The Naked Truth: Insufficient Coverage for Revenge Porn Victims at State Law and the Proposed Federal Legislation to Adequately Redress Them

Boston College Law Review, May 2018

The distribution of revenge porn is a cyber-bullying phenomenon that has proliferated on the Internet. The nonconsensual sharing of sexually explicit photographs and videos causes irreparable harm to revenge porn victims. The current state of the law, however, does little to redress the damage. Tort claims are often unsuccessful because many victims do not have the resources necessary to initiate a lawsuit. Furthermore, federal law grants operators of revenge porn websites immunity from state tort claims. In an effort to fill this gap in the law, many states have made changes or additions to their criminal statutes. To date, thirty-eight states have legislation prohibiting the distribution of nonconsensual pornography. Some states, including New Jersey and California, successfully passed anti-revenge porn legislation, while others, such as Arizona and Vermont, faced constitutional challenges. In July 2016, Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced the Intimate Privacy Protection Act of 2016 (“IPPA”), a proposed federal law criminalizing revenge porn. This Note argues that the IPPA effectively balances the competing interests of revenge porn victims and Internet service providers and thus should be adopted by Congress.

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The Naked Truth: Insufficient Coverage for Revenge Porn Victims at State Law and the Proposed Federal Legislation to Adequately Redress Them

The Naked Truth: Insufficient Coverage for Revenge Porn Victims at State Law and the Proposed Federal Legislation to Adequately Redress Them Meghan Fay 0 1 2 0 This Notes is brought to you for free and open access by the Law Journals at Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School. It has been accepted for inclusion in Boston College Law Review by an authorized editor of Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School. For more information , please contact 1 Part of the Civil Law Commons, Computer Law Commons, Criminal Law Commons, Internet Law Commons, Privacy Law Commons, Sexuality and the Law Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons, and the Torts Commons 2 Boston College Law School - Article 8 Follow this and additional works at: http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he e -mailed me to my BlackBer ry, and so I texted to his cell . . . . and now you just have to go around checking all these different 1 Barbara Kantrowitz, How Technology Has Changed the Way We Break Up , NEWSWEEK (Aug. 2, 2010, 4:00 AM), http: //www.newsweek.com/how-technology-has-changed-way-we-break-71657 [https://perma.cc/37EQ-SE2B]. Llana Gershon, an assistant professorofcommunication and culture at Indiana University, studied the role technology plays in romance.Id. In the study, the majority of students agreed that breaking up in person is more admirable, but most opted to break up with their significant other over the Internet. Id. For example, one student in Gershon’s study discovered her boyfriend broke up with her by changing his relationship status on Facebook from “in a relationship” to “single.” Id. portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. . . . It’s exhausting.2 Although Barrymore’s remarks are satirical, they are not baseless.3 More relationships now end digitally rather than personally.4 The aftermath of the modern-day break up can be equally distressing5. Consider the following hypothetical: Jane is in a longt-erm relationship with Joe.6 Jane allowed Joe to photograph her in the nude so long as the photos were for Joe’s viewing pleasure only. 7 Afew months later, Jane and Joe break up and, in retaliation, Joe uploads the photographs accompanied by Jane’s contact information to a “revenge porn” website.8 Jane receives countless e-mails, calls, and Facebook frie nd requests from strangers soliciting sex. 9 Local police officers inform Jane that Joe’s behavior is not criminal because the photographs were originally taken with consent, notwithstanding the fact that consent was cond itioned on privacy.10 2 Id. 3 The New Online Breakup: What Are the Consequences?, YOUR TANGO (July 24, 2008), http: // www.yourtango.com/20085992/the-new-breakup [https://perma.cc/3LJX-BYJ4] (noting the frequency of digital break ups and explaining the devastating effects). 