tv Discussion Focuses on Combating Revenge Porn CSPAN October 7, 2016 8:00pm-9:17pm EDT
meaningful morning for you. we thank you so much for coming. as you leave, if you would answer our survey, we would be most grateful for that. it informs the work we do. we hope to see you back here again. thank you so much for your time. [ applause ] tonight on c-span, a look at efforts to reduce online sexual harassment. and then chief marg morgan testifies at a house homeland security hearing. and later a look at u.s. counter-terrorism strategy 15 years after 9/11. now, a look at efforts to stop online sexual harassment. california congressman jackie speier outlined legislation she introduced in july to make distributing explicit images without consent a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison. other speakers include the
president of the national organization for women, and representatives there facebook and the federal trade commission. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> it is referred to as revenge porn. the different types of responses that we've seen from government and the legislative steps that we could take to better protect victims. before we get into this, a few logistics. so everyone knows, this event is being recorded. if you want to participate online via twitter we're using the hashtag itif privacy. and we have a really fantastic panel today. to get into this discussion. but before we get to that, the reason we're having this discussion here today and i mean that both in a general sense as well as a literal sense, is because we have the privilege of hearing from representative jackie speier. for those of you that don't know her, representative represents the 14th congressional district and she serves on the house armed services committee as the
ranking member of the sub-committee on oversight and investigations and on the house permanent select committee on intelligence and a tireless advocate for women's rights and a champion for the safety, health and rights of ordinary americans. and this is why news week has named her two its list of 150 fearless women in the world. and one way she has demonstrated this fearlessness is through the writing and introduction of the intimate privacy protection act or ippa, the first bill in congress to really take on this issue of revenge porn. and not only does this bill outline what i think is a responsible path forward for lawmakers, but it has brought this discussion to the forefront and created an opportunity and space for us to have this type of a conversation. so we're very delighted that you are here to talk about the motivation for the bill and the current status and out look and where you see things going from here and join me in welcoming
representati representative speirer. >> good morning. and thank you to daniel and all of you for being here. because this is really a very important issue. especially thanks to the information technology and innovation foundation for putting together what is a pretty impressive group of experts on this issue. and i really applaud the panelists, all of whom -- most of whom i know and really admire. i hope this doesn't come as a surprise to you, but the internet is not the same place for everyone. for the fortunate, it is a place for open and thoughtful debate, for witty banter and cute cat pictures. for some, and this includes mostly women and ethnic minorities, it could be a place of unrecentless sexism, racism, verbal abuse and even death
threats. now, as a public person, i sort of expect some of that. and believe it, i get plenty of it on the internet. but for the average person, this is not what they expect. take the recent experience of actress leslie jones. for doing nothing more than starring in a re-make of a movie about fighting ghosts, she was subjected to a never-ending stream of racial epity ats and sexualized threats. and she left twitter but the abuse didn't stop there. it culminated in her personal web page being hacked and intimate photos being posted publicly. jones' case is regrettably typical of the experience that many women and especially non-white women have on the internet. for them, the internet has become a new age sewage pipeline
carrying the worst material imaginable in endless quantities. and as social media proliferates, so too do the opportunities to destroy people's lives. several years ago i started reading chilling stories of young people committing suicide because their image was being distributed without their consent. audreypot, a high school sophomore in san jose committed suicide after photos of her sexual assault were passed through facebook, snap chat and text. parsons, a 17-year-old in nova scotia killed herself after photos of her gang rape were posted online. tyler clemente, a rutgers college freshman killed himself after his roommate used a webcam to stream him having a sexual encounter with another man. christy chambers c seriously
considered suicide after her ex boyfriend posted intimate photos with her name and personal information to more than 35 different porn websites. earlier this year, aknisha vorra spoke at a press conference to introduce the ippa. she described how she deactivated her facebook account, changed her phone number, dropped out of school, and moved out of state after her ex boyfriend posted private images that ended up on more than 3000 websites. she was stalked by strangers, including one man who pushed his way into her family's home and made it almost to her bedroom because sher ex boyfriend included a diagram of the house with her address, along with false claims that she had rape
fantasies. it should come as no surprise then that more than half of victims of nonconsensual pornography report having suicidal thousands. this kind of abuse is widespread. the economists has reported that there are as many as 3000 websites and millions of images and videos that feature nonconsensual pornography. carrie goldberg, who is sitting on this panel today, is representing hundreds of victims of this abuse. victims rights groups like cyber civil rights initiative have been at the forefront of this issue and have been contacted by thousands of victims seeking help and justice. but these numbers, though appalling, are just the tip of the iceberg. that is because nonconsensual pornography could stem from cases of revenge, as with
aknisha, to images and video of sexual assault as entertainment as tyler clemente's case and there are disgusting cases where trusted care-givers have shared images they came across in their duties. one study found that 35 incidents since 2015 have occurred involving nursing home staff posting graphic images of residents with dementia and other ailments. makes you begin to wonder, what will people stoop to. as nonconsensual pornography continues to spread, survivors have been left with nowhere, absolutely nowhere to turn. celebrities have hired high price law firms to demand that website remove the material and individuals with financial means to hire lawyers have sought civil damages against those sites that profit from posting
nonconsensual pornography. but even in these rare cases where they have the resources to do that, the images often still could be found on the internet. you could make a full time job out of searching the internet on 3000 websites to see if there are none consensual photos of yourself being posted. a few revenge porn operators like hunter more have faced criminal punishment only after they've committed additional wrongful acts of extortion, blackmail and hacking. not for disclosing the images. across the country, 34 states have adopted their own bands on -- bans on nonconsensual pornography. some of the laws are carefully crafted but many lack important elements. such as, explicit first amendment protections. still others only punish nonconsensual pornography when the perpetrator is motivated by
a desire to harass the victim. which leaves perpetrators who are only interested in greed or vorism to continue to commit the crimes and abuses that we seek to address. this patch work of regulatory schemes creates great uncertainty for victims and tech companies alike. all victims, all victims deserve recourse. not just those in some states and all companies should be able to set policies that will apply nationwide. only federal legislation could address all of these concerns. it was clear to me that there was a need for a federal law to address this behavior. but i knew it was not going to be easy. some of you may know that the long path to the intimate privacy protection act or ippa has taken over two years. i need to get something done on this complicated issue, i needed
to draft a bill that had teeth, yet could with stand constitutional scrutiny and garner broad support in the advocacy community and from the tech companies. i also knew that we would need substantial bipartisan support from my colleagues. now, most of this would not have happened without the talented chief of staff to help thread the drafting of this legislation. so i want to say to josh connolly, who is on the panel, without him, this would not be a bill we are addressing today. after many revisions and with the help of professor mary ann franks we vetted it with constitutional scholars and legal organizations. after a lot of work, we lined up strong support from legal organizations such as the national association of assistant u.s. attorneys and the national district attorneys
association. and 12 leading constitutional law scholars. including the dean of uc irvine school of law, irwin kehm erinski. >> he has written the book on constitutional law and argued five cases before the supreme court. his take on our bill sums up the constitutional question well. dean says, and i quote, there is no first amendment problem with this bill. the first amendment does not protect a right to invade a person's privacy by publicizing without consent nude photographs or video of sexual activity, unquote. you know, i never get tired of reading that quote. we also brought together a broad coalition of supporters, including online businesses like facebook, want to thank facebook for being here today.
and twitter, and victims' rights groups like cyber civil rights initiative and the national organization of women. if passed, ippa will punish individuals and websites that knowingly post private, intimate material while also providing a safe harbor protection for websites that don't advertise or solicit such contact. ippa contains strong exceptions to protect free speech, ensuring that disclosure of private information that has been voluntarily made public or in a bonafide public interest would not be criminalized. most importantly, ippa would end immunity for revenge porn, who continue to do their, quote, craft, unquote, because ippa does not exist on a federal level. we have more work to do to get
this bill passed. we already have bipartisan support, six republicans have joined in this effort. i hope when i reintroduce the legislation in the next congress, presuming him reelected, that we'll have numbers that are extraordinary in support of this legislation. and that we will be able to get it to the floor. today with smartphones and endless social media platforms, there is no difference between online and off-line life. it is all just life. the same technology that gives us numerous ways to improve our lives also gives us numerous ways to destroy them. fortunately, it is possible to protect both privacy and free speech. in fact, the supreme court, and this is very important to underscore, the supreme court has noted protecting privacy is
often vital to protecting free speech. when people live in fear that they are -- might be -- private information that could be disclosed to the world with devastating consequences, they cannot express themselves freely. the first amendment does not require us to stand idoly by as real lives are destroyed by virtual actions. not only do victims of nonconsensual pornography deserve justice, society must hold perpetrators of this vicious form of abuse responsible. a civilized society could not shrug its shoulders and say, but there is nothing to be done. of course there is something to be done. that is why we must do something now to address this issue. it is already out of hand. and it is time for congress to act. thank you. [ applause ]
thank you, congresswoman. now there is a lot there that we want to discuss and i'm very pleased to hear your expectation that next year we're going to see this bill move swiftly and with great bipartisan support. so we have a tremendous amount of expertise in the room. we also have a tremendous number of people in the audience. so we do have some seats in the back if you are coming in. you could just fill in in the back. let me just briefly introduce our panelist and then we'll get right into this discussion. starting on my far left, is josh connolly, chief of staff for representative jackie speier. to his right is terry o'neill, who is president of the national organization of women. for women, excuse me. to her right is mike eichorn,
assistant director of privacy and the head of safety at facebook who i should also add is very active on a number of organizations around improving online safety and prior to facebook she was also worked for the state attorney general so i'm going to just as background be asking for some views on some of that previous work you did as well. and finally, to my left, carrie goldberg who is the founder of ceo goldberg, a new york based lawmaker specializing in consent abuse. and let's start off with you, carrie, because you've been working so closely with a number of the victims that this law is intended to address. and this is kind of the reason we're here. could you talk a little bit about what you are seeing in your practice, what are the experiences you're seeing with
victims and the challenges that they have today. >> okay, sure. so i'm basically the lawyer that i needed when i was under attack by a malicious ex. and so i started my law firm focusing on sexual violence, online and offline because i couldn't find a lawyer. and i was in family court and being told by a judge when i asked for an order of protection, that i had a first amendment issue. so what i'm seeing is that victims to come me and they are absolutely so distraught. their images are all over the internet. oftentimes they've been targeted by somebody known to them. and the images are spread from device to device, usually ending up at some point on a social media site. and my clients are 13 to 65, 90% women. but most of them are on the
younger side of the scale. and they do not know what to do. they're absolutely terrified, that they are never going to be able to get control back of their reputation. and at this point in time, we -- nobody could get a job or a roommate or even a date without being googled. so you just have to think about how would you feel if the first five pages of your search engine results are images of you fully exposed and naked, images that you never wanted anybody to see. so my clients are distraught. they are afraid of their future. >> thank you. terry, let me bring you into this conversation because there is obviously this problem that affects both men and women but women have been disproportion e disproportionately affected by this and take about the gender nature of the problem and as well as what you are seeing in the space and why your organization has gotten
involved? >> oh, you know, thank you. and thank you to representative jackie speier for bringing this legislation forward. and thank you so much. and because yet this is another tool that domestic violence abusers can and do use, to stop women from leaving. right. there is an intimate photograph or intimate video taken, she doesn't think it will be shared with anyone because she trusts him, because she is in love with him and yet when she decides to leave, he holds this out and says, if you leave me, i will expose this to the world. it is absolutely a tool of intimidation that is available in domestic violence. it is also a tool of intimidation in the workplace. quite frankly. and think in terms of -- for example modeling agencies or dare i say it, beauty pageant contestants. there are girls as young as 14 years old that come to work for modeling agencies and you could
imagine that it is entirely possible for -- for photographs to be taken of these girls, they are lied to about what will be done with the photographs and then that material is utilized to control them. it is a common tactic in sex trafficking, it is a common tactic in other forms of exploitation of women. so what we are -- what i'm very excited about this legislation is that this is a federal crime. that it can result in serious penalties. and that the women themselves know that the country is behind them. and that we will use all of the power of the government to stop these abusive behaviors. >> thank you. let me bring you in on this conversation, terry. you've been looking at the broader spear of online safety for a while and you've seen a number of challenges in this space, your responses. how do you look at this issue and how have you seen the issue
grow? because we are talking about it more now as opposed to ten years ago, even though obviously this type of thing has existed for a while. >> so we've always had policies against this type of behavior. we don't allow people to bully or harass. but a couple of years ago, we saw an increase in this type of activity and we made it much more explicit in our plolicies that you cannot do this type of harassment. >> and have you seen this type of issue -- i guess how would you quantify the issue, if you can? because that is one of the biggest challenges. carrie, you have so many clients, but still you are one lawyer. we can only point to so many examples there. and we know this happens outside of it when people never hire a lawyer or get to that step. >> i would actually say, the question is in some ways not how do we quantify it because one single person having this devastating affect on thur lives is enough to make it worth solving. >> and josh, let me bring you in
on the conversation here, too. there is obviously this kind of question of when should government get involved, always, right. and when should the federal government get involved. so what was the thought process that you had between saying that this is the point where we need to step in and start talking about federal law, especially as opposed to maybe state law. >> good question. i mean, congress is not always the best at forward-thinking technology and implementing it, and we were careful and deliberateive and we heard story after story how destructive this was and how no legal remedy was in place and obviously technology and the internet doesn't adhere to state borders. we also looked at the patch work of state law. some good, some bad. some just down right ineffective so it seemed appropriate to address this at the federal
level in a way that was -- that was -- that took into account both the realities of the tech industry and just the sheer volume of information they are going through and to put in place something that really had teeth and that would serve as a deterrence. >> carrie, maybe you could talk about that as well. i know on your firm's website you track some of the state laws and you probably have been kind of working with a number of the states in terms of just -- in terms of responding for victims. how do you see the differentiation between states and their responses and the availability of recourse to victims? >> so we have 35 states plus d.c. that have criminal laws. and we also have 35 states plus d.c. that have different criminal laws and there is so much variation between the laws. and we have another 15 states that are completely holding out and in those states, it is
perfectly legal to take an image of somebody else's genitals and post it online. it is legal to do that there. so the need for federal law just to protect -- i mean to protect everybody is so necessary. but particularly the -- in the states where there is nobody, no lawmaker protecting them, no lawmaker that sees the value in sexual privacy. >> and to bring you back in on this too, in terms of online privacy, we have addressed that through federal law, right? not state law. can you talk about some of the work that has gone in the past in terms of children's privacy or online privacy that might be a model or a lesson as we think about moving forward here. >> that is interesting. so we have actually supported the legislation at the state level over a dozen states but we also saw the need to support federal legislation as we've done here. i think if you look at
children's online privacy, we have federal legislation, to deal with these type of issues, koppa is a way to deal with children under the age of 13 in particular, i do think it provides additional piece of arsenal for going after people who are committing the crimes which is extraordinarily important, especially in places where you are in victims in states without protection. >> and mark, the ftc has been involved in this as well. could you share with us about what the ftc has been involved. >> i'm mark ieichorn. i'm speaking for myself today or not for the commission or any commissioner. and probably most relevant was our case against craig brittain who was running a revenge porn website. and we are a civil enforcement agency. and our section five of the ftc act gives us the authority over
