In Brief

Nude selfie celebs 'dumb', says new EU digital chief

Günther Oettinger refuses to apologise for saying people can't always be protected from their own stupidity

The next head of digital security for the EU has refused to apologise for describing female celebrities as "dumb" for taking nude photographs which were leaked on the internet.

Referring to recent leaks of intimate images featuring celebrities such as actress Jennifer Lawrence and pop star Rihanna, Günther Oettinger said: "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."

He added: "Stupidity is something you can only partly save people from."

Oettinger, who will become the EU's digital economy and society commissioner next month, has been criticised for his remarks, which he made during a three-hour grilling by MEPs in Brussels on Monday.

MEP Julia Reda described his comments as "unbelievable". She wrote: "He placed the moral blame for that crime squarely on the victims rather than the perpetrators."

Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht joined the condemnation, telling The Guardian: "He revealed that he still hasn't understood the real problem behind these leaked pictures." The weekly German news magazine Der Spiegel said his comments prove that Oettinger has "no clue about current events and issues at the core of his new resort".

Asked by the BBC to clarify his position, Oettinger said: "Everybody has a right to privacy. The EU Commission wants to make cloud computing safer."

However, his spokeswoman said the commissioner would not apologise for what he had said. 

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