EU politician faces backlash after branding 'The Fappening' victims 'dumb'

"Stupidity is something you can only partly save people from," was just one of the controversial comments publicised by the EU's next Commissioner for Digital in the wake of the "The Fappening" scandal.

Günther Oettinger has refused to apologise for his stance, which places the blame for the attacks solely on the celebrities whose private iCloud accounts were hacked.

For those that missed the media storm, at the beginning of September cyber-criminals splashed hundreds of nude and semi-naked photos belonging to over 80 individuals across the Internet for the whole world (literally) to see.

Many of the images were shared on 4Chan as "tasters" for more "explicit material" that interested users could access in return for Bitcoin payments.

Speaking at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, Oettinger (who is set to become the EU's Digital Economy and Society commissioner in November) said: "the fact that recently there have been an increasing number of public lamentations about nude photos of celebrities who took selfies - I just can't believe it."

"If someone is dumb enough as a celebrity to take a nude photo of themselves and put it online, they surely can't expect us to protect them."

However, many have pointed out that while the images were technically "online" in the cloud, they were kept private in personal, password-protected accounts belonging to the celebrities. Those affected had in no way given permission for the photos to be proliferated online.

Indeed, iCloud settings mean that all the files on your computer or iPhone can be auto-uploaded into the cloud. Consequently, the celebrities may have had no knowledge that the images were online in the first place.

Julia Reda, an MEP for the Pirate Party, said that Oettinger's statements were "unbelievable."

She defended the celebrities affected in her blog, saying "The person applying to be in charge of shoring up trust in the Internet so that Europeans do more business online just blamed people whose personal data was accessed and spread without authorisation.

"He placed the moral blame for that crime squarely on the victims rather than the perpetrators."

What do you think? Does Oettinger have a point, or is he missing the point? Let us know in our poll below.