deceptive or unfair acts or practices. so under that authority, we brought an action against craig britain and obtained a settlement. this man was allegedly soliciting photos from people through means such as he would pretend to be a woman seeking a woman on craig's list and solicit photos from women with the promise that he would send his own in return. and then he would post those with their personal information on the website. so as carrie talked about, when you have the personal information in combination with the photos and it makes it searchable online and they start to come up and be associated with you. so we challenged his conduct as
both deceptive and unfair under the ftc act. in part, he was also pretending to be an unrelated third party and charging for removal -- a significant amount of money for removal of the photos from the site. this affected more than a thousand people. so that was an action we brought a couple of years ago. we've also been involved in sort of related areas. for example we brought a case against a key logger called remote spy. that was advertised as sort of something that could be used to -- you could trick somebody into downloading it surreptitously and it would get on their device and capture information from them and report to you about location or passwords and things of that nature.
so that is some of what we've been doing. there is a lot of other types of cases that we've brought as well. and i guess one thing that i would say is that a lot of this debate is colored by the fact there is an assumption that these photos were originally taken consensually in the first place, even though with a limited scope. so that the individual has the idea, well i'm sharing it with you but i'm not planning to publish it for the world and i want to make the point that a lot of our cases have involved situations where there hasn't really been any consent, even of that nature. so we brought a case against -- well trend net, which was way -- a internet-based ip camera that you could hook up. and due to poor data security,
even though you could set your feed to private, actually hackers could get around that quite easily and they made feeds for something like 800 cameras available online. so another case that we brought was the designer wear case where people that were getting re rent-to-own computers without their knowledge getting the computers preloaded with software that allowed the rent-to-own franchises to determine their location, but also use the camera of the computer to take pictures of them without their knowledge or consent. so those are some of the things that we've been doing. >> maybe just sticking with you for a minute. where are you seeing that the
ftc's hands are tied or you see victims or cases where you want to get involved but the ftc is only one agency with certain scope and where are you not able to act. >> for one thing, we're a commercial agency. so anything we challenge has to be in commerce. so in the craig britain case, this is an individual that was making money, allegedly, through this scheme. and running -- running the website as well as sort of directly soliciting the photos himself. so if you have an example of someone who was, like a revengeful ex boyfriend who was just posting it to some website, without a commercial motive, that wouldn't be something that we could respond to, for example. >> terry, let me bring you back in on this. i think one of the things that is -- that is kind of maybe a
defining characteristic of this type of problem, is that there are so many different motivations or trajectories for how this happens and i think -- so there is the -- the angry ex, the pure entertainment value and the commercial and so the responses have been so diverse. but the problem with that is it creates a lot of -- it is a heavy cost on the victim or the person affected by it to figure out, how do i deal with this. it is a copy right or a commercial issue so maybe you could talk a little bit about that type of problem. because we see this in other areas where exploitation is motivated for various reasons. >> absolutely. and it comes down to a consent issue. whether the victim consented to this use of intimate images of her or of him. you could think of two analogies. one is the privacy of medical records. clearly, people consent to the
sharing of medical records. you want one doctor to share the medical records with another doctor but you certainly don't want them put out on the internet. why? because it might be shaming. that information might be used to interfere with your career, with your workability to keep your job that information may simply be something so private to you that it is crippling in the sense of people really can't continue to function when they think, oh, my god, this is out there and people see this about me. so i think there is a real analogy between none consensual publication of intimate pictures and the nonconsensual public medical information. and i bring up that analogy because i'm sympathetic to the first amendment problems, quote
unquote, with the intimate pictures. and i think when we think about the first amendment we need to think why is it okay under the first amendment to prohibit publication of private medical records but not to prohibit publication of private intimate images and photographs and videos. i also think there is another analogy and that is to a sexual harassment in the workplace. back in the 1990s. the first amendment was used to resist the use of title 7 of anti-discrimination laws to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. the argument was, well, these are just guys being guys. just because they put pornography photographs on the locker of the woman, they need to be able to express themselves and they have a first amendment right to say i don't want women in the workplace and i can harass them with the images of a
sexual nature. ultimately, when anita hill testified about her experiences with this constant barrage of sexualized, harassing behavior by her boss, that was when i think people began to really understand that the first amendment does not give carte blanche for people in the workplace to stop an individual from being able to perform her regular job duties. i think the same thing is here. representative jackie speier said there is no such thing as off-line life and online life. it is life. we are all online a lot of the time. so i think the first amendment argument is really quite frankly one that comes from privilege and people who haven't experienced it, who are much more likely to be worried about the first amendment problem. those who have experienced the total shutdown that could happen
to victims are much more willing to say, no, no, we don't have a first amendment right to do this to an individual. >> yeah, let me open that up to the whole panel. this discussion about where do you draw the line in the first amendment because that is the single biggest hurdle toward moving forward in this space because most people do recognize it is a problem but they say should we be concerned about how this could go awry and as you said, it becomes this kind of -- if you don't care about the issue, on a more int lat level, maybe first amendment trumps it and it is a big road block until we see movement for a number of reasons. but let me open up the panel for anyone that wants to talk about the first amendment side of this. i'll pick on josh to start since you deal with this quite a lot, i'm sure. >> i think ultimately, i think critics have basically said this should be structured as a harassment statute.
and something inherent within this to hold congressional muster or constitutional muster would have to be harassment. we strictly, like terry said, see it as a privacy matter. and there is a lot of jurisprudence that supports that, financial data being another example. it is -- this is arguably more destructive to people's lives than an x-ray getting out or someone's social security getting out and it is a reality of the time that we live in, that this is a real and pervasive threat to people's lives. and we see it as solidly a -- that it could with stand constitutional scrutiny. i don't know if this becomes law, knock on wood, if secretary clinton said that she is supportive of the legislation to maybe this is the first bill she gets to sign into law. but we'll see if it would be challenge the in the courts. but i mean, i would refer to
dean chem erinski. >> this is interesting. what i would say, less so on the first amendment piece but more on people's ability to share and to speak. we see on our platform, if people don't feel safe, they won't share. >> exactly. >> they won't post photos or connect with their friends. for us, it is very important to create a space in which they could feel safe to share and connect. so that is why we have the policies. but we want people to feel safe. but rules and legislation like this help people to feel safe to communicate in the ways that they normally would. >> one of the ways that is completely bizarre about this type of situation, after the ftc case with craig britain, the individual you took action again, he was using a right to be forgotten type of law to try to delist search results for his name so people wouldn't find out that the ftc took action against
him. and someone like that is more likely to be successful almost in protecting this, you know, completely truthful legal government public information about them than getting this more sensitive information removed that nobody really else had a right to have out there. carrie, i know you've been thinking about this as well. >> well, i just think it is a problem for us to see this and particularly the intimate privacy protection act as pitting privacy against free speech. i think that is -- that's a false tension. and i think we really saw that play out in the -- in the hulk hogan versus gawker case. where there were so many headlines that were talking about this issue between privacy and free speech. and they are just not opposed. and if we just think about what we've said all along, so much speech could be silenced if
everything was considered a public matter. and really, in the gawker case, the question raised wasn't about privacy at all, it was about -- it was about whether it was news worthy. and we've had case after case in court finding that sex tapes are not news worthy. even if they include famous participants. >> absolutely. so i'm glad you bring up that point, because also we have seen these hulk hogan case, the celebrity iphone leak hack where maybe we had somewhat of a turning point in culture, where, one, this issue is more recognized. maybe that is the anita hill moment for this issue. where we finally are saying, wait a second, this really seems like something is wrong. again, i just want to open up to the panel, how have things
changed in these past two years as we had these high-profile cases and high-profile victims speaking out. has that shaped how we are now approaching this policy and how could it help? >> well, i will just tell you, from my perspective, i think there has been -- there is a growing movement among women online and women in tech to push back against a lot of the quite gendered harassment and bullying that you find online. i think gamer-gate sparked. that was an incident in which a number of women who are developing video games, which is a very male-dominated part of online industry, they began to be attacked very viciously. more and more viciously. and were, quote, unquote, doxed, which is like the intimate, what
happens with the publish of intimate public pictures. their home address and all information was put online, solely for the purpose of harassing them. simply because they were women who were invading the space of gamers. women began to organize and push back against that. and i think that there is a growing awareness sort of generally online of the existence of this kind of bullying, how gendered it is, how very disproportionately it impacts women and so when you see these incidents, for example, leslie jones and other victims of intimate, of publishing intimate pictures, it comes with a cognitive base. it hits people with a base. they are aware of gamer-gate and aware of the bullying online and so i think it fits this new bill. i think it is something that people will recognize, describes
a problem that people will very much recognize. >> yeah. josh, do you want -- i know your office specifically reiterated this is not the gawker bill. >> yeah. so i guess -- yeah. some have interpreted it implicit lick that our bill was somehow a causal reaction to the gawker case, and, in fact, it was not. the question of bonafide public interest i do think is a compelling one and one that was brought up with the hulk hogan case. and some news organization is calling into question what about abu gray and would that photo be somehow prohibited or exposed to criminal linibility. and just look at how the -- one, we don't dispute that it was a very important story and very important picture. but when you saw most news agencies, i haven't seen anything news agencies that didn't do this, they blurred out
the faces of the individuals that were naked and their genitals and i don't think that in any way detracted from the power of that image or its importance. or the effect. but i think it would be gratuitous and unnecessary to put those people's faces out, that would essentially revictimize them. and in no way would create any sort of greater information to the public. so i think the bonafide public interest question is a real one but i think that if you use some common sense and look at where the courts come down on some of the cases that i think it's -- it's easily interpreted. >> yeah. >> um, well, i think there is such a huge cultural shift in the last three years. i mean, not only have we gone from three to 35 states that have laws and we've had some of
