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Laws against Revenge Pornography |

Laws against Revenge Pornography

| March 24, 2016

Annotated bibliography
Levy, K. E. (2014). Intimate Surveillance. Idaho L. Rev., 51, 679.
In this article for the Idaho University law review, the author looks into how technology has contributed to people invading their lover’s privacy. According to the writer, intimate surveillance includes the use of applications on the victim’s phone which enable the individual behind the practice to monitor movements and locations of their spouses. This is mostly done with the aim of knowing exactly where the victim is and what people they are meeting with.
Inasmuch as these forms of technology are helpful in knowing when one’s spouse is cheating or engaging in other undesirable activities, it is unlawful to secretly put such an App on a spouse’s phone.
The fact that this type of intimate information is collected by third party non intimate commercial platforms means that the risk of exposure is higher. The writer says that this data can be shared or even sold to other parties like App developers or internet providers. In any case, spouses collecting this type of sexual information may want to use it at the end of the relationship to intimidate the victim or coerce them into getting back to the relationship.
Levy also writes about a fertility app known as Glow which gathers information about sensitive data like emotional mood, a woman’s position when her partner ejaculates and firmness of her cervix. Such information might be used by an individual to blackmail his ex in the event their relation does not work by threatening to expose it, in what would be a case of revenge pornography. The author goes into details about how the availability of technology has aided in the collection of such information and how failings of the same technology have led to the release of such intimate data. He cites an incident in 2011 where FitBit, a wearable pedometer with associated activity tracker app released information regarding its user’s sexual activities.
Citron, D. K., & Franks, M. A. (2014). Criminalizing revenge porn. Wake Forest Law Review, 49, 345.
Daniel Keats Citron and Mary Anne Franks provide an in-depth analysis of the loopholes present in most of the present laws thus limiting their powers over revenge pornography perpetrators. In this article, they examine the case of a woman whose nude photos were posted by her ex-boyfriend to a revenge porn website. Her ex-boyfriend even put, together with her photos, her personal information. The woman subsequently suffered a lot of psychological stress besides getting posts on her Facebook page and calls from strangers wanting to have sex with her. The laws in her state however could not protect her from such an incidence, and his ex-boyfriend could not be prosecuted. The authors write that the officers in her state viewed the case as an isolated one and not a harassing code of conduct, as her state’s law required. Her ex had also not solicited third parties to stalk her or harass her.
The authors use the example of the woman whose name has been changed to expose the weaknesses in the state laws that are supposed to protect victims who are mostly women from being exposed by their ex-boyfriends. They address the issue of nonconsensual pornography, which involves the distribution of graphic sexual materials without the permission of the in individual. This is regardless of whether the materials were taken with or without the consent of the owner. The law seems to protect perpetrators who expose their exes if the graphic content in question was taken with the knowledge and consent of the victim.
The authors highlight the suffering these victims go through. The stress and the opportunities they are forced to miss from exposure, either educational or employment are discussed. They address the fact that many legal bodies remain in the hands of men as the reason why the country is still struggling to address the issues of revenge pornography, where majority of the victims are women. The authors continue to lament the fact that these crimes together with domestic violence and sexual harassment continue to be ignored and treated as trivial as they attempt to make a case for the criminalization of nonconsensual pornography. From the author’s point of view, a lot still needs to be done if the fight against the vice is to be effective.
Franklin, Z. (2014). Justice for Revenge Porn Victims: Legal Theories to Overcome Claims of Civil Immunity by Operators of Revenge Porn Websites. Cal. L. Rev., 102, 1303.
For the California Law Review, Zak Franklin writes about the immunity that operators of revenge pornography websites seem to enjoy. Section230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 ensures that in most cases, these website operators are shielded from blame, regardless of the pain the content they allow to be put on their websites costs the victims (Franklin, 2014). Franklin writes that most of these victims have faced a lot of suffering, some being forced to change homes, schools, names and even loss of jobs. In extreme cases, the humiliation is too much to bear for the victims and some resort to suicide. The psychological effects of exposure are immense and Franklin laments the fact the facilitators of such suffering, namely the website owners are allowed to walk.
The author addresses two ways in which victims can sue website operators. He says the first instance would involve a situation where the operator has added original material to his website. In such a scenario, the plaintiff can argue that the website operator actively contributed to the illegality of the post and would therefore not be immune to prosecution. For the second theory, the author says that the plaintiff can sue the website operator on grounds that he solicited it. By creating the website and developing of the harmful content, the operator can be shown to be responsible either in whole or in part, for the creation and development of the content and would therefore be ineligible for immunity under Section 230 (Franklin, 2014).
