put on my New York voice and tell 'em to get a room. If I had kids with me, I'd call a cop to make them cut it out.

Then they move into belly-deep water. It's pretty clear what they're doing in the water, and they're not looking for new additions to their seashell collection.

This part of video seems to be taken with some kind of long lens, and it's unclear what people might have seen with the naked eye.

It's difficult for me to work up any sympathy for Cicarelli here. I mean, she's a supermodel. She had sex in public. What did she expect was going to happen, after Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson Lee had their exploits -- performed in much more private circumstances -- blasted all over the Internet? She either knew the risks when she chose to have sex in public, or she's a fool.

Another, cynical theory: She planned the whole thing, and she's using the lawsuit to further fan the flames of publicity.

Okay, now everybody let's stop giggling now and get on with discussion of the larger issues:

Those of us who were born in the 20th Century grew up with a certain expectation of privacy. We just don't expect to be videotaped without our knowledge (except by security cameras -- but that's a whole different issue). We expect the only people who can see what we're doing are people who are (1) physically present (2) at the time.

That's changed forever. We live in a total surveillance society, and everything we do outside the confines of our own homes might be seen by anyone and everyone in the whole world. Forever. Today's small children were born into that world, they'll grow up thinking it's normal and think we're all a bunch of old farts for thinking it should be any other way.

Moreover, anyone-can-post sites like YouTube should not be responsible for screening content in advance. Open platforms like YouTube, MySpace, Blogger, and Facebook, offer too many opportunities for free speech, connecting people, creating art, and encouraging political discussion to be throttled by censorship--especially to protect the rights of a silly supermodel who should have known better--and especially because the video is already all over the Internet, and censoring it on YouTube will do nothing to stop its spread.

As you might expect, Boing Boing has a roundup of information about the video, including description of the action, and funny translation of the corny titles ("An ice cream fights the heat...or not?" Oy, gevalt). They've also got links to three mirrors of the video itself. I'm not comfortable linking to the video from here, but I am comfortable linking to the Boing Boing post which links to the videos. Go ahead, call me a hypocrite -- but I was born in the 20th Century so I have old-fashioned ideas.

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