laws

Revenge porn laws ‘not fit for purpose’ says UK crime commissioner

VICTIMS of revenge porn are suffering in silence in the UK, new research has claimed. Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan commissioned an anonymous survey of 92 victims who were asked about their experiences. Only 4% successfully prosecuted their offender, 76% did not report their crime to the police. 75% of those who responded said they did not tell anyone as they felt embarrassed or ashamed, and 90% said they would have reported it to the police if they were assured of anonymity. Mrs Mulligan said the report showed “stark and irrefutable” evidence that “the government, police and criminal justice system are collectively failing victims of revenge porn”. She said: “With just 4% of victims who responded to our survey achieving a successful prosecution, there is no question in my mind – the law is not fit for purpose. “The lack of anonymity is key to victims concerns and…

What you need to know about revenge porn laws in South Africa

  Four years after a Californian woman sued her ex-boyfriend for posting sexually explicit photographs and videos of her online, she has been awarded $6.4 million (R80 million) in one the largest judgments of its kind. According to the the New York Times, shortly after a California woman and her boyfriend ended their relationship in 2013, he began to post sexual photographs and videos of her on pornography websites and to impersonate her in online dating forums, according to court documents. However, despite the victim’s eventual success, the case highlights the complexities of the law in this area which (like many other areas of law) lags behind technology, according to Kerri Crawford, senior associate at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa. “Causes of action that spring to mind in these cases rely on laws aimed at combatting invasion of privacy, harassment, online abuse and in some instances, specific prohibitions against sharing intimate…

Britain will introduce new laws for social media companies to tackle cyberbullying and online child exploitation- Technology News, Firstpost

  Britain will tackle “the Wild West elements” on the internet from cyber-bullying to online child exploitation by introducing new laws for social media companies, digital minister Matt Hancock said on 20 May. Launching a consultation on what measures should be used to ensure the safety of those using the internet, Hancock said the government would publish a white paper — a policy document that sets out proposals for future legislation — later this year and aim to bring in new laws “in the next couple of years”. Better regulating social media companies has long been an aim of a government that has struggled to carry out its agenda with Britain’s departure from the European Union taking up much of ministers’ time. “Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better,” Hancock said in a statement. “At the same…

MN judge cracks down on ex-boyfriend’s ‘revenge porn’ case

Michael Weigel’s former partner woke up last December to a stunning email from her ex. “You will never live in peace. You will live in shame and embarrassment for the rest of your life,” the email said, according to the excerpt the woman read in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday. Ramsey County sheriff’s office Michael Weigel, 39 It went on to detail how Weigel had plastered naked pictures of her that the two took while they were still a couple on her new boyfriend’s Facebook page. The photos were attached in the email. “I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear,” the woman recounted for the court. She spent weeks crying and panicking as she tried to navigate Facebook’s process for getting the photos removed. She had to show the images to police officers so that criminal charges could be pursued. She worried the public exposure might cost…

Anoka Man Gets 4 Months in Revenge Porn Case

Weigel was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility with credit for 56 days served. If he’s deemed eligible, he could serve the sentence as work release. Weigel was also placed on three years’ probation. According to the criminal complaint, Weigel allegedly created the fake account in December of last year and sent friend requests to all the boyfriend’s Facebook friends – a group which included many of his ex’s family and friends. The page also allegedly contained multiple written criticisms of the two, including blaming the boyfriend for breaking up Weigel and his ex’s relationship. He also allegedly posted a message naming his ex’s place of employment, and reportedly stated she was not suitable to work there. According to the complaint, Weigel told investigators, “I wanted one chance to let everyone know what they did. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone for monetary gain.” In…

Revenge porn prevalance indicates legislative failures

An article about the website Anon-IB recently garnered national attention when dozens of male Marines posted nude photographs of their female colleagues. Anon-IB—short for Anonymous Image Board—is one of many “revenge porn” websites that encourage users to post explicit photos of their exes, without the exes’ consent. Anon-IB receives 50,000 individual visitors each day and its page views can average 170,000, according to the New York Post. The site’s categories include “drunk/passed out,” “peeping toms” and “up-the-skirt” photos. Some material depicts molestation and rape, with many of the girls pictured below the age of 18. Users can post teenage girls’ pictures, as long as the tag does not contain their age, according to the New York Post. Revenge porn epitomizes the failure of legislators and policymaking to catch up with the rapid progression of technology. Georgia resident Brandon Lee Gary, for example, had been convicted for taking up-the-skirt photos of…

Why Every Parent Needs to Know About Sextortion

“Sextortion” is the fastest growing crime against children on the Internet, according to the FBI. But no official records are kept, and only five states have made sextortion, where a perpetrator threatens victims with releasing explicit images unless they perform pornography on demand, a standalone crime. Prosecutors say if we don’t start actively telling kids—with some victims as young as seven years old—that sextortion could happen to anyone (even those who have never shared a single intimate image), the problem is only going to get worse. Although the FBI does not yet officially track instances of sextortion, the currently available data indicates that the problem is expanding. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children founda 150 percent rise in reports of sextortion to its CyberTipline between 2014 and 2016. The stories are horrifying. A little girl who is threatened that her dog will be killed if she doesn’t send…

Teen ‘sextortion’ cases unfolding throughout Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Justice Department has called it “by far the most significantly growing threat to children.” And based on recent investigations, the issue of “sextortion” isn’t slowing down, including in Utah. Sextortion is a form of online blackmail, typically targeting teenagers or preteens. The average sextortion case starts with children who are 12 to 14 years old who are using social media and other apps to message others who they assume are also juveniles, said Steve Cagen, head of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Utah and three other states. Eventually, the other “juvenile” will gain the teen’s trust and request a nude photo. “But they’re talking to a 40-year-old or 50-year-old man, who once they have one photo will then extort them for more. It’s called sextortion. It’s happening a lot. And we are asking parents to talk to your kids, because it can happen in…

New Bill Could Make Revenge Porn A Crime In NYC: Gothamist

  (istockphoto)   After years of stalled efforts at the state level, New York City is now pursing its own legislation to criminalize “revenge porn”—the act of sharing explicit photos of a person with the “intention to cause economic, emotional or physical harm.” Under the new bill, which is expected to get a committee vote in the council next month, sleazy offenders who share “intimate images” without their subject’s consent will face one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Victims may also pursue civil penalties—including “compensatory and punitive damages”—in the absence of a criminal conviction. The bill was first introduced by Queens Councilman Rory Lancman last September, and has since gained the support of both Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD. “It is critically important for the laws in New York City to catch up with our technology to provide protections for New Yorkers from such abuse,” Lancman…