The author however analyses the difficulty in holding these website operators liable for such crimes. Even if the plaintiff is able to successfully convince the courts that the websites are indeed information content providers, it is not a guarantee that the victims will be able to hold the website operators liable for their part in those crimes. He continues to address the motivations behind posting such material in the websites, as well as why individuals would want to visit those websites top view such content.
Stokes, J. K. (2014). Indecent Internet: Resisting Unwarranted Internet Exceptionalism Combating Revenge Porn, The. Berkeley Tech. LJ, 29, 929.
In this scholarly article, Stokes addresses the numerous origins of revenge pornography. Addressing the first example, the author writes that it involves taking photos or videos without the consent of the other party. The second one involves filming content with the consent of the other party while the third and most common is the consensual photography or video that is unintentionally shared to a third party by malicious individuals, mostly ex-boyfriends. Stokes says that the third one is the one dominating current revenge porn debates across states in the country.
A survey carried out showed that over twenty percent of respondents have experienced revenge porn (Stokes, 2014). These images often find their ways into websites designed specifically to host such kind of content. The author cites the example of one such website called IsAnyoneUp (Stokes, 2014). The now defunct website is reported to have experienced thirty million views per month in the height of its popularity. That fact represents a worrying trend where the cases of revenge porn are on the rise and state governments are struggling to control the vice. It also shows the decaying morals in the society where individuals are so intent to seeing others suffer. This is evidenced by the millions of hits witnessed on the above and other websites.
Henry, N., & Powell, A. (2014). Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 0004865814524218.
Nicola Henry of La Trobe University together with Anastasia Powell of the RMIT University both in Australia address the issue of young people use of technology as a way to express their sexual identities. They say that most of these expressions are in the form of selfies and ‘sexts’. Such interactions have become focal points in both social and scholarly discussions. In what is a similarity with Australia and the United States, the authors show that the law has failed in its attempt to protect victims from the harms of the making and distribution of non-consensual photographs and videos (Henry & Powell, 2014).
Henry and Powell continue to lament that such crimes are often portrayed as a naiveté in the part of the victims, as opposed to being viewed as the criminal acts that they really are. They argue that the practice is in fact a gender-based crime as it mostly targets women and should therefore be treated as such. According to them, the current legal and policy approaches fail to adequately protect portray the real suffering and psychological harm that the use of sexual images to coerce, harass and blackmail causes women.
They draw on data from projects that have investigated the plight of women in the hands of perpetrators of revenge pornography and the impact that this technology-based form of sexual violence has. By portraying the plight of women in Australia, they indeed succeed in showing that the problem is not only faced in the United States, but also the whole world thereby emphasizing on the need to act.
Cecil, A. L. (2014). Taking Back the Internet: Imposing Civil Liability on Interactive Computer Services in an Attempt to Provide an Adequate Remedy to Victims of Nonconsensual Pornography. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 71, 2513.
Amanda Cecil draws on the case of a woman named Hollie Toups. The woman, who was 33 at the time, received a phone call from her office that her topless photos from ten years earlier could be found online. What was worse was that the pictures had links to her home address. The humiliation and embarrassment she faced forced her to stay indoors and upon venturing out, she encountered strangers enquiring about the semi nude pictures. It was then she decided to fight the website hosting the pictures, Texxxan.com (Cecil, 2014).
The author highlights the encounters she had with law enforcers while trying to seek their help but all she got were scolds for taking the pictures in the first place. This in itself underlines the situation that most women face when they try to get help, as well as the attitude of the attorneys and law enforcers towards such cases. They seem to assume that the victim has brought the plight on herself. Hollie Toups eventually managed to have the pictures deleted and the website brought down using the help of private investigators who helped shut the site down on charges of child pornography for the exposure of pictures of under aged girls.
The author uses the case to analyze the limitations of the legal parameters set in place to tackle the practice. She writes that Toups and her fellow victims’ attempts to sue the site on grounds of invasion of privacy bore no fruits because the operators successfully cited the immunity accorded to them by Section 230. The author says that the case however succeeded in drawing national attention to the plight of the victims who often suffered in silence. This led to states making laws that attempted to protect victims from exposure, in varying degrees.

