Archive for: March, 2014

Revenge Porn Bill Will Seek to Shrivel Booming Internet Fad

The war against “revenge porn” is about to enter Congress.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is preparing to introduce legislation to criminalize the non-consensual online dissemination of lewd content by jilted lovers and hackers, her office confirms to U.S. News.

Speier intends to introduce the revenge porn bill sometime next month. The legislation is still being drafted and several significant details have yet to be resolved – such as the maximum punishment for offenders and possible rules for the removal of non-consensual content.

Three states currently make sharing revenge in porn a crime, including California, where the operator of a revenge porn website was charged in December with 31 felony counts for allegedly attempting to harass and extort victims.

Most websites hosting revenge porn, however, cannot be forced to remove the content because Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act grants Internet companies legal immunity if third-party content doesn’t violate federal copyright or criminal law.

University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks, an advocate for victims of revenge porn and a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, is helping to draft the legislation.

If disseminating “revenge porn” becomes a federal crime, websites “wouldn’t be able to raise the special Section 230 defense that intermediaries are sometimes able to raise with regard to other unlawful activity,” Franks tells U.S. News.

Search engines and website that host third-party content might be required to remove or block access to revenge porn if its distribution becomes a federal crime, as is already done with child pornography and copyright violations.

Speier’s office expects there to be significant support among lawmakers and is in talks with other members.

Matt Zimmerman, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told U.S. News in November he’s concerned about the possible effects of a federal revenge porn law.

“Frequently, almost inevitably, statutes that try to do this type of thing overreach,” he said. “The concern is that they’re going to shrink the universe of speech that’s available online.”

Zimmerman – who would support expanding civil liability for posters – said criminal law would be a “dangerous” way to address the problem because Internet companies would likely respond by reflexively removing content any time there’s a complaint.

An overwhelming majority of states have no criminal penalties for distributors of revenge porn. A New York judge, for example, tossed the state’s first known revenge porn case in February after finding the accused – who posted to Twitter nude photos of a woman he dated – hadn’t violated the existing laws he was charged with breaking.

Federal ‘Revenge Porn’ Bill Will Seek to Shrivel Booming Internet Fad – U.S. News & World Report
revenge porn – Google News

Steven Nelson is a reporter at U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at… Read the rest

Melissa Esplin: Revenge Porn Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help

Melissa Esplin is a successful blogger, wife, mommy of two, and craft project extraordinaire. Melissa Esplin was also the victim of cyber-bullying at its worst. She became the victim of a startling and invading trend on the internet, “revenge porn.”In an age where everyone has a blog, getting noticed can be a difficult task. Many experts suggest finding something you are good at and becoming a voice for that content. Melissa Esplin uses her blog and her YouTube page to post creative ideas and projects, hoping to help others be successful in the same endeavors. Melissa is active on social media and often post pictures of her family, as many Americans do. But one day, the Salt Lake City mother started receiving very strange Facebook and Twitter messages.What Melissa Esplin discovered next was enough to make her want to throw up. One of the revenge porn suitors wrote her a letter letting her know that her pictures were being used on a website in sexual positions. If Esplin wanted them to be removed, she needed to visit the website and click on a link to have them removed. Unsure of her decision, she went over to the revenge porn site and was horrified. Her face was plastered on images of naked women, not her own, doing very pornographic things.Melissa Esplin clicked on the link to have the images removed, only to find that she was now also the victim of extortion. The revenge porn website owners wanted $400 from her to take the images down. Not to mention they would need her credit card information. Smart enough to know better than to handle the situation on her own, Esplin contacted the FBI and local news station KSL.

Whether or not Melissa Esplin, 29, can ever have the pictures fully removed is difficult to know. Revenge porn sites like the one where she found her picture are hard to track down. Former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Good Morning America, “The internet is hard to control. And there’s not much you can do once your pictures are misused.”

In a special piece last year, ABC News spoke to some women who had been the victim of revenge porn like Melissa Esplin. They were out to bring down the people who were exposing and exploiting them. Their stories helped shed light on the global internet cyber-bullying tactic.



Melissa Esplin: ‘Revenge Porn‘ Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help – The Inquisitr

Melissa Esplin: ‘Revenge Porn’ Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help

revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Arizona House approves revenge porn bill


The Arizona House on Monday unanimously approved a bill aimed at stopping jilted lovers from posting explicit pictures of their former flames online to get revenge.

The revenge porn bill sponsored by Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, would make it a felony to post nude photos of a person without their written consent.

“As technology changes, people invent new ways of hurting folks,” Mesnard said. “If at the end of the day we send pictures to somebody in the context of a loving relationship, we should not have to wonder what that person is going to do.”

House Bill 2515 is one revenge porn bill of many being considered by lawmakers across the nation in response to the posting of “revenge porn” that has been made easier by the growth of social networking sites. Last year, California made it a misdemeanor to post such images.

Members of an Arizona House committee that passed the bill in February expressed concern that the proposal was too broad and could inadvertently target teens who “sext.”

“Sexting” involves sending racy images to peers that are sometimes resent to others. Current law makes the practice a petty offense.

Mesnard said an amendment to the bill addressed those concerns.

Nobody spoke in opposition to the bill Monday. It now heads to the Senate.

Arizona House OKs ‘revenge porn’ bill –
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest