California Seeks to Tighten Cyberporn Laws
Sacramento legislators have proposed two new measures, Senate Bill 676 and Assembly Bill 1310, that would make it easier to prosecute people who engage in "revenge porn." The Senate bill would classify any posting of a recognizable revenge porn image as a new crime, while the Assembly bill gives law enforcement agents the authority to obtain a search warrant whenever they seize an alleged revenge porn image.
Revenge porn -- the posting of explicit images online in retaliation for a breakup -- is a real problem that has destroyed thousands of lives. It is especially serious when the victims are minors.
California is already at the forefront in recognizing and prosecuting this offense. In February, 2015, Kevin Bollaert was convicted of multiple charges of extortion and identity theft for disseminating revenge porn, and Hunter Moore agreed to plead guilty of computer hacking and identity theft for operating a revenge porn website.
These new bills, however, may be the wrong direction to take. Assembly Bill 1310 in particular raises uneasy questions about the Fourth Amendment. It is easy to image a scenario in which evidence of other crimes could be legally obtained through the search for revenge porn. In some cases, the defendant could conceivably be innocent of disseminating revenge porn but still be found guilty of crimes discovered during the search.
Cracking down on clear cases of revenge porn is the right thing to do. But broadening the scope of the law to fight these offenses could potentially backfire, leading to the erosion of our Constitutional protections and the destruction of even more innocent lives.
Do you need help responding to federal cybercrime or solicitation charges? Call an experience Miami cybercrimes attorney with Seltzer Law, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation. Call anytime at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).