4 Deni Kirkova, You’re Breaking Up with Me by TEXT? Don’ t Worry, You’re Not the Only One Being Digitally Dumped— Most Splits Now Happen via SMS, DAILY MAIL (Mar. 5, 2014, 1:52 PM), http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2573879/Youre-breaking-TEXT-Dont-worry-youre-notone-digitally-dumped-splits-happen-SMS.html [https://perma.cc/4P8L-XDLT]. A study of 2,712 American men and women revealed that more than half broke up with someone over the Internet in the last twelve months. Id. They explained that it was “less awkward” to break up digitally than in person. Id. 5 Veronika A. Lukacs, It ’s Complicated: Romantic Breakups and Their Aftermath on Facebook (2012) (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario), ht/t/pirs.:lib.uwo.ca/cgi/view content.cgi?article=1938&context=etd [https://perma.cc/32S9-6CQC]. Post-break up symptoms i nclude depression, trouble concentrating, irritability, and withdrawal. Id. In a study conducted at the Western University of Graduate & Proctoral Studies, Lukacs found that 88.2% of participants spent time analyzing their ex’s Facebook profile and that this behavior resulted in a significant amount of distress. Id. A study conducted at Columbia University found that the human brain reacts the same way during a break up as it does to physical pain. Melanie GreenberTgh,is Is Your Brain on a Breakup, PYSCHOL. TODAY (Mar. 29, 2016), https: //www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindfulself-express/201603/is-your-brain-breakup [https://perma.cc/8VER-K29L]. 6 Danielle K. Citron & Mary A. Franks, Criminalizing Revenge Porn , 49 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 345, 345 (2014). Jane’ s story is based on an interview Citron conducted with a revenge porn victim. Danielle Keats Citron, ‘Revenge Porn’ Should Be a Crime in U.S., CNN (Jan. 16, 2014, 3:49 PM), http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/opinion/citron-revenge-porn/ [https://perma.cc/BQ8F-94X7]. 7 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 345. 8 Id. Revenge porn websites are websites dedicated to posting defamatory material of former lovers. Layla Goldnick, Note, Coddling the Internet: How the CDA Exacerbates the Proliferation of Revenge Porn and Prevents a Meaningful Remedy for I ts Victims, 21 CARDOZO J.L. & GENDER 583, 585–86 (2015). These websites allow users to get “revenge” by posting intimate photographs of their former partners online accompanied by identifying personal information. Id. 9 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 345. 10 See id. at 345–46 (noting that the state’ s criminal harassment law viewed one post as an isolated event and did not constitute a harassing course of conduct as required by the statute). Unfortunately, Jane’s story reflects the increasingly common c-yber bullying phenomenon known as “revenge porn.”11 Revenge pornography—also known as nonconsensual pornography —is the act of distributing sexually explicit photographs of individuals without their consent1.2 Many identify revenge porn as intimate photographs previously taken with consent during a relationship and later distributed by a vengeful ex -lover.13 The term also comprises nude photographs or videos originally obtained without the victim’s consent.14 As an additional means of harassment, many nonconsensual photographs are posted on popular revenge porn websites1.5 These websites specialize in hosting user-uploaded nonconsensual pornography with the implied or explicit purpose of humiliating an ex- lover.16 The most damaging websites also divulge 11 Jessy Nations, Revenge Porn and Narrowing the CDA: Litigating a Web- based Tort in Was hington, 12 WASH. J.L. TECH. & ARTS 189, 190 (2017); Aubrey Burris, Note, Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Porned: Revenge Porn and the Need for a Federal Nonconsensual Pornography Statute, 66 FLA. L. REV. 2325, 2327–28 (2014); Apeksha Vora, Note, Into the Shadows: Examining Judicial Language in Revenge Porn Cases, 18 GEO. J. GENDER & L. 229, 229–30 (2017). 12 Patel v. Hussain, 485 S.W.3d 153, 157 n.1 (Tex. App. 2016); see Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 346 n.10 (noting that revenge porn is also referred to as“cyber rape” or “involuntary porn”); Nations, supra note 11, at 190 (using revenge porn and nonconsensual pornography interchangeably); Burris, supra note 11, at 2327 (stating that revenge porn is nonconsensual, involuntary pornography). 13 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 346. 