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A ROUNDUP OF SUMMER’S CYBER CIVIL RIGHTS …

Cyber Civil Rights, Revenge Porn, Social Media

A ROUNDUP OF SUMMER’S CYBER CIVIL RIGHTS HAPPENINGS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE LULZY

September 26, 2014

In writing my upcoming review of Danielle Citron’s book, Hate Crimes in Cyber Space, a book that masterfully explores (and for some readers, exposes) the drone warfare of cyber abuse, I gave a little thought to recent events reported by the media this summer.  The list below contains some of this summer’s newsworthy events relating to cyber civil rights, starting with the ones that illustrating that there is work to do. H/T to Mary Anne Franks because much of this list is culled from our tweetversations.  H/T to The New England Law Review for graciously letting me republish this.

  •  NYS strikes down cyber bullying law.
  • George Wills claims that the glorification of rape victimization delivers a coveted status and induces false accusations.  Major online response.
  • A Seattle computer repairman was arrested for trespass and cyberstalking after hacking into a woman’s computer, threatening to tie her up and rape her, and distributing 24 stolen nude photos of her.
  •  A man in Kansas City tricks a sixteen year old into giving him nude pictures, threatens to distribute them unless she agrees to have sex with him.
  • Police in Virginia obtain a court-ordered search warrant to take photos of a teenage boy’s erect penis as a taste-of-your-own-medicine remedy after he distributed sexual images of a teen.
  • A firefighter in Texas arrested for surreptitiously recording ex-girlfriend engaging in a sexual act, posts it on Xtube.com with her name and city.
  • A politician in Virginia tweets a $100k reward for naked pictures of a specific teen girl.
  • American Apparel founder Dov Charney rehired by board, despite involvement in the dissemination of nude photos of an ex-employee.
  • Parents in San Diego announce their 14 year old son’s suicide was the result of a masturbation video that went viral, subjecting him to harassment.
  • An online club that trades in child pornography is discovered to have 1 million images.
  • Tumblr refuses to remove videos taken surreptitiously of people going to the bathroom.
  • Virginia woman whose ex posted nude image of her on Facebook had to campaign law enforcers for two warrants in order for accused man to face arrest, despite there being a revenge porn law in VA.
  •  Hollywood produces a rom-com about an affluent couple whose sex tape accidentally goes viral, hilarity ensues.
  • Edward Snowden states that NSA employees routinely obtain nude pictures under the guise of “surveillance” and exchange them.
  • “Twitterpurge” occurs, a campaign for men to download all nude female pictures and videos from their devices and post to Twitter. Thousands participate.
  • A 16 year old rape victim becomes an Internet meme after images of her post-rape nude body go viral on Twitter. Widespread retweeting of the images, followed by smartmob’s usurping of the hashtag.
  • UK journalists complain about all the money British women must spend to have images removed from American websites.
  • UK journalists again condemn America for its lax revenge porn regulation, which they say injure women well outside the US.
  • NJ man obtained nude pictures of 16 year old Canadian girl via hacking and blackmails her into stripping for a webcam.
  • Cop hacks into police computers to stalk his ex and co-workers’ wives and girlfriends.
  • Google admits it scans emails for pornography, but claims it’s to crack down on child pornography.
  • CNBC interviews Twitter CEO and more than 28 percent of the 8,464 questions submitted concern harassment and abuse on Twitter.  He doesn’t address the issue or explain why rape threats are not a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service.
  • A Virginia man, posing online as teen, forced a 13-year-old into sending him porn.
  • New Jersey arrests victims of revenge porn and charges them for child pornography for their own selfies found on others’ devices.  Victims face steep jail sentences, fines, and registration as a sex offender.
  • Lawsuit filed against Facebook for ignoring woman’s pleas to remove naked pictures.
  • Journalist attacked on Twitter after tweeting research question for story on countries that subsidize tampons.
  •  Jezebel comments are inundated with violent rape pornography.  Its parent company, Gawker Media, is slow to react.
  • Anonymous threatens to dox daughter of Ferguson’s police chief on account of his failings.
  • Zelda Williams bullied on twitter immediately after father’s suicide, received doctored photos of dead body. She disables Twitter account.
  • Man posts nudes of ex-girlfriend onto Facebook allegedly to drive her to suicide.  Images downloaded by other users before Facebook removes.
  • New York State modifies law regarding surreptitious videos. The governor and media claim the law relates to revenge porn. It doesn’t.  Major confusion results.
  • Female video game critic the victim of brutal online bullying.
  • Woman who created video game about depression is brutally attacked by anonymous mobs.
  • Woman is victim of attempted murder by MMA star who is on the lam.  He continues to tweet her. [Trigger alert]
  • 101 celebrities emails and/or cloud accounts are hacked, nude images go viral and then it happens again.
  • Noncelebrity women are coaxed to tweet their own nudes in “solidarity” with the celebrities.
  • Actress Emma Watson delivers speech at UN about men supporting women, afterwards, anonymous cyber-threats and threatened countdown for release of revenge porn threats.
  • Video of football star punching his now-wife goes viral; many blame her for staying.
  • ACLU files federal lawsuit aiming to strike Arizona’s revenge porn law.
  • Popular Youtube personality posts video sexually assaulting women.  Different Youtube personality, Laci Green, successfully advocates for its and is viciously attacked and threatened by him.

And a few things for the plus column:

  • Pennsylvania passed a revenge porn law;
  • Virginia used revenge porn law for first time after images of a woman are posted on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Delaware became the fourteenth state to criminalize revenge porn and the first to include enhanced sentences for doxxing and running a website;
  •  California legislators voted to expand its revenge porn laws to apply when selfies are distributed without the subject/creator’s consent;
  • After picture video of NFL star punching his now-wife goes viral, the extreme problem of domestic violence — both in and out of the NFL — is discussed and debated.
  • Harvard University Press releases Danielle Keats Citron’s “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.”
  • Mainstream media attended to the hacking of celebrity nude photos, looking critically at the nonconsensual distribution of nude and sexual images, and the FBI announced that it is investigating the crime and Apple improves its cloud security. . . a little.

And those are just the newsworthy events. The actual number of people harassed and stalked online is exponentially higher. EXPONENTIALLY!