Technology can change in the blink of an eye. It seems as though as soon as a service or device gets popular with the masses, a better or faster one is introduced. However, it may be safe to say that the overall technological developments in social media and Internet are here to stay.
Unfortunately, the laws governing certain behaviors in regards to digital information and access have yet to catch up with technology. In many cases, cyber crime laws are developed only after a particular issue or practice has become something of a national phenomenon. For example, many states have yet to adopt and clearly define laws that address the trend being called “revenge porn.”
Sources have been reporting on revenge porn for quite some time. Essentially, it involves one person uploading an explicit photograph of someone — typically an ex — to sites like Facebook or public websites without his or her permission in an attempt to humiliate or embarrass that person.
What might have started as a misguided prank or morally questionable decision quickly grew into trend with serious legal implications. However, laws that define the line between legal and illegal behaviors and what the penalties for a crime are have yet to be passed in every state, including Minnesota. This can create some serious confusion for people accused of engaging in revenge porn.
But one woman in another state with laws that do criminalize the act of posting explicit pictures of someone online without consent recently was one of the first people charged with the offense. She is facing serious penalties if she is convicted, and cases like hers could set a precedent for other claims in different states.
Because of the confusion surrounding certain Internet behaviors and the inconsistent laws that govern them, people can find themselves in a serious situation without fully understanding why. Facing charges related to Internet crime can be very complicated, and there can be considerable challenges when it comes to interpreting and scrutinizing the letter of the law. People in this situation would be wise to consult an attorney who can provide critical support and guidance and help them understand their rights and legal options.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Now Women Are Getting Arrested For Revenge Porn,” Gerry Smith, Oct. 21, 2014