Thursday, February 12, 2015

We all walk around with cameras now all the time because they are in our phones and easy to access. Selfie camera shots seem to be the most popular shot to take on a camera but with all that easy access to photographs and the easy way to post them anywhere on the internet has brought convictions   to protect people and their privacy. There is a controversial industry out there called revenge porn sites where people can post naked pictures of their ex- lovers. An   owner of such a site was declared guilty in a breaking lawsuit that can change things quickly.
Women and men fall in love and send each other naked pictures of each other to help them get through their day till they get to meet again in the flesh. Yes, it sounds harmless, private and fun until things go wrong in a relationship and what was once a personal photo ends up on a porn site for all to see.  Love turns into hate into revenge and then a nightmare. A 28 year old man, Kevin Bollaert,  was convicted in a San Diego courtroom of 6 counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft for owning a site that posted naked pictures of ordinary people. People who didn’t even know their photo was there and who didn’t consent to the exposure. He was trying to run the site to profit from subscribers.

Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General is getting tough on this issue. She says to bring your toothbrush to court because you might be going to jail that night. Kevin posted thousands of nude and explicit photos of women on his website called You Got Posted .com. without their permission. He also went further and opened another website called Change My where they had to pay up to $300 dollars to remove images. It is a landmark conviction where  Kevin  Bollaert faces over 20 years in jail. The conviction is a victory for a growing list of law enforcers who were stuck not being able to do anything to stop offensive sites that operate in unsure legal territory. 

Is Anyone is another of the hundreds of offensive sites up and running on the Internet. Most of the pictures are posted against the women’s will and that the humiliation of the women is part of the thrill of posting the shots.  made some women feel trapped because they didn’t know who saw them and didn’t know how many sites they were on. When one site closes down two more sites open up. California along with other states have now passed legislation to make revenge porn sites illegal but in most of the country most of the laws are inconsistent. We like to constantly criticize our President who ever he is at the time but the real criticism lies in the lack of the Supreme Court and Congress to do their job to unify this country so that the same laws apply to all states on any subject from pot to porn to murder convictions.

Image result for revenge porn sites convictionsIn general the government has been terrible in keeping pace with technological innovations.  The technology is evolving faster than regulation is evolving to deal with it. In a rare move the Federal Trade Commission has gotten into the fight. Just last week another revenge porn site called Is Anybody Down? .com was ordered to remove some 1,000 nude photos allegedly posted without the victims consent.   The world of revenge porn also known as involuntary porn is a strange one owned by seemingly ordinary men just looking to make money on a website.  The owner of Is Anyone Up? .com Hunter Moore said he organized the site just for public humiliation purposes. He is probably someone’s boyfriend who got dumped badly. He has been arrested for hacking & identity theft.

There is now a small army of women organizing to get these sites off the Internet as fast as they can. Lawyers call them Anti-Revenge Porn Activists.  They spend much of their time tracking down the victims and keeping them informed. The victims must consent to moving forward with a law suit. If convicted, Hunter Moore can be facing 45 years in prison. He still thinks humiliation is a good business model. He is not even allowed to use the Internet now. Let’s hope they put this guy away and throw away the key. Meanwhile, how about you keep the camera away from your nude body.

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