our most sell blated celebrities -- celebrated celebrities come out and talk in vanity fair about being a victim but we've had several civil cases that resulting in large judgments. we just had a new one for $500,000. we've gotten the ftc to bring a case against a revenge porn operator. we've got several federal outcomes against other operators. and now we have tech actually creating policies. and all of this happened in the last year. or three years, rather. and i think all of it together has given the media the okay to actually be writing about it, which never happened three years ago. now, there is articles about -- from the perspective of a victim and it is really educating the country about this. >> so i want to spend a little
tight of ti-- a little bit of t talking about what victims could do and what is available. and could we start and talk about the mechanisms in place on facebook. you guys were obviously one of the earliest movers and it is replicated in some of the other platforms and how do you see that kind of -- maybe walk us through how you both crafted the policy and maybe how it is actually playing out in practice? >> well, so on facebook, as i said earlier, we do not allow this kind of sharing of intimate images. and we make it very, very easy to report. and when people report it, we will remove it immediately. but i think it is more than that. >> can you just -- let me stop you there. could you talk about what that removal process looks like is there someone reviewing it on the back end? >> yes. we have a multitude of people around the world reviewing these reports 24/7 in over 24 different languages to remove them. but in addition, i think there is something that happens with this particular type of sharing that is particularly devastating
for victims. which is that it is shared across multiple platforms. so if it is removed from facebook, it may pop up somewhere else. and so one of the things that we did working with the cyber civil rights initiative was to collect -- how do you report this across a variety of platforms. in one place. so that if you are the victim of this type of crime, you could go to one place to find out how to report across all of the different platforms. another thing we've done is worked very closely with nnev on guides to give people resources they need when they are the victims of something like this so they could go and reach out and what are the local resources in their area and we've been testing a reporting flow where those resources will be provided immediately upon reporting that. >> that is great. carrie, maybe you could talk about this how you are seeing this. >> we are continuously talking about what victims should do.
and whether it's copyright or a chrism suit but we should be talking about how we deter the offenders and that is why we need the criminal laws. offenders are not afraid of being sued for a copyright infringement and they are people with money and often abusive exes so they would love to get back together with their victim, even if they are dating in courthouses. but what people are afraid of are going to jail. and having something on their public record. so it just -- there is such a need for the criminal law so that victims don't have to think about what to do. because they won't be victims. because offenders won't offend at t at the same rates that we're seeing. >> that is right. that is a very important point. and mark, i mean, that is part of the ftc role.
in terms of your enforcement agencies in general, not you specifically but ftc, but they don't go ever everyone. it is trying to set a culture within the commercial space. do you think that has been set through the actions? are you seeing a change in what people are willing to do commercially in this space that effects individuals? >> well, i think that our actions probably have the most effect in sort of like the legitimate company space, frankly. and so we do a lot of anti-fraud work and so forth. and work of this nature against sort of basically individuals. and we certainly hope that that will have a deterrent effect. but some of the people, if you are -- i mean, a lot of this is not necessarily rational behavior in the first place, obviously. it is driven by a lot of really
ugly -- ugly emotions or even you wonder about mental illness or other things going on. it's harder to deter that. i want to go back to one more thing about helping victims which was that we on monday put out a piece on stalking apps. we do a lot of consumer and business education and this is a piece for women who -- sometimes an they'll sort of basically know where they are every moment and be able to track them and sort of maybe even brag about i know you went here and there and just about the fact that these stalking apps can exist and sort of how you might be able to find out that your phone has been
jail broken and that these apps might be on your device and what to do about it and that was something that we put out just this week and then we have another -- other information online. for example there's another piece for victims of domestic abuse and device for them. >> maybe you can talk about this as well. this broader sense that this is a digital representation of issues that have long existed and the traditional response i think for individuals if they feel like someone has done something that should be illegal they should call the police and one of the problems we saw when we looked at this was a lot of the local police aren't going to know how to deal with these because it's cross border or they call it an internet crime. there's still not that same type of response and you'll have
domestic violence or sexual violence or anything like that. are you thinking about how this fits into the broader sets of resources that are made available. >> it really is a problem. women like victims of sexual assault who were immediately not trusted initially. what they often find they go to the police and they're subjected to we don't trust you. you were lying, where were you, what were you drinking, what did you say and all the reasons why the victim might have been at fault. >> i think what you have in publication of intimate pictures is the same kind of victim blaming. why did you allow that picture to be taken in the first place. it's your fault. you should know to protect yourself. we do see a lot of the same kind of victim blaming. perpetrators really do fall
