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New York’s New Revenge Porn Bill Is a Bittersweet Victory

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A Pew study in 2017 found that 12 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have had explicit images of them shared without their consent. Sometimes that takes the form of revenge porn—when someone shares an intimate image out of malice, as a way to get back at an ex. Sometimes, the person distributing the image is doing it for his entertainment. He doesn’t necessarily mean to hurt the victim by it, but the harm still happens. Whatever the intent, it seems likely that more people will experience it.

On Tuesday, New York joined 45 other states in banning revenge porn. (Massachusetts, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Wyoming are the states that don’t ban it.) New York’s new law, which has long been in the works, makes the malicious publication or sharing of an intimate image of a person without their consent a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Back when the New York law was first proposed in 2013, only three other states had any kind of legislation about the sharing of intimate images without permission of the person photographed or filmed.

New York’s law treats sharing explicit images of a person without their consent as harassment, meaning it applies to people who publish nonconsensual sexual images of someone “with intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person.” In order to bring a lawsuit, the victim has to prove that the person who published or shared the image did so “with the purpose of harassing, alarming, or annoying” the victim.

This all makes sense with revenge porn, which generally does entail the intent to harass or harm someone, and it’s critically important that the law has been updated to help these victims. But unfortunately, most cases of nonconsensual sharing of sexual images wouldn’t necessarily fall into the category of harassment, nor does the individual distributing the photos always want to cause some kind of distress to the person depicted.

Take the case of the 30,000-member Facebook group Marines United, which was outed in 2017 for hosting hundreds, potentially thousands, of explicit photos of female Marines and veteran service members without their consent. The creators and users of that group likely weren’t sharing images of unclothed female Marines in order to harm them. They were sharing the photos for their own entertainment. The group’s members probably didn’t even want the women to know their photos had been posted in the group. Under the New York law, those women wouldn’t have much recourse. According to a 2017 study conducted by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit that works on policy and helps victims of nonconsensual pornography, 80 percent of people who share private and sexual images of someone without consent aren’t trying to harm anyone.

And if someone whose photo was posted to the group did try to use the New York law, “It would be a nonstarter,” said Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami and the author of the first model bill to criminalize revenge porn in 2013. “There’s a huge difference in saying, ‘I know he’s doing this to hurt me’ and being able to prove in a court of law that’s why he did it. If you ask yourself, ‘What other reasons could a person give?’ a defendant could easily say, ‘I actually meant it as a compliment. I think she’s so beautiful that I shared her picture for that reason.’ ”

New York isn’t the only state that frames the harms caused by the nonconsensual sharing of sexual images as an act of harassment—that’s how the majority of these state laws approach the problem. But violations of sexual privacy, whatever the intent of the perpetrator, can permanently damage a person’s reputation and home life, and cause severe emotional trauma. It doesn’t matter whether the person who posted the picture meant to harass the victim or was just trying to enjoy himself—the harm remains.

As was the case in other states, the New York law was watered down in part thanks to advocacy from groups like the Internet Association, the powerful tech industry lobbying organization that represents companies like Google and Facebook. The Internet Association has long argued that revenge porn bills must include language about the intent to harm, according to Franks. She says that big tech companies want to protect themselves from being sued for hosting the images (despite the fact that technology companies are already protected by another law that shields them from liability for what their users post), since of course Facebook will never intend to harm or harass someone by allowing nude images of them to be posted on its platform without their consent.

Even if it does include language about the intent to harass, though, the New York bill stands out in other ways. “Our law is special because it creates new ways for the victim to take matters into her own hands,” Carrie Goldberg, an attorney who founded a victim’s rights law firm and worked on the New York bill, told me in an email. “For instance, if law enforcement is moving too slowly, now a victim can get an order of protection from family court.” Additionally, employers in New York are also not allowed to discriminate against an employee who has been a victim of nonconsensual porn. “Victims can also get a court order demanding that websites remove the content, which is a feature no other state has,” Goldberg added. (Franks and Goldberg both work with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.)

A handful of other states, like Illinois, have laws that aren’t couched in language about intent to harm victim. They focus instead on whether an image was shared without consent. Yet the Illinois law is currently being challenged. A woman who sent intimate photos of her ex-fiancé with another woman to his parents says the law violates her First Amendment rights. (She obtained the images through a shared iCloud account.) Ideally, Franks hopes Congress will pass the 2019 SHIELD (Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution) Act, which has bipartisan support and was introduced in the Senate by Kamala Harris. It recognizes that nonconsensual pornography is a privacy violation of victims, rather than some form of harassment. “This mess with the state laws is one of the reasons clear federal criminal legislation on this issue is so desperately needed,” Franks, who wrote the federal model law the SHIELD Act is based on, said in an email.

