Illinois Senate votes to outlaw revenge porn

SPRINGFIELD — Posting sexually explicit pictures of intimate friends or ex-lovers on the web would become illegal in Illinois under legislation the Senate passed Thursday.

Sponsoring Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Orland Hills, said the practice, known as revenge porn, represents “cyberbullying at its max.”

Under the proposal, it would be a felony to post nude and sexually explicit pictures of another person without his or her permission. The bill also would make it a crime to require a fee to get pictures removed from a web site. The maximum penalty would be up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, though judges would have discretion to impose lesser punishment.

Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, will sponsor Hastings’ measure in the House, but has his own version and expects to meld the two together.

“Legislation like this is needed in Illinois,” said Drury, who noted similar bills have passed in California and New Jersey. “It’s needed everywhere and on a federal level. I think this is a big problem. It ruins people’s lives. So we need to do something to help.”

The move attempts to update statutes to address technological changes as social media advances on the Internet.

The Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has argued the bill would limit the First Amendment right to free speech, but Hastings said not all speech is protected in the U.S. Constitution.

“Anything that’s obscene in nature isn’t protected,” Hastings said. “I think that non-consensual explicit pictures posted online is obscene, and it won’t hold the same judicial standard as regular free speech would.”

The bill passed the Senate 52-0.


Illinois Senate votes to outlaw revenge porn – Chicago Tribune
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Oklahoma man arrested in alleged revenge porn extortion

An Oklahoma man who allegedly blackmailed women with nude and sexually explicit photos on his “revenge porn” website has been arrested and faces charges in California, Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Friday.

Casey E. Meyering, 28, of Tulsa, allegedly ran the “revenge porn” website known as WinByState that featured photos either stolen from victims or posted by angry former boyfriends, Harris’ office said.

In a kind of competition among states, the website encouraged men to post photos of women they used to date or of current girlfriends.

The website then required victims to pay $250 via a Google Wallet account to remove the photographs, the officials said. That financial account, registered at a non-existent Beverly Hills storefront, was eventually traced to Meyering.

“This behavior is the very definition of predatory and this website made a game out of humiliating victims for profit,” Harris said in a statement.

The attorney general began to investigate after a Northern California woman discovered stolen nude photos of herself on the site.  Officials said they found 400 postings involving California people and many more from around the country.

Meyering was arrested by California and Oklahoma law enforcement officers and charged with five felony extortion counts. He is resisting extradition to California.

In December, a San Diego man was arrested for allegedly operating a similar website and shakedown operation. Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, is awaiting trial on identity theft and extortion charges.

Oklahoma man arrested in alleged ‘revenge porn’ extortions – Los Angeles Times
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest