Attorney Carrie Goldberg weighs in on proposed anti-revenge porn law

With days left in the legislative session, the New York State Senate passed a bill on Wednesday night that would criminalize the sending of revenge porn pictures without consent of the person in the image.

Websites like IsAnyoneUp.com or MyEx.com have been targeted by courts and lawmakers nationwide for posting not only posting private images without consent of the subject but also publishing sensitive information including name, location and social media links.

Brooklyn attorney Carrie A. Goldberg operates a private practice that has handled cases related to online-privacy-sex invasions and volunteers with revenge porn advocacy group End Revenge Porn. Goldberg said she was glad to see the state prioritizing recognizing revenge porn as a crime but does see more work to be done both online and off.

Why is this law necessary in New York State?
I think that New York is responding to the need that is rippling throughout the rest of the country. Distributing photos of people is really harmful to the victims and exposes them to irreparable humiliation. and until now, there’s nothing that deters that behavior.

What kind of humiliation do revenge porn victims typically experience?
They’re horrified and terrified. Most of the victims are in their early 20s; I’ve seen some as young as 13. Many are in the early stages of the their careers, and it’s foolish to think one can get a job without employers doing a Google search, and images from revenge porn sites are the first hits when victims’ names are typed into search engines.

They’re also really scared about the impact that the images might have on their family and other personal relationships. The victim-shaming is particularly extreme in religious communities — it has profound effects. And in all cases, victims express an urgency to get the images removed.

But does the proposed law help take down those images?
Federal copyright laws usually applies to take down images, but no this law doesn’t.

What are some of the other weaknesses that this law doesn’t necessarily address?
This law requires that the perpetrator have the intent to harass, annoy or alarm the victim, but we actually see some situations outside of that pattern where the perpetrator might not have a relationship with the victim. They either hack into computers or take the images off someone’s cellphone.

In hackings or when there’s a drive for financial gain, you don’t have that intent. That person might not be covered by the law, but the victim would be equally harmed.

There are actually other versions of revenge porn laws floating around in Albany that have exceptions where the law wouldn’t apply, like when distribution was for law enforcement and reporting crimes, or if nudity is voluntary in public or commercial settings or if disclosure serves a legitimate public purpose like in the Anthony Weiner case.

What does public purpose mean?
There are certain situations when the public has an interest in knowing if our potential elected officials are sending crotch shots to other people and publishing them online.

We don’t want Sydney Leathers to be prosecuted under this law because she was exposing something about an elected official that is of value.

Is there any advice you would offer to folks who might be victimized by revenge porn?
If this bill gets passed: report it to law enforcement and don’t leave the precinct until they take the report.

But my advice is more to the people who have naked photos of other people: don’t distribute them — get rid of them. It’s your obligation. There’s nothing wrong with people sending naked pictures to other people — the problem lies in what the recipients do with them.

Attorney weighs in on proposed anti-revenge porn law – Metro.us
http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/local/2014/06/12/attorney-weighs-proposed-anti-revenge-porn-laws/… Read the rest

Peter F. Kilmartin Filing ‘Revenge Porn’ Legislation

Citing the ever growing problem of posting photos and videos on the Internet with intent to embarrass or harm another individual, Representative Donald J. Lally Jr. (D-Dist. 33, Narragansett, South Kingstown), along with Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and Senator Erin Lynch (D – Dist. 31 Warwick, Cranston) recently announced the intention to file legislation that would prohibit the posting of “revenge porn” without consent of the individual depicted in the images.

According to a release from Attorney General Kilmartin’s office, “revenge porn” is defined as sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual. It is uploaded by former lovers or hackers for the purpose of humiliation. The images or videos are often accompanied by personal information, including the pictured individual’s full name and links to social media profiles.

Although there have been reports of this disturbing conduct occurring across Rhode Island, the activity is not currently addressed by state law.

AG Kilmartin has filed similar legislation for the past three years as one part of his Internet Safety legislation package.

“We have all been taught that once an image is posted on the Internet, there is a good chance it will be in cyberspace forever,” he said. “But, the latest phenomenon of individuals posting intimate photos and videos on ‘revenge porn’ sites with the mission to embarrass exes takes the exploitation and degradation of people, especially women, to a new level of depravity.”

“These private images go viral to the world leaving the victim no recourse to have the images removed,” Kilmartin continued. “This legislation will give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to hold these vengeful individuals accountable for this horrendous action.”

If passed, the legislation would prohibit a person from electronically distributing visual images of another engaged in sexually explicit conduct or the intimate parts of another, without that person’s consent and where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Constitutionally protected activity is not subject to the provisions of this section.

Those in violation would be guilty of a felony with a maximum penalty of three years in prison or a fine of not more than $3,000 or both.

“I applaud Attorney General Kilmartin for this strong legislation and I will be proud to submit it when the new session begins,” said Rep. Lally. “Individuals posting explicit photos with the intent of embarrassing a former romantic partner must be punished, and this new law would give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools necessary to take decisive action. Once such a law is on the books, it will hopefully make those seeking revenge think twice before invading someone’s privacy in such a degrading manner.”


“Posting explicit photos of a former partner without their consent is extremely hurtful and embarrassing. Penalties need to be strong to ensure that people think twice before attempting to degrade an individual in this way,” said Sen. Lynch. “I am grateful to Attorney General Kilmartin for developing this legislation to address a new kind of virtual assault, which disproportionately targets women. I am proud to submit this legislation on his behalf.”

Narragansett, SK Rep. Lally Joins Officials in Filing ‘Revenge Porn’ Legislation – Patch.com
Original story at patch.com
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest