#US : “Law Makers `Make a Move’ to make `Revenge Porn’ Illegal” even though `ACLU’ Objects”

#AceNewsServices  `US Lawmakers Move to make `Revenge Porn‘Illegal Though ACLU Object on `Free Speech Grounds’

 

Reuters / Thomas Peter

Reuters / Thomas Peter

Lawmakers in several US states moved a few weeks ago to outlaw so-called “revenge porn” the act of leaking explicit sexual videos and other revealing information on-line without another person’s consent.

In Illinois, State Senator Michael Hastings submitted a bill recently, that would make it a felony for a person to knowingly place, post or reproduce on the Internet “a photograph, video, or digital image of a person in a state of nudity, in a state of sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration, without the knowledge and consent of that person.”

The bill also would make it a crime to require a fee to get related content removed from a website. The maximum penalty would be up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, though judges would be able to hand down more lenient sentences at their own discretion.

In the Pennsylvania State the Senate voted unanimously voted to approve a bill which would make revenge porn targeting minors a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Posting sexually explicit images of people without their permission who are 18 or older, meanwhile, would be a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to two years behind bars.

The bill will now be sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Lawmakers in Arizona also submitted a bill to the state’s House of Representatives which would make revenge porn-sharing a Class-5 felony – the second-lowest level of felony in Arizona. If the person depicted in the footage or pictures “is recognizable,” however, the charge would be upgraded to a Class 4 felony.

Revenge porn is often uploaded by jilted lovers, although hackers often obtain comprising images of individuals as well. The sexually explicit images and video are often accompanied by personal information, including the pictured individual’s full name, social media contacts and other personal information.

Apart from acute emotional stress which has pushed some victims to suicide, the practice has also contributed to offline stalking and physical assault.

AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre

AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre

 

 

Support for banning revenge porn, however, is not universal. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has often argued against it on free speech grounds, claiming the material should not be illegal as long as it does not violate child pornography or stalking laws.

Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Direct...

Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director, taken at Amnesty International protest in Miami, May, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In regard to a recently introduced bill in Arizona, University of Arizona law professor Derek Bambauer says the bill has First Amendment problems and is “almost certainly unconstitutional,” The Phoenix New Times reports.

“This is the trouble with some of the draft legislation floating around out there that gets copied and pasted without the intervention of legal analysis. This bill is plainly unconstitutional – it offers no exception for matters of public concern or newsworthiness,” Bambauer said.

“Here’s the hypo that shows why it’s DOA: I have an image of Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton engaged in a sex act. I publish it in the newspaper. Can I be prosecuted? Clearly not – it’s a matter of public concern (the president is having an affair with an intern, a government employee), so the First Amendment blocks the prosecution.”

US courts have a tendency to overturn legislation that restricts free speech.

So far, New Jersey and California are the only states which have enacted laws to make revenge porn a criminal offense, although bills are pending in 13 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Chicago Tribune reports.

New Jersey’s law makes it a felony for a person to distribute “sexually explicit” photographs and films of an individual when they know they don’t have the subject’s consent.

California’s law, which was passed this past October, makes the distribution of “intimate” photographs or films taken of a victim “with the intent to cause serious emotional distress” a misdemeanor. Unlike New Jersey, however, in California the distributor must also be the photographer to be criminally liable, and the distribution of “selfie” images is still permissible.

Recently, the FBI arrested Hunter Moore, who has been dubbed the “king of revenge porn,” and an alleged accomplice in California on suspicion of hacking into email accounts to steal sexually explicit photos of their alleged victims.

Another alleged revenge porn godfather, Kevin Bollaert, was arrested in California in December on similar charges.

In January, Israel became the first country to pass a law that classifies revenge porn as a sex crime. Several EU states also have broad privacy statutes that may be applicable to revenge porn.

 

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#GCHQ `Taught’ #NSA : How to `Monitor’ our `Social Media Sites’ in Real-Time”

#AceSecurityNews says `GCHQ‘ taught `NSA’how to monitor Facebook, Twitter in real-time #Snowden leak

British intelligence officials can infiltrate the very cables that transfer information across the internet,British intelligence officials can infiltrate the very cables that transfer information across the internet, as well as monitor users in real-time on sites like Facebook without the company’s consent, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

The internal documents reveal that British analysts gave instruction to members of the National Security Agency in 2012, showing them how to spy on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in real-time and collect the computer addresses of billions of the sites’ up-loaders.

The leaked documents are from a #GCHQ publication titled ‘Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV’ (Signals Development). Published by NBC News on Monday, the papers detail a program dubbed ‘Squeaky Dolphin,’ which was developed for analysts working in “broad real-time monitoring of online activity.”

Sources told NBC that the British have proven their ability to both directly monitor the world’s web traffic cable and use a third-party to view the data stream and extract information from it.

Representatives from the companies in question said they have not provided any data to the government of the United Kingdom under this program, either voluntarily or involuntarily. One person who wished to remain anonymous said that Google, the company that owns YouTube, was “shocked” to discover the UK may have been “grabbing” data for years.

Previously published disclosures have made it clear that the US and UK are sharing intelligence tactics. The Washington Post reported in October 2013 that the #NSA and #GCHQ collaborated on a program known as MUSCULAR, which the agencies used to record “entire data flows” from Yahoo and Google.

Security officials have consistently maintained that the programs are authorized under the laws of their respective nation and that the surveillance is designed only as a tool for preventing terrorism. Still, the lack of transparency has left civil liberties advocates searching for more answers.

Governments have no business knowing which YouTube videos everyone in the world is watching,Chris Soghoian, chief technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC. “It’s one thing to spy on a particular person who has done something to warrant a government investigation but governments have no business monitoring the Facebook likes or YouTube views of hundreds of millions of people.”

When members of GCHQ delivered the presentation to NSA officials, they showed the Americans how to carry out the surveillance by extracting information from YouTube, Facebook, and Google’s Blogger service on February 13, 2012 – one day before anti-government protests were to begin in Bahrain.

According to the documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the presenters were careful to mention that the intelligence gathering was not designed to monitor specific targets. “Not interested in individuals just broad trends!” one note reads.

Jason Healey, a former White House official under President George W. Bush, told NBC such activity not only sends a shiver through the public but has also become an impediment for Silicon Valley executives and the thriving social media industry.

We want our security services to be out there and keeping us safe,” he said, “but we can also look for balance, we can look for limits, especially if we’re putting at risk this most transformative technology since Gutenberg.”

 

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#NSA : ” Republicans Vote To End Bulk Phone Metadata Surveillance Program”

#AceNewsServices say `Republicans Vote’ to end `NSA’ bulk phone `metadata surveillance program’ but `Human Rights Organisations’ have their doubt’s it will go far enough, or they may abuse their power’s.

Published time: January 24, 2014 19:21
 
Reuters / Jonathan ErnstReuters / Jonathan Ernst
The Republican National Committee has passed a resolution pushing conservative lawmakers to put an end to the National Security Agency’s blanket surveillance of American citizens’ phone records.

The resolution also calls for an investigation of the #NSA’s metadata collection practices, which it labelled a “gross infringement” of the rights of US citizens. Under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the NSA has been authorized to collect and store the records of nearly all domestic phone calls – the phone numbers involved and duration of the calls, but not the content of the conversations themselves.

Specifically, the RNC will push Republican lawmakers to pass amendments to Section 215 stating that“blanket surveillance of the Internet activity, phone records and correspondence — electronic, physical, and otherwise — of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court.”

The resolution also adds that “the mass collection and retention of personal data is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

While Republicans have generally been split on their reaction to the NSA’s spying programs – libertarian-leaning lawmakers have been more critical of the NSA than national security “hawks” – Time reported that no RNC members spoke out against the new resolution when it came up for a voice vote. It reportedly passed with an “overwhelming majority.”

Exactly how lawmakers will receive this new resolution remains unclear. Despite the apparent widespread support within the RNC to reign in the NSA, the party’s Republican legislators are not obligated to vote according to these suggestions.

Still, the move reflects growing unease concerning the NSA’s practices within the conservative movement and will undoubtedly be embraced by civil liberties advocates who have called for an overhaul of the surveillance program ever since former NSA contractor #Edward Snowden began leaking details about the agency’s behaviour to the press. 

Last week, President Barack Obama announced reforms of his own regarding the surveillance efforts while simultaneously defending the program as necessary. He stated that going forward, government officials will need to obtain a court order to access the archive of data collected by the NSA. Though Obama did not say who would be in charge of overseeing the archive, he called on Congress, intelligence officials, and Attorney General Eric Holder to take the next steps.

“I believe we need a new approach,” Obama said. “I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk metadata collection program as it currently exists, and establishes a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata.”

While Obama’s proposals were welcomed, some civil liberties groups – such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch – stated that he did not go far enough, offering only “vague assurance” that the government would not abuse its powers.

 

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