Revenge Porn

Revenge Porn

Written by: Christina Galarza

We are at a time where pictures and videos are taken repeatedly throughout the day, whether it’s for Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, or Twitter, people are snapping photos of anything and everything. Amongst this trend are nudes; both women and men are taking naked photos of themselves and occasionally distributing them. This is the beginning of revenge porn. “Revenge Porn” is commonly known as angry exes that distribute intimate photos or videos of their ex-partners to a social media site without their consent.[1]

Revenge porn can originate in a few ways: (1) non-consensual photography or video recording (such as through the use of a hidden camera), (2) consensual photography or video recording that is later stolen . . . and (3) consensual photography or video recording that is intentionally transmitted to an individual.[2]

Hunter Moore was the creator of isanyoneup.com, a pornography website that published pornographic pictures of men and women without their permission.[3] When a person submitted a photo of another person to that website, the submitter could also include the victim’s full name, location and links to their social networks.[4] Charles Evens, 25, was involved in isanyoneup.com by hacking into email accounts to get photos that he could post on Moore’s cite.[5] Evens was then paid by Moore for his contribution.[6] Although not related to his revenge porn website, in 2012, James McGibney sued Hunter Moore for defamation.[7] Hunter Moore labeled McGibney as a pedophile and McGibney was awarded $250,000 in damages.[8] Currently, Hunter Moore is facing charges of conspiracy, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft.[9]

On July 24, 2014, Arizona’s latest cyber-bullying law went into effect “making ‘revenge porn’ a felony punishable by a minimum of six months to a year imprisonment and a $150,000 fine.”[10] The new law passed in Arizona also makes it illegal to distribute nude photos or videos of another person.[11] The distributions of these types of photos are considered a Class 5 felony if the person is unrecognizable and a Class 4 felony if the person in the photo is recognizable.[12]

The revenge-porn bill, HB 2515:

[p]rohibits a person from intentionally disclosing, displaying, distributing, publishing, advertising or offering a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of a person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure.[13]

Revenge porn websites have taken advantage of victims and blackmailed them and coerced victims to pay as much as $350 to have their photos removed from websites.[14] In a recent survey, 61% of respondents said they had taken nude photos/videos of themselves and shared it with someone else, and 23% of respondents were victims of revenge porn.[15] 90% of revenge porn were women and most ranged between the ages of 18-30.[16] Although posting nonconsensual pornography is extremely invasive, only three U.S. states had criminal laws applicable to consensual pornography before 2013.[17] Those states are: New Jersey, Alaska, and Texas. But, in the last year ten states have passed laws making the posting of nonconsensual pornography a crime.[18]

[1] Jenna K. Stokes, The Indecent Internet: Resisting Unwarranted Internet Exceptionalism in Combating Revenge Porn, 29 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 929, 929 (2014)

[2] Id.

[3] Dave Lee, IsAnyoneUp’s Hunter Moore: ‘The net’s most hated man’, BBC News (Apr. 20, 2012, 10:01 ET),  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17784232.

[4] Id.

[5] Josh Voorhees, Hunter Moore, Infamous Revenge Porn King, Has Been Busted by the Feds, Slate (Jan. 23, 2014, 4:07 PM), http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/01/23/hunter_moore_arrest_is_anyone_up_founder_arrested_in_california_for_stealing.html.

[6] Id.

[7] ‘Revenge porn’ Website Former Owner Hunter Moore Arrested, BBC News (Jan. 23, 2014 5:33 ET), http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-25872322.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Ryan Van Velzer, It’s Officially Illegal to Post Naked Photos of your Ex in Arizona, azcentral (July 25, 2014, 3:47 PM), http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2014/07/25/its-officially-illegal-to-be-a-jerk-to-your-ex-in-az/13163829/.

[11] Id.

[12] Id.

[13] Id.

[14] Id.

[15] Mary Anne Franks, Drafting an Effective “Revenge Porn” Law: A Guide for Legislators, End Revenge Porn (July 18, 2014), http://www.endrevengeporn.org/guide-to-legislation/.

[16] Id.

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

Author: Christina M. Galarza

Christina Galarza is second year law student at Rutgers School of Law-Newark and an Associate Editor for the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal. She graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy. Prior to attending law school, Christina was an intake paralegal for Legal Services of New Jersey. She serves as Co-President of the Association of Latin American Law Students, and as a Representative for the Women’s Law Forum. This past summer, Christina interned at Pashman Stein in Hackensack, New Jersey. In her free time, Christina enjoys traveling, watching movies and her favorite sports team – Real Madrid.