Report pushes Congress to ban revenge porn

Report pushes Congress to ban revenge porn
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A D.C.-based think tank is calling on Congress to ban revenge porn – pornography posted to the Internet without the consent of those depicted.

The report the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation released a report Wednesday said a particularly pernicious form of online harassment that can have devastating effects including damaged reputations, abusive communications from strangers, emotional damage and threats of violence.

The report: "Why and How Congress Should Outlaw Revenge Porn," recommends Congress pass legislation like the bill Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is preparing to unveil on July 23, create a special unit in the FBI to provide immediate assistance to revenge porn victims and direct the Department of Justice to work with the private sector on developing best practices for how online services can quickly remove nonconsensual pornography.

“Regardless of the origins, no one should have explicit images of themselves shared without their consent,” Daniel Castro, vice president of ITIF and co-author of the report, said in a news release. “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

Though there are 24 states that prohibit the distribution of nonconsensual pornography, only seven states offer civil remedies to victims. In some states the law only applies to situations where the perpetrator set out to harass the individual. In others, the person publishing the images or videos has to have known the person did not consent to their disclosure.