Crime

Revenge Porn Was Legal When "The Most Hated Man On The Internet" Got Started, But Things Have Changed

Revenge Porn Was Legal When 'the Most Hated Man On The Internet' Got Started. But Things Have Changed
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No regulations protected individuals whose intimate photos were put on Hunter Moore's website without their consent when he created IsAnyoneUp.

The site, active from 2010 to 2012, is the subject of the new Netflix docuseries, The Most Hated Man on the Internet.

Moore allowed users to post pornographic or nude pictures of others anonymously. Many users posted pictures of their ex-partners as a form of retaliation. The victim's social media profiles were also linked to the site.

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Moore was in legal trouble, but not because of uploading pictures without their permission. He was charged in 2014. An FBI investigation found that he had purchased many of the images from a hacker who had unlawfully taken nudes from victims' computers.

According to Newsweek, he was sentenced to two and a half years in jail after entering a guilty plea to felony counts of aggravated identity theft and assisting in illegal computer access. His supervised probation ended last year after he was released in 2017.

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Charles Evans, the hacker who took hundreds of pictures of women, pled guilty to counts of identity theft and computer hacking and was given a two-year prison term.

Charlotte Laws, whose daughter was one of the victims, hopes the documentary will "push Congress" into implementing revenge porn as a federal crime.

Making it illegal to upload personal images of other people online has been difficult, but there has been significant progress, as the docuseries emphasizes.

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Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam now have laws banning nonconsensual pornography after Massachusetts approved one in May. South Carolina is the only state without a law against revenge porn, though there have also been initiatives.

Although there are laws in effect in 49 states, each state has specific laws.

For instance, violating the revenge porn legislation in California could result in a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and jail time. The maximum sentence of six months in jail is for the first offense. A second offense would similarly result in a misdemeanor charge and a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

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However, revenge porn is a crime in Illinois and New Hampshire, even as a first offense.

The subjects of the docuseries are among the many activists and victims hopeful that a federal criminal law will be implemented. The point is to protect people from having their nonconsensual photographs uploaded online.

Meanwhile, as part of the Violence Against Women Act renewal earlier this year, Congress allowed a pertinent federal civil claim.

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According to the Congressional Research Service, the law, expected to take effect in October, "marks the first federal law targeting the unauthorized sharing of private, intimate images of children and adults." These images are popularly referred to as "nonconsensual pornography" or "revenge porn."