along a spectrum of motivations for why they're doing what they're doing. sometimes it's revenge. sometimes it's just control: sometimes it's just a predator who is using intimate photographs as a tool to continue to control an individual. it's very much true in the sex trafficking world and very much true in the world of domestic violence so when you're dealing with a predator, it's particularly important to have the criminal law of the united states of america behind you. >> yeah. well, let me go to you now. i think we have plenty of people that probably have a lot of questions here. can you walk us through with a little pit more detail how you fought through some of the issues and i want to open up to the panel for their reactions as
well. >> we looked to the digital my millenium copyright act. it's this governmental entity that's a clearinghouse for child pornography to try to come up with a model for some sort of take down regime and this, neither solution seemed to really work. so we wanted to go after, we wanted to deter the really bad actors like you said. these folks uploading the content and then we wanted to get after the revenge porn sites. and how they're getting that information. how they're getting this content is that they're knowingly soliciting or advertising for this consent. basically we define what this
content is. we carve out police activity for investigation and the bone identified public interest and if you're knowingly uploading or sharing this content that you -- with reckless disregard, the individual consented for it to be publicly distributed that you would be criminally liable. and then we carve out and don't touch section 230 which is the third rail of this issue and many others that basically if you touch it you break the internet people say. so you didn't want to touch that. and the good actors like facebook that really it's not only in their self-interest to be vigilant about taking this content down but do a pretty good job of it. so we really wanted to go after the bad actors.
both the folks uploading it and the ones trading and benefitting and profiting from the websites from selling this content. and i know everyone here has looked at the bill and you might not want to comment. but, you know, your reactions to the measures and anything that you are particularly pleased about anything you'd like to see changed if it's reintroduced? >> well, i think the most important piece of it is it shows the united states government is on the side of women that are struggling with this issue. it's extremely important to get the word out that women will have recourse. that we needed a bill as josh said as congresswoman spears said we needed a bill with teeth and this is something that women really can use and it sets a tone. if you go back to that spectrum
of perpetrators, along the spectrum of people that might not be the predators deliberately creating tools that they can use to control individuals in the sex trafficking or who are domestic abuse abusers. go on the other side of the spectrum of people that might be i'm going to get back at her. a true revenge porn situation, a criminal law could deter that and i think will in many cases. that's extremely important. >> pretty active in working with josh to draft this bill and we think it's terrific. >> we're fans too. >> in all seriously this is a very serious crime. the behaviors that people who are sharing nonsensuous and we
felt it was strongly and in the state level when we saw it happening and as well in the federal level. >> i also want to say that the exceptions that are in there i think very much take care of all of the first amendment issues and to and i think that it was extremely important. the free speech of victims is dramatically increased by this bill. the ability of women to be able to say -- to be able to be out there to be online without fear. to know that the internet can be a safe space for them and it's not just actual victims of nonconsensual porn. it's also bystanders that fear they might become victims that are then shutdown, don't want to go online or are fearful of it so this bill opens up a great deal of free speech. not for those that are are privileged and already using the internet but for those that
really need to be on the internet. >> that's a great point and one thing i want talk about is a group and we always advocated for the idea that technology is by choice. we're always thinking about the technology we should be creating and this vision for how we could be using it and promote more innovation that only happens when you create the space that people want to participate in and that's a role with a government component and privacy component. the last question i have before i want to open it up to the rest of the room. we only have 30 something states with the laws.
should they still be moving forward, what's the message to them? >> i'd say better, something is not always better than nothing but i would point them to the illinois state law and not crafting it as a harassment statute but a privacy one and making it a criminal offense. >> the advantage of moving forward and tries to get laws like this passed through all the states is it educates prosecutors up and down the levels of government and gets the word out there to all of law enforcement that this is, in fact, a crime. >> yeah, we absolutely still need to maintain state laws in all 50 states need them. the fbi is not going to be looking into every single case. we can't expect them to. they have much more discretion about what case to take.
. is we need to be stopping nonconsensual porn on a local level. there's a law on our website which is similar to the illinois law that josh talked about which we would recommend that the 15 remaining states look to and the other trend that we're seeing more and more is civil remedies so we have been talking about how criminal laws really deter. but we should all have options and so if a victim wants to take matters into her own hand then there should be civil liability. and the good civil laws allow victims to sue and keep their anonymity and get injunctions to stop the spread so they don't necessarily have to wait for law enforcers to act.
