Cal AG Harris Launches Cyber Exploitation Initiative
California Attorney General Kamala Harris and her task force of industry, academia and law enforcement has tried to set a new benchmark for the combating revenge porn. First, let’s start with the name “Revenge Porn” which is demeaning and suggests that the victim did something to warrant revenge. As the banner indicates, Cyber Exploitation more appropriately captures what is being done.
Harris has also launched a website that provides information to victims (including the Infographic below), law enforcement and businesses on what they can do to combat Cyber Exploitation. The announcement comes just as Governor Brown has signed two new bills fine tuning California’s Cyber Exploitation Laws to permit a law enforcement to seek a search warrant and forfeiture for such materials despite the fact that it is only a misdemeanor; and allowing court to exercise jurisdiction where the victim resides. Specifically, the new law adds a new Section 647.8 to the Penal Code that provides in part that:
(c) (1) The jurisdiction of a criminal action for conduct specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (j) of Section 647 shall also include the county in which the offense occurred, the county in which the victim resided at the time the offense was committed, or the county in which the intimate image was used for an illegal purpose. If multiple offenses of unauthorized distribution of an intimate image, either all involving the same defendant or defendants and the same intimate image belonging to the one person, or all involving the same defendant or defendants and the same scheme or substantially similar activity, occur in multiple jurisdictions, then any of those jurisdictions is a proper jurisdiction for all of the offenses. Jurisdiction also extends to all associated offenses connected together in their commission to the underlying unauthorized distribution of an intimate image.
Accompanying Harris were University of Maryland Professor and victim’s advocate Danielle Citron (author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace); John Doherty, General Counsel of TechNet and a representative of the Los Angeles Police Department. Citron praised Harris for her efforts and hoped that California’s actions would become a model for other states.
The full press conference is available below.