Franken wants 'revenge porn' crackdown

Franken wants 'revenge porn' crackdown
© Greg Nash

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the Democrats' last best hope of preserving a House majority Franken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE (D-Minn.) wants federal authorities to make a concerted push to help the victims of "revenge porn," sexually explicit images posted online without individuals' consent.

In a letter to FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHillary 2024? Given the competition, she may be the Dems' best hope Trump draws attention with admission he 'fired Comey' Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE on Friday, the Minnesota Democrat said he hoped the government would ramp up its recent steps to address the problem.

“I am hopeful that these recent developments and the increased public attention to the problem will lead to a more concentrated federal effort to combat this growing threat to Americans’ privacy and safety,” Franken wrote.

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Franken also asked for a host of information about the agency’s current authority and any roadblocks when going after people who post the photos or videos. 

“It is critical that when victims report these images to federal law enforcement they receive expeditious assistance and are treated with sensitivity,” he wrote in the letter. “Victims’ suffering should not be prolonged as pending investigations result in their images remaining online, with the risk of continued harassment.”

Franken applauded Twitter and Reddit, social media websites that have both recently clarified their rules on posting such images or videos. 

He also gave credit to the FBI for its work in the February conviction of Hunter Moore, who ran a site dedicated to posting those types of images along with identifying information about the people shown. 

The revenge porn phenomenon got its name from the posting of explicit pictures, mostly women, after a breakup, but is not limited to that.

Franken did not use the term himself.

Moore was charged in January on multiple counts, including some stemming from buying images that were obtained illegally by breaking into email accounts.  

Aside from the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission has also recently taken action in similar cases. In January, it ordered Craig Brittain, the operator of a now-defunct revenge porn site, to destroy all the nude images he collected.