>> let me open it up. if you can just say your name and affiliation? >> yes. my name is jamal. i am a reporter with diverse issues in higher education. i have a two part question. the first part is if anyone can speak to the extent to which this is a problem on colleges and university campuses and the second part would be specifically for josh. i'm wondering how you invision this might play out if something takes place at an institution of higher education. as you know sexual assault takes place at a college or university sometimes it's handled differently if it had taken place anywhere else. so the legislation doesn't consider or should it consider anything special for colleges or universities. thank you. >> can i answer the first part of that question. we are seeing more title nine cases that relate -- that solve revenge porn.
we have one right now. and handling at my firm and whereon if you remember the penn state issue that happened two years ago and was maintaining a private facebook page and images of drunk and passed out naked sorority girls. and the upsetting -- the particularly sad thing about that is even though pennsylvania had a law they didn't apply it to that situation. and they didn't have the intend. and trading baseball cards with their frat brothers. but also right now the office for civil rights for the united states department of ed is investigating three cases that we submitted that all involve nonconsensual porn at the k
through 12 level. and these cases don't just involve nonconsensual porn. one involves nonconsensual porn not recorded and one also has the underlying sex act was nonconsensual. that was then distributed around the 13-year-old's middle school. we're aware of this as well. congressman spears is extremely active and on the fore front of that, we don't really forsee that. and the jurisdiction of whether to take these cases up a lot and we encourage them to do so and a lot of the cases to your point they deferred to the title nine defense and have a school ajude kate these sorts of offenses.
i think the default should lie with a d. aflt. >> i'm with the electronic privacy information center. so i heard the right to be forgotten was raised earlier and i wanted to explore that a little bit more. so carry mentioned how often times it's challenging to get this content taken down from the internet and i have worked on cases as well and i have seen that firsthand that whether it's a video or image this spreads like wildfire and you can have 20, 30 pages and foreign languages and it's really hard to get this content down and even if we are able to bring criminal enforcement actions
against the revenge pornographer and website soliciting the content, how do we get this from shady websites operating in another country and the right to be forgotten allows individuals in the eu to request search engines to remove results from search results when content is no longer relevant and then just what your thoughts here whether that would be a useful tool for, you know, combatting or relieving some of the stress for victims when that content is just impossible to completely remove: all created this right to be forgotten when it comes to revenge porn. so that has been tremendous in terms of helping victims. but you're right. it's a totally a game of
whack-a-mole. we can never ensure a victim's pictures will be down permanantly because anybody that saw them has the ability to have uploaded them, saved them on his computer and then could post them back up. i have clients that get up and brush their teeth and go to google to see where their new images have spread and they spend the first hour of their day sending take down notices and filling out the google forum asking for those search results to be taken down so it's -- it requires constant maintenance even though we do have the ability to request take down from search engine results. >> could you also maybe talk about some of the challenges that you see within the content that's not searchable? some of the other platforms?
>> especially among the younger set, there's a lot of different ways that the content gets spread. often times it's posted on to the social media page of the victim. sometimes somebody will actually create a website with the victim's name as the url and dedicate a whole website to them and then the revenge porn websites. one of the most problems is when revenge porn is published on an actual porn site because then the victims name becomes a searchable term of that site and even if the victim gets it search results still lead to that.
and distribute it. and book messenger so it spreads in a different way and usually, inevitably at some point it winds up on instagram or facebook. but it's a real problem. like to figure out the extent of the spread when the material isn't on the public internet but it's being -- going to spread in a more horizontal way. >> does anyone else on the panel want to comment? any questions? yes you talked about free speech interest and the content on your
platforms. specifically for facebook, we have seen a number of issues in recent weeks and months showing content taken down and then later facebook comes in and reverses the decision. most recently the vietnam war. got a lot of attention. i'm wondering if you can elaborate on how that process works. deciding when to reverse course on a take down. what are the factors that go into that decision and who is making that decision. thank you. >> as i said earlier we have a team of people that review this content around the world 24-7 in multiple languages. in the context of something like this policy, there's no reverse course. if you share an image of somebody and we take it down, it's not coming back up. >> there has been a reversal, what is that sort of -- what goes into that process of deciding to move an image or a
video and then coming back and saying this is actually something that is okay. >> maybe we can talk after since this is about this legislation but i can talk to you afterwards. >> are there questions. >> my question is you brought up bystander intervention a little bit earlier and i was wondering if there's any campaign to help educate the masses. the growing generation is very reliant on social media and one of the campaigns and the obama administration, it's on us and my campus is huge. and have national days and weeks and awareness. is there any bystander
interventions or campaigns about this issue that are out that we can spread around and i know that a lot of people know this is an issue but aren't that aware of it. your thoughts on that. >> there aren't any government based campaigns. the civil rights initiative is very dedicated to raising awareness and it's a great place to go for information and for instructions about removing content and it's right for a campaign. >> any other questions? well, with that, please join me in thanking my panel for that.
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