CNN reports that the person believed responsible for stealing and leaking Madonna’s unreleased tracks has been arrested by Israeli police. The arrest was the result of efforts by the FBI and undercover Israeli investigators. Madonna posted a note of gratitude to the authorities on her Facebook page:
I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli Police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker. I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy. This invasion into my life - creatively, professionally, and personally remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience, as it must be for all artists who are victims of this type of crime.
When the theft came to light in December, Madonna took to social media, comparing the theft to rape and urging people not to download the unfinished tracks (while simultaneously calling even more attention to their existence). Unhappy that loyal fans might be tainted by unfinished work she deemed worthless, she countered by releasing finished versions she deemed worth $8, and announced that the full album, Rebel Heart, would be available for download on March 10. In response to the hacker’s arrest, an attorney for Madonna claimed that the theft represented millions of dollars in damages.
According to an Israeli police spokeswoman, the suspect is a 38-year-old man believed to have stolen and sold property online from multiple artists; he faces charges of intellectual property theft and aggravated fraud. The FBI indicated that an investigation is still ongoing, but have not yet issued any statement confirming if Rebel Heart will sound as good as Madonna’s classic stuff.