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Revenge Porn - How to fight the posting illicit images online.

Revenge Porn – Ending the Harassment

Revenge porn is a relatively recent phenomena targeting everyone from exes, celebrities, vulnerable individuals and more. A vast array of motives can lie behind this extremely detrimental form of harassment including extortion, revenge, and sheer humiliation.

This Cybercrime involves the non-consensual distribution of sexually explicit media; a practice often also involving the distribution of additional information about the victim. Offenders often post and share inappropriate images and videos on the internet accompanied by the victim’s full name, links to their social media account, even home and work addresses. This can then start an onset of other crimes such as cyberstalking, Doxxing, and physical attack – as well as the personal detriment to careers and reputation with such content resurfacing on the internet.
Legal Stance
Teens and Children

Sharing or distributing inappropriate media of underagers (child pornography) is prosecutable by law no matter how old the person sharing the images and videos is; whether between teens, in snapchats, Sexting or other. Although sexting is legal between consensual adults, 20 states have enacted bills addressing youth sexting. Websites hosting underage photos are illegal, as is the distribution via social media. Such acts are prosecutable by law and those who view, share or post underage photos on these websites are subject to prosecution. Sexting has also been expanded to include messaging and sharing on all portable electronic devices.

Adults

Due to the rapid advancement and almost “trend” of this form of harassment online, states and legislators have faced pressures from lobbyists and law enforcement in recent years to enact legislation against this illicit crime and violation of privacy, in addition to regular seize and desist notices and by way of the social media and website operators.

United States

This past year alone, 13 states have attempted to enact, making a total of 16 states with laws criminalising this form of cyber abuse.

  • Alaska:  Harassment in the second degree.
  • Arkansas: Unlawful distribution of sexual images or recordings [as of July 22, 2015]
  • California: Disorderly conduct misdemeanor.
  • Colorado:  Posting a private image for harassment (18-7-107), Posting a Private Image for pecuniary gain (18-7-108).
  • Delaware:  Violation of privacy; class B misdemeanor – but a class G felony if aggravating factors present.
  • Florida:  Sexual Cyberharassment, misdemeanor first degree but a felony in third degree for repeat offenders) [Effective Oct 1, 2015]
  • Georgia:  Invasion of privacy:  Prohibition on nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions, misdemeanor
  • Hawaii:  Violation of privacy in the first degree, class C felony.
  • Idaho:  Video voyeurism felony.
  • Illinois:  Non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images; class 4 felony
  • Louisiana:  Nonconsensual disclosure of a private image
  • Maryland:   Stalking and harassment.
  • New Jersey:  Invasion of privacy, third degree.
  • New Mexico:  Unauthorized Distribution of Sensitive Images.  Misdemeanor; (a fourth degree felony if recidivist).
  • Nevada: Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image, category D felony
  • North Dakota:  Distribution of intimate images without or against consent, Class A misdemeanor
  • Oregon: Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image, Class A Misdemeanor; Class C felony for recidivists.
  • Pennsylvania: Unlawful dissemination of intimate image, misdemeanor, 2nd degree (1st degree if person depicted is a minor)
  • Texas:  Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material, Class A misdemeanor [Effective Sept 1, 2015]
  • Utah:  Distribution of intimate images, a misdemeanor.
  • Vermont:  Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Images without Consent
  • Virginia:  Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another person; class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Washington:  Wrongful distribution of intimate images
  • Wisconsin:  Representations depicting nudity. 

A number of States also have civil remedies in place to take action against offenders of revenge porn laws, including:

UK

The law in this area is not as developed in the UK as the USA, despite the growing numbers of reported cases. However, by authentically documenting all evidence of offensive content, one can follow up on this harassment by way of creating a strong case by a number of alternative routes such as:

  • Injunctions
  • Civil law remedies including complaints to the information commissioner
  • Criminal law remedies for harassment, blackmail, voyeurism and offences under the Malicious Communication Act
  • New and upcoming legislation under the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Don’t become a “Victim” of this Harassment
The overwhelming stigma and humiliation associated with this form of harassment and potential for it to personally and professionally haunt a victim can often distract from dealing with this issue, as well as it being a relatively new area for legal professionals to deal with – but there are certain steps to be taken.

  • Document all offensive content
  • Contact the hosting websites or social media sites
  • Contact a lawyer for advice, to issue a takedown notice or injunction
  • Contact law enforcement, especially in the case of a minor
  • Flood the internet with positive information about yourself to prevent search engines producing the negative content on searches of your name

How can WebPreserver help?
WebPreserver can capture, store, share and create legal evidence from content placed on the internet and social media networks. This innovative eDiscovery tool is essential for legal professionals, digital forensic scientists and law enforcement authorities. WebPreserver creates strong, authenticated content to ensure to admissibility of evidence, your case and protection against the continuation of Cybercrime.

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general and informative purposes only and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Content on this blog is not intended to substitute the advice of a licensed attorney, as laws are subject to change and vary with time, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Content on this blog may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date.

 

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