Thursday, 16 July 2015 14:48

Call to criminalise ‘revenge porn’ practice Featured

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Call to criminalise ‘revenge porn’ practice Image courtesy of hyena reality, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The United States Government has been called on to do more to stamp out ‘Revenge Porn’ – the practice of nonconsensual distribution of sexually implicit images.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) wants the practice outlawed and for it to be criminalised as a way of empowering victims to obtain justice.

According to the ITIF, while some states and private businesses in the US have taken steps to address the issue, the federal government has not done enough to provide victims with the legal tools necessary to deter abusive behavior or fight back against the perpetrators.

The ITIF, in a newly released report, has now recommended the US Congress criminalise the practice, increase resources for victims, and help the private sector do more to combat invasions of privacy so those being preyed on can take back their lives.

ITIF specifically recommends that Congress move forward quickly with legislation, and recommends that Congress create a special unit in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide immediate assistance to victims of nonconsensual pornography and direct the Department of Justice to work with the private sector on developing best practices for online services to quickly remove these images.

“It’s time Congress starts taking this issue seriously. We need a federal law that criminalises revenge porn by focusing on perpetrators, not platforms, while also still protecting free speech,” said Daniel Castro, vice president of ITIF and co-author of the report.

“Regardless of the origins, no one should have explicit images of themselves shared without their consent.

“This is an egregious invasion of privacy, most often inflicted on women to punish or silence them. It severely damages reputations, endangers safety, and inflicts unjust financial, emotional, and social costs. While 24 states and some private companies have taken a stand to slow this insidious crime, we need a consistent, nation-wide policy that adequately brings remedy to the victims and dissuades future violations.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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