New York’s new revenge porn law is a victory but not a complete one. Still, police are notorious for not investigating allegations of sexual abuse. “Having the law on the books, though, is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s now on our law enforcers—cops, detectives, prosecutors—and judges to take complaints seriously,” Goldberg said. “The law is meaningless if our public servants don’t use it.”

Source: https://slate.com/technology/2019/07/revenge-porn-law-new-york.html

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Politics

Trump accuses New York Times of going on a ‘racism witch hunt’

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Президент Трамп продолжил свое нападение на «проваливающуюся Нью-Йорк Таймс» в начале воскресенья, заявив, что Серая Леди участвует в «Охоте на ведьм расизма».

«Плохое« Нью-Йорк Таймс », в одном из самых разрушительных изображений плохой журналистики в истории, поймано локером, что они переходят от Фальшивого Русского Сговора (Отчет Мюллера и его показания были полной катастрофой) к Расовая охота на ведьм », – сказал Трамп в Твиттере.

«Журналистика достигла нового минимума в истории нашей страны. Это не более чем злая пропагандистская машина для Демократической партии. Репортаж настолько ложный, предвзятый и злой, что теперь стал очень больной шуткой … Но публика в курсе! », – добавил он.

Президент последовал за этим взрывом с жалобой на число его опросов.

«Со всем, что достигла эта администрация, подумайте, какими были бы мои номера опросов, если бы у нас были честные СМИ, которых у нас нет!», – сказал президент.

Трамп использовал Twitter все выходные, чтобы привлечь внимание к просочившимся комментариям от исполнительного редактора «Таймс» Дина Баке, который обратился к сотрудникам на собрании ратуши в понедельник, и запись его замечаний была передана Слэйту.

Баке говорил о выходе из расследования Мюллера «чуть-чуть плоскостопия», но затем газета перешла и начала писать о Трампе и расе.

«И я думаю, что история изменилась. Многие вещи, о которых мы говорим, начали появляться примерно шесть или семь недель назад », – сказал он.

«Как мы покрываем Америку, которая стала настолько разделенной Дональдом Трампом? Как мы справляемся со всеми вещами, о которых вы все говорите? Как мы вдумчиво пишем о гонке, чего мы долго не делали? », – продолжил редактор.

Консерваторы ухватились за комментарии Баке, предполагая, что «Таймс» сознательно пытается представить Трампа расистом в заранее определенной сюжетной линии, теперь, когда расследование по России было завершено.

«Еда на вынос? Нью-Йорк Таймс заявляет, что заранее разрабатывает повествование о любых естественных событиях, происходящих в природе, и планирует формировать все естественные события, происходящие в природе, так, чтобы о них сообщалось в контексте расизма. Это то, что, по их мнению, хотят их читатели », – написал ведущий« Full Measure »Шэрил Аткиссон, чья программа транслируется на консервативных телеканалах Sinclair.

Трамп ретвитнул Аткиссону в субботу, добавив, «такой позор».

Президент также ретвитнул вашингтонского экзаменатора Байрона Йорка, который задумался над тем, должна ли публика «по-прежнему рассматривать« Таймс »как выход новостей»? Или как что-то еще?

Президент отдыхал на своем курорте в Бедминстере, штат Нью-Джерси, более недели и вернулся в Вашингтон позже в воскресенье.

Источник: https://nypost.com/2019/08/18/trump-accuses-new-york-times-of-going-on-a-racism-witch-hunt/

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Appeals Court Revives Sarah Palin’s Defamation Lawsuit Against ‘The New York Times’

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A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to dismiss former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times over an editorial linking her to a 2011 mass shooting.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to a lower court, saying her case against the newspaper “plausibly states a claim for defamation and may proceed to full discovery.”

Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha tells NPR that “we are disappointed in the decision and intend to continue to defend the action vigorously.”

The Times editorial, published in 2017, suggested that materials distributed by Palin’s political action committee played a role in inciting a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and seriously wounded Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The PAC had distributed a map with superimposed crosshairs over some Democratic congressional districts that could be challenged in future elections.

The Times corrected the editorial two days later, saying that “no such link was established” between the political rhetoric and the shooting.

