Copyright News

FTC Goes After Notorious Revenge Porn Site MyEx.com

The FTC did a press release on January 9, 2018 announcing that in unison with the State of Nevada they have charged the parties responsible for the myex.com website with violating federal and state laws. Of course, we are extremely happy about this news. MyEx hit the internet in 2013 and quickly became a popular revenge porn site where visitors of the site could upload private images of victims along with their name and sometimes even their address. At any given time, the site had at least 15,000 victims posted to their site without permission. To make matters worse, the site owners were extorting money from victims who requested that their images be removed from the website. Over the years they changed the payment information in an effort to elude law enforcement. They definitely knew what they were doing was illegal. The following is the press release announcing the charges…

Forget being a victim. What to do when revenge porn strikes

The Internet is a terrible place sometimes, but thankfully there are now organizations that can help people who become victims. When illicit photos of Anisha Vora began showing up online, she didn’t know what to do. She contacted Facebook, Twitter and other companies hoping they’d do the right thing and take the photos down. But soon, there were too many places for her to deal with on her own. What happened to Vora happens to all sorts of people. Students, college graduates and professionals. People have lost their jobs because photos were published online without their consent. Most of the victims are women, though not all. As the threat of revenge porn has grown, companies, organizations and even lawyers have sprung up to help victims. Figure out the size and scope of the problem The moment your photos begin circulating online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’ve been violated, and…

Kansas City man gets 18 years for threatening to post teen’s nude photos

A Kansas City man who admitted he threatened to post nude photos of a 16-year-old girl if she wouldn’t have sex with him was sentenced Tuesday in Platte County Circuit Court to 18 years in prison. Denis Aguilar, 23, pleaded guilty in February to attempted child enticement and attempted statutory sodomy for the threats he made in April 2014. According to court records, the victim and her mother alerted Kansas City police after Aguilar requested nude photos of the teen. After the girl sent him photos, Aguilar threatened to post them online, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd. The girl told investigators that she was on a social network website that she thought barred users over 18. The teen and Aguilar met on the website and began communicating through other social media sites, Zahnd said. Aguilar told the girl he was 18 and repeatedly asked her to send him nude…

Al Franken Urges FBI To Prosecute Revenge Porn

Sen. Al Franken is urging the FBI to more quickly and aggressively pursue and prosecute revenge porn, marking a rare burst of attention on a controversial topic about which Congress has typically been quiet. In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, the Minnesota Democrat asked for more information about the agency’s authority to police against revenge porn, or the act of posting explicit sexual content online without the subject’s consent, often for purposes of humiliation and extortion. Its popularity has ballooned in recent years, and victims are disproportionately women. “The digital age has brought many benefits for free speech, commercial activity, and the sharing of information, but new technologies can pose significant threats if bad actors are not held accountable to our nation’s laws,” Franken wrote in his letter. “As technologies rapidly advance, it is our responsibility to ensure that our nation’s laws keep pace with those technologies. But…

Seattle man sentenced for posting revenge porn of women

A 31-year-old Seattle man was sentenced to one year in jail on Friday for posting nude photos of women on two different websites in a bizarre case of “revenge porn.” Jeremy “Silo” Walters, a photographer and computer technician, pleaded guilty to first-degree computer trespass and four counts of cyberstalking, a gross misdemeanor charge. He faced a standard sentence of up to 90 days behind bars, but agreed to an exceptional sentence for abusing the trust of one victim and to avoid prosecution for a domestic-violence charge involving a woman he apparently dated for a time. According to charging documents, Walters was hired by a woman in June 2011 through an ad posted on Craigslist to transfer data from an old computer to a new one. Included on her hard drive were several hundred explicit photos a friend had taken of the woman, along with nude “selfies” she had stored for her personal…

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…

Hearing for San Diego man accused in revenge porn case

SAN DIEGO – A woman testified Tuesday that she was scared and afraid after sexual photos of her taken by her ex-boyfriend ended up on a website owned by a San Diego man. The woman testified during a preliminary hearing for Kevin Bollaert, who’s accused of posting thousands of explicit photos of women on a so-called “revenge porn” website without their consent, then extorting money from some victims who wanted the images removed. Jane Doe 5 testified that she began getting nasty and racial comments after sexual photos of her were posted on Bollaert’s website, “ugotposted.com.” The woman said she had no idea that her ex-boyfriend had taken the photos when they went on a trip. She said she e-mailed “ugotposted.com” to take the photos down, but got no response. The pictures eventually were removed from the website a week later. In addition to the photos, the woman’s name, location…

Michigan Senate Passes Bill Targeting Revenge Porn

LANSING, MI — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved a bill targeting revenge porn that would make it a crime to post sexually explicit images of a person online without their consent. Individuals who post images obtained without permission or refuse to take down images given to them for personal viewing could be charged with a misdemeanor resulting in up to 93 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $500. A second or subsequent violation could result in up to one year behind bars and/or a $1,000 fine. The bipartisan bills, sponsored by Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge and Democratic Sen. Steve Bieda of Warren, passed the upper chamber in unanimous votes and now head to the House for consideration. “In a split second a sexually explicit photo can be uploaded to the Internet without the individual’s consent -– permanently ruining their reputation,” Bieda said in a statement….

Colorado Revenge Porn Statute Is Good Law and Sound Policy

On Thursday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a statute criminalizing “revenge porn.” As professors with expertise in constitutional and criminal law, we commend the legislature and governor for their actions and hope other states will follow suit. Revenge porn–more accurately known as “non-consensual pornography“–is the distribution of intimate pictures of another person without that person’s consent. One common scenario involves an angry former partner who wishes to humiliate. But roommates, landlords, voyeurs, and hackers have likewise obtained and distributed intimate pictures without permission. Victims of non-consensual pornography suffer devastating harm. Unwanted publication of one’s intimate pictures can damage employment prospects, destroy relationships, and exact an immense psychological toll. Many victims experience intense harassment and threats to physical safety–both online and offline–as a direct result of the publication of the pictures. Several victims have committed suicide. In recognition of these harms, twelve states, most recently including Colorado, have already…