INTERNET FREEDOM HERO OF 2015!
January 7, 2016
The Daily Dot named Carrie Goldberg a 2015 Internet Freedom Hero, along with co-conspirators at The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, Holly Jacobs and Mary Anne Franks! The Daily Dot’s Mary Emily O’Hara writes:
A few years ago, ‘revenge porn‘ wasn’t even something that happened. Now, the scourge of nonconsensual pornography is so common in the U.S. that its victims often feel terrorized by the Internet. But as emerges a villain, so rises an opposing superhero. Or, in this case, three superheroes. Holly Jacobs, Mary Anne Franks, and Carrie Goldberg make up the core team at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), a nonprofit that has become one of the nation’s most powerful forces behind a new wave of Web-focused legislation in the mere two years since it was launched in August 2013.
CCRI isn’t just leading the fight against perpetrators of an emerging crime—which typically consists of an ex-partner posting intimate nude or sexualized photos of a woman online without her consent—they are also helping to write and update the laws that are used to prosecute them. Over the past couple of years, 26 U.S. states passed laws criminalizing nonconsensual pornography. Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami and CCRI’s legislative powerhouse, helped create eight such laws in 2015 alone, along with the first federal revenge porn bill.
While Franks travels the country crafting legislation and consulting with leading tech companies to help them update policies regarding revenge porn (something Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Google all did this year), her CCRI colleagues are fighting on the ground. Founder Holly Jacobs fields daily correspondence with revenge porn victims who reach out for help via CCRI’s “End Revenge Porn” Web campaign and hotline, writes op-eds, and speaks with the media about the personal impact of revenge porn. Attorney Carrie Goldberg handles an impressive caseload as one of the only lawyers in the country expertly versed in the emerging legal field where digital privacy law intersects with harassment and abuse.
“When I first started coming in contact with other victims of nonconsensual pornography,” Jacobs told the Daily Dot, “it felt as if I had been suffering and wandering alone in a dark and terrifying space for three years and had finally stumbled upon others living in the same nightmare. We had a lot of ‘Me too!’ exchanges with one another regarding the details of our experiences, the emotions we felt, and the reactions we’d encountered from family and friends.”
Much of the success on the legislative front is due to Franks’ relentless work, and in 2016 she plans to increase her work with state legislators while also helping to ensure the passage of the federal bill.
“In all of my work, I continue to challenge elitist and sexist interpretations of free speech and privacy,” Franks told the Daily Dot, “that ignore the silencing and surveillance effects of online harassment on women and minorities.”
Goldberg’s superpower allows her to “paralyze trolls” and “conjure protective force fields around trauma victims,” she told the Daily Dot. She also wins cases—and as CCRI’s only practicing attorney, she brings a “down and dirty litigation perspective” to the board. In 2015, Goldberg worked with victims (of revenge porn, sexual assault and harassment, and related issues as pertaining to online abuse) in 21 criminal cases in addition to her usual roster of family court cases. There were big wins: for a teen victim going up against a major tech company, for three Title IX cases against high schools, in a murder trial that involved what Goldberg called a “rape tape.”
“Many of my clients are indeed victims of revenge porn and/or sextortion,” Goldberg said, “But my average case tends to be more involved than just removing naked pictures from Facebook or a revenge porn site.”