Palin, who was John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential race, swiftly sued the Times for defamation.
Several months later, a federal judge in New York dismissed her lawsuit. As NPR reported, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said the items put forward by Palin’s lawyers as proof of the Times’ ill will “consists either of gross supposition or of evidence so weak that, even together, these items cannot support the high degree of particularized proof” needed to move forward.

Palin appealed. And on Tuesday, the three-judge panel said the lower court made a mistake.

“This case is ultimately about the First Amendment, but the subject matter implicated in this appeal is far less dramatic: rules of procedure and pleading standards,” the judges wrote.

They said the lower court used an “unusual” procedure to assess the validity of arguments put forth by Palin’s legal team. It held a special hearing and then used facts from that hearing to dismiss the case. That was a mistake, the appeals court said.

Even beyond the procedural irregularity, the opinion said, Palin’s case against the Times “states a plausible claim for relief.”

The appellate court judges stressed that the burden on Palin’s legal team to actually prove her claim is high — it must prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that the author of the editorial “acted with actual malice.” But the judges said that Palin had a plausible enough case to move forward.

As to the actual merits of Palin’s defamation case, that will be up to a lower court to decide.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/06/748615956/appeals-court-revives-sarah-palins-defamation-lawsuit-against-the-new-york-times

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Ethnicity, terrorism and me: When will we start scrutinizing white Americans’ friends, families and places of worship?

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As an American, I have watched the news of mass shootings with horror and utter sadness. As both a member of the South Asian community and former intelligence officer and operative, these terrorist attacks have re-enforced what I see as a blatant double-standard amongst communities.

Had the shooters been South Asian or Arab or Muslim — which is to say, darker or other — undoubtedly a nexus to terrorism would’ve been immediately assumed, and any place they belonged to, including their houses of worship, would’ve been accused of contributing to their actions. We, as people of color, understand that the onus is on us to prove our loyalty by helping find those within our community who are, for lack of a better word, terrorists.

We must apply the same standard to the communities that these white terrorists belonged to. This standard should be applied not just for fairness, but because the best way to garner actionable intelligence is when a community helps law enforcement. As such, we must remind the communities that these killers belong to that their continued silence keeps American from being safe.

With our country engaged in a Global War on Terrorism since the attacks of 9/11, my community has far too often had to remind our fellow Americans that “not all Muslims are terrorists.” In the wake of an attack, the accusation is always that we somehow contributed to the radicalization of the perpetrator; we would spend large blocks of time talking about our allegiance to our country and to peace.

In the days, months and years following 9/11, New York City taxi drivers, many who were South Asian and Middle Eastern, took to displaying American flags in their taxis. Riding in a cab, you could see and feel the worry the drivers felt of being accused of being a terrorist and how that flag became a way of saying “we’re good guys, not terrorists.”
This was no empty worry; in a post-9/11 America attacks against South Asians, Arabs, Muslims and even Sikhs climbed.

But it wasn’t just thugs that targeted people of color, it was law enforcement and our intelligence community that considered infiltration of our communities and intelligence collection on us as a matter of national security. In fact, the NYPD, with the help of the CIA, aggressively monitored NYC mosques, looking for any sign of terrorists planning the next big attack.

Our comfort and privacy took a back seat to the safety of our nation. Who were we to complain? After all, if we had nothing to hide why would we protest surveillance to stop the next 9/11 attack?
After every jihadi attack, members of the Muslim and South Asian community have been quick to unequivocally condemn the evil actions of a minority group from our community, and to promise to help root out evildoers from within.

But after the latest attacks, we’ve seen white legislators blame video games, social media, the mainstream media, Democrats and Socialists — anything that shows that they were not part of their community. In fact, even listening to President Trump condemn racism and white supremacy, one felt as if he were being forced to read those words.

As an American who has served in the defense of this country for the last 13 years, I understand the threat posed by radicalized Islamists and wholeheartedly endorse proactive efforts to identify members of these cells and detect and thwart their plots. I understand doing so meant looking within and having some very difficult conversations and even actions to include activities in other countries using everything from covert actions to our military might.
During that time, I have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with white colleagues as we tried to find objective ways to look together for a needle in a haystack in my community.

So now as we see three young white men who have committed acts of domestic terrorism, should we not expect the same from their community?

My community understands the fear of being accused of aiding terrorism; it is why many of us actively support law enforcement in rooting out terrorism. I wholeheartedly believe that it is our willing and active participation in the defense of our homeland that has helped keep this country safe. I think we should expect the same from the white communities from which these terrorists hailed.

Source: https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-ethnicity-terrorism-and-me-20190805-fxnz46yljfgh7fcyzyx3d7nhie-story.html

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