References
Chicago entry
Cecil, Amanda L. “Taking Back the Internet: Imposing Civil Liability on Interactive Computer Services in an Attempt to Provide an Adequate Remedy to Victims of Nonconsensual Pornography.” Wash. & Lee Law Review 71, no. 2 (2014): 2513.
Citron, Danielle Keats, and Mary Anne Franks. “Criminalizing revenge porn.”Wake Forest Law Review 49, no. 7 (2014): 345.
Eichstaedt, Peter. First Kill Your Family; Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Reprinted. Chicago, Ill: Chicago Review p Press, 2013. Non-fiction Book
Franklin, Zak. “Justice for Revenge Porn Victims: Legal Theories to Overcome Claims of Civil Immunity by Operators of Revenge Porn Websites.” California Law Review 102, no. 5 (2014): 1303.
Henry, Nicola, and Anastasia Powell. “Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology 4, no. 7 (2014): 78-92.
Levy, Karen EC. “Intimate Surveillance.” Idaho Law Review 51, no. 8 (2014): 679.
Stokes, Jenna K. “Indecent Internet: Resisting Unwarranted Internet Exceptionalism Combating Revenge Porn, The.” Berkeley Tech. LJ 29, no. 4 (2014): 929.
APA entry
Ardia, D. S. (2010). Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels: An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, 43(2), 74-96.
Bartow, A. (2008). Pornography, coercion, and copyright law 2.0. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 10(4), 102-107.
Bartow, A. (2012). Copyright Law and Pornography. Oregon Law Review, 91(1), 75-87.
Cecil, A. L. (2014). Taking Back the Internet: Imposing Civil Liability on Interactive Computer Services in an Attempt to Provide an Adequate Remedy to Victims of Nonconsensual Pornography. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 71(7), 2513.
Citron, D. K., & Franks, M. A. (2014). Criminalizing revenge porn. Wake Forest Law Review, 49(9), 345.
Doom, J. (2015). The New Porn Platform: Standards Gaps in ‘Revenge Porn’ Policy and Protection. 6(2), 56-74.
Eichstaedt, P. (2009). First kill your family: Child soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Review Press. Non-fiction Book.
Franklin, Z. (2014). Justice for Revenge Porn Victims: Legal Theories to Overcome Claims of Civil Immunity by Operators of Revenge Porn Websites. Cal. L. Rev., 102(5), 1303.
Franks, M. A. (2015). Drafting an Effective ‘Revenge Porn’ Law: A Guide for Legislators. 6(9), 450-462.
Henry, N., & Powell, A. (2014). Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 4(7), 78-92.
Kamaku, M. N., & Mberia, H. (2014). The Influence of Social Media on the Prevalence of Sexual Harassment among Teenagers: A Case Study of Secondary Schools in Kandara Sub-County, Kenya. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 4(4), 420.
Kitchen, A. N. (2015). Need to Criminalize Revenge Porn: How a Law Protecting Victims Can Avoid Running Afoul of the First Amendment, The. Chi.-Kent L. Rev., 90(7), 247.
Laird, L. (2013). Striking Back at Revenge Porn: Victims Are Taking on Websites for Posting Photos They Didn’t Consent To, 3(9), 45.
Levendowski, A. M. (2014). Using copyright to combat revenge porn. New York: Columbia University Press
Levy, K. E. (2014). Intimate Surveillance. Idaho L. Rev., 51(7), 679.
Mushoriwa, T. D. (2014). Should Peer-Generated Sexual Harassment be Called Sexual Harassment? Views of High School Students. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(8), 245.
Shah, N. (2015). Sluts ‘r’us: Intersections of gender, protocol and agency in the digital age. First Monday, 20(4), 67.
Stokes, J. K. (2014). Indecent Internet: Resisting Unwarranted Internet Exceptionalism Combating Revenge Porn, The. Berkeley Tech. LJ, 29(4), 929.

Category: Literature review

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