CA Revenge Porn Law’s Loophole: It Doesn’t Cover Victim’s Photos

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Dr. Charlotte Laws became the “Erin Brockovich of revenge porn” by accident, says CBS News. Last year, her 25-year-old daughter learned that her computer had been hacked and that a topless photo she’d taken of herself was posted on a website called IsAnyoneUp.com, and was making the rounds on social media. Says Laws, “I was willing to do anything. I just wanted to get that picture down.” Only after she got the FBI to open an investigation did the photo – and, eventually, the website that initially posted it – finally come down for good.

Thanks in part to Laws’ advocacy, California became to second state, after New Jersey, to enact legislation making some kinds of revenge porn illegal. Laws and other cyber-stalking opponents say the California law has a gaping loophole: the statute does not cover photographs initially taken by the victim. So it wouldn’t have helped Laws’ daughter get justice. Neither would it apply to people who, for example, send an intimate photo of themselves to someone who then disseminates that image without their permission.

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