No matter what you think, you can’t get away with it.

I’m predicting a new Law & Order SVU-like spin-off.  Law & Order:  CCU (Cyber Crimes Unit).

One of their first “ripped from the headlines” plots would be this week’s global hacker crackdown that nabbed over 90 people across the world for cyber-snooping, blackmail and extortion.  How’d these hackers do it?  They used an easily downloaded piece of Malware (list price – $40) called BlackShades.  (BlackShades used to have its own website but click here to see the cool “seized” landing page that the DOJ and FBI put up in its place).

With any great crime story, you need a great victim (remember that writers!), and the government has put forth Cassidy Wolf (the current Miss Teen USA), as the innocent face that has been abused by these geeky criminals.

Cassidy’s “sextortionist” took over her webcam and snapped photos of her in her bedroom, and then threatened to post them online if she didn’t send more.

Just makes you want to throw up, doesn’t it?

There are other stories out there that involve a lot more than pictures . . . like life savings, and people’s homes, and a lot more.

These hackers are a pretty damn smart bunch.

But in the end, they got busted.

Like everybody else from Madoff to the Mob to Silk Road . . . times have changed, and if you’re doing something illegal, odds are that the law is eventually going to catch up with you.

What does this have to do with producing?

First of all, true-crime is great fodder for entertainment.

Second, I’ve seen a lot of Producers and Agents and Managers and Actors and everyone in our business try and get away with stuff over the years.  Not criminal, mind you, but maybe skirting the truth, or massaging a number (remember this guy who’s writing this blog?), and yeah, I’ve even seen a lot of folks walking around with knives in their back put there by people who say they are a friend.

Sure, just like the hacker in Cassidy’s bedroom, or Bernie “How Much Is Enough?” Madoff, if you want to spend your career taking advantage of people, you might see success in the short term, but it will catch up with you.

There are so many ways to be successful in this business and in life by just being honest.  Isn’t that just easier?


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.