14 Id. For example, dozens of nude photographs were distributed online after the iCloud accounts of one hundred female celebrities and one male celebrity were hacked in 2014. Alan Duke, 5 Things to Know About the Celebrity Nude Photo Hacking Scandal, CNN (Oct. 12, 2014, 8:40 PM), http:// www.cnn.com/2014/09/02/showbiz/hacked-nude-photos-five-things/ [https://perma.cc/GCM2-37AZ]. Jennifer Lawrence, an Oscar-winning actress and one of the victims of the above-mentioned hack, identified the sexually explicit images as photographs she sent while in a long- distance relationship with her boyfriend of four years. SamKashner, Jennifer Lawrence Calls Photo Hacking a“Sex Crime,” VANITY FAIR, Oct. 14, 2014, at 154. Lawrence called the hack a “sex crime,” and a “sexual violation.” Id. The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative agreed by regarding the celebrity iCloud hack as a form of nonconsensual pornography because the hacker obtained the images without consent. Let’s Call the Celebrity Nude Photo Hack What It Is: Nonconsensual Pornography, CYBER C.R. INITIATIVE (Sept. 4, 2014), https: //www.cybercivilrights.org/lets-call-nonconsensual-pornography/ [https://perma. cc/4FWT-ATPG]. In another highly publicized nonconsensual pornography case, a stalker secretly filmed Erin Andrews, a sports reporter, disrobing through the peephole in her hotel room. Andrews v. W. End Hotel, 2016 F. J ury Verdicts Rptr. 157 (Mar. 8, 2 016) (accessible in Lexis by searching “2016 Federal Jury Verdicts Rptr. LEXIS 157”) . The video has been viewed over seventeen million times since it was first posted in 2009. Natalie Finn, Erin Andrews’ Case Is a Reminder of How Difficult It Is for Sex Crime Victims to Come Forward, E!NEWS (Mar. 3, 2016, 1:54 PM), http://www.eonline. com/au/news/745810/erin-andrews-case-is-a-reminder-of-how-difficult-it-is-to-come-forward-as-thevictim-of-a-sex-crime-and-she-deserves-more-credit [https://perma.cc/L2LJ-JWWU]. During an i nterview, Andrews discussed how the video has impacted her career and revealed she hears fans scream, “Hey, I’ve seen you naked! ” while working as a sideline reporter at football games. Abigail Pesta, The Haunting of Erin Andrew,s MARIE CLAIRE (July 13, 2011), http/:/www.marieclaire. com/celebrity/a6316/erin-andrews-interview/ [https://perma.cc/68CP-UAKT]. 15 Burris, supra note 11, at 2336, 2355. IsAnyoneUp.com, ShesAHomewrecker.com, and UGo tPosted.com are all examples of revenge porn websites. Id. at 2326–27 nn.3–4. 16 Emily Poole, Comment, Fighting Back Against Non-Consensual Pornography, 49 U.S.F. L. REV. 181, 185– 87 (2015). For example, RealExGirlfriends.com advertises to “all [the] dudes out there who know what [I]’m talking about and have filmed themselves fucking. Did you save the footage? personal information such as the person’s full name, home and e-mail address, place of employment, telephone number, and links to their social media porfiles.17 For example, Hunter Moore, the 26 -year-old founder of the now defunct revenge porn website IsAnyoneUp.com, encouraged users to include full names and other personal information when uploading explicit photographs. 18 As a r esult, many subjects receive solicitations for sex or even threats of violence from strangers who view the nonconsensual porn.19 Once these photographs are posted on the Internet, the consequences can be devastating to the victim’s personal life.20 Many isolate themselves from relationships, relocate to a different state, and some even change theirname in an effort to distance themselves from the posted images. 21 The unbearable distress can also cause irreparable damage to a victim ’s psyche.22 A study revealed that Well this is where you can get the ultimate revenge.” Id. at 187. Another revenge porn website was described by a user as “a forum for exacting, sweet, anonymous revenge.” Goldnick, supra note 8, at 586 n.8. 17 Goldnick, supra note 8, at 585–86. Social media is a technological platform that facilitates online interaction through the use of words, photographs, audio, and video clips. Laura E. Diss, Whether You “Like” It or Not: The Inclusion of Social Media Evidence in Sexual Harassment Cases and How Courts Can Effectively Control It, 54 B.C. L. REV. 1841, 1842 (2013). 18 Poole, supra note 16, at 187. At its height, Moore’ s website received nearly 350,000 hits a day. Id. In response to critics, Moore explained that his primary motive was to monetize the involuntary porn market, and he did, sometimes making up to $30,000 a month for operating the site. Alex Morris, Hunter Moore: The Most Hated Man on the Internet, ROLLING STONE, Oct. 11, 2012, at 44, 46–48. Moore said, “If somebody killed themselves over being on the site, do you know how much money I’d make?” James T. Dawkins IV, Comment, A Dish Served Cold: The Case for Criminalizing Revenge Pornography, 45 CUMB. L. REV. 395, 401 (2015). Similar to Moore, Kevin Bollaert, the creator of another defunct revenge porn website called UGotPosted.com, used the personal information to inform subjects of the posted photos and offered image removal for a fee of up to $350. Poole, supra note 16, at 187–88. 19 Adrienne N. Kitchen, Note, The Need to Criminalize Revenge Porn: How a Law Protecting Victims Can Avoid Running Afoul of the First Amendment, 90 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 247, 248 (2015). For instance, seventeen- year-old Norma received text messages from strangers soliciting oral sex after her ex-boyfriend posted nonconsensual photographs of her along with her full name, address, and bra size. Margaret Talbot, Taking Trolls to Court, NEW YORKER, Dec. 5, 2016, at 56. 20 Nations, supra note 11, at 190; Goldnick, supra note 8, at 591. Revenge porn victims exper ience emotional distress, cyber bullying, and loss of employment, to name a few effects of revenge porn. Vora, supra note 11, at 229. 21 Sarah Bloom, Note, No Vengeance for ‘Revenge Porn’ Victims: Unraveling Why This Latest Female-Centric, Intimate-Partner Offense Is Still Legal, and Why We Should Criminalize, I4t2 FORDHAM URB. L.J. 233, 241 (2014) (commenting that Holly Jacobs, a revenge porn victim turned activist, changed her name after her ex- boyfriend posted nonconsensual images of her, but her efforts proved futile when he re-posted the photographs under her changed legal name); Amanda L. Cecil, Note, Taking Back the Internet: Imposing Civil Liability on Interactive Computer Services in an A ttempt to Provide an Adequate Remedy to Victims of Nonconsensual Pornography, 71 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 2513, 2523–24 (2014). 22 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 347; Kitchen, supra note 19, at 249. Many revenge porn victims suffer psychological harm, experience stalking, and some resort to suicide. Vora, supra note 11, at 229. 93% of revenge porn victims suffer significant emotional distress. 23 More than half consider suicide and, sadly, some follow through.24 The professional costs of involuntary porn are equally grim. 25 The sexually explicit images are often distributed to or discovered by employers and -co workers.26 The distribution of these images swiftly undermines a victim’s professional reputation, and some are even terminated as a result.27 Moreover, job prospects for victims are severely limited by the fact that the photographs readily appear with a simple Google search.28 Nearly 80% of employers Google prospective employees and reject candidates based on their findings about 70% of the time. 29 Employers frequently cite concerns about an applicant ’s inappropriate online image as a reason for rejecting someone’ s candidacy. 30 Unfortunately for victims, recruiters do not contact them to ascertain whether the posting was co nsensual or not.31 This can lead to the perverse choice of accepting a wrongful rejection or volunteering private information with no guarantee of a different outcome.32 23 CYBER CIVIL RIGHTS INITIATIVE, CCRI’S 2013 NONCONSENSUAL PORNOGRAPHY (NCP) RESEARCH RESULTS 1 (2013) [hereinafter CYBER RIGHTS INITIATIVE]. 24 Id. at 2; Bloom, supra note 21, at 242 (stating that Audrie Potts, a high school sophomore, hung herself in the school bathroom after her classmates photographed her naked when she passed out from intoxication at a party); Goldnick, supra note 8, at 591 (noting that revenge porn victim Jessica Logan committed suicide after her ex- boyfriend forwarded her intimate photos to other high school students). 25 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352 (noting that employers have fired their employees after discovering nude images of them online). Many revenge porn victims file lawsuits alleging loss of employment and educational opportunities. Burris, supra note 11, at 2337. 26 Bloom, supra note 21, at 240–41. 27 Id. at 241 (stating that a revenge porn victim lost sales after her harasser posted photos of her and described her as lustful and promiscuous). One school fired a teacher after discovering sexually explicit images online. Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352. A government employee was terminated after her co-worker distributed nude photographs of her online. Id. 28 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352 (noting that many employers Google search candidates). A Google search of the subject’s name can generate sexually explicit images because many perpetrators include the subject’s personal information when uploading the photographs or videos. Cecil, supra note 21, at 2522–23. Thirty -nine percent of victims found the existence of their nonconsensual pornography negatively impacted their professional advancement and ability to network. CYBER RIGHTS INITIATIVE, supra note 23. 29 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352; Kitchen, supra note 19, at 250; Susan P. Joyce, What 80% of Employers Do Before Inviting Youfor an Interview, HUFFINGTON POST (May 1, 2014), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-p-joyce/job-search-tips_b_4834361.html [https/:/perma.cc/ ESZ8-B7SS] (finding that eighty percent of employers Google candidates and review their social network profiles before deciding whether to extend an interview offer). 30 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352. These concerns include questions about a candidate’ s suitability for the position based on questionable photographs or videos. Id. 31 Id. 32 See CYBER RIGHTS INITIATIVE, supra note 23 (finding forty- two percent of revenge porn vi ctims had to explain the situation to supervisors or co- workers); Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 352 (noting that employers do not want to hire candidates with a distasteful online presence so as to avoid a poor reflection on the employer). Although it may be easy to disr egard nonconsensual pornography as isolated acts of revenge, studies indicate that an alarming number of people are at risk.33 A recent survey conducted by McAfee revealed that two -thirds of smartphone owners have intimate information on their phone, but only 40% protect their information with passwords. 34 In addition, the study found that 1 in 10 expartners have threatened to expose intimate photos of an ex, and 60% actually carried through with their threats.35 Despite these disturbing statistics, 94% of Americans still believe their private photos are safe in the hands of their -ex lovers.36 The glaring research begs the question: why is there so little discussion about nonconsensual pornography and even less legal protection for victims? 37 Perhaps the answer is a product of the general apathy towards revenge porn vi ctims.38 The all too common response is to blame the victim for sending the photograph in the first place.39 In effect, this response is simply a modern twist on the antiquated notion that a rape victim “asked for it” by wearing promiscuous clothing.40 Moreover, this view ignores the reality that involuntary porn includes 36 Id. The study found that many people continue to share personal information with others on the internet despite the risk that this intimate information could be leaked. Id. 37 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 347 (noting the lack of legal protection for revenge porn victims). 38 See id. (arguing that society is delayed in understanding the complexity of involuntary porn and its harmful effect on victims); Vora, supra note 11, at 231 (commenting that several theorists argue that the internet proliferates gender discrimination and harassment). 39 Rachel B. Patton, Note, Taking the Sting Out of Revenge Porn: Using Criminal Statutes to Safeguard Sexual Autonomy in the Digital Age, 16 GEO. J. GENDER & L. 407, 410 (2015) (commenting that many people lack sympathy for victims because, but for the victim taking the nude phootgraph, the revenge porn would not exist in the first place). Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, summarized the common viewpoint by stating that “[s]till, for individuals who would prefer not to be a revenge porn victim or otherwise have intimate depictions of themselves publicly disclosed, the advice will be simple: don’ t take nude photos or videos.” Bloom, supra note 21, at 250–51. 40 See Bloom, supra note 21, at 251– 52. John Oliver, a television host, opined that victim blaming is “hard-wired into mainstream culture.” Ryan Reed, John Oliver Takes on Revenge Porn on ‘Last Week Tonight,’ ROLLING STONE (June 22, 2015), http: //www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/john-oliverinternet-is-haven-for-harassment-against-women-20150622 [https://perma.cc/G9TA-RWRG]. Oliver argues that telling people not to take nude photos if they do not want them to appear on the Internet is the equivalent to telling people not to live in a house if they do not want to be burglarized. Id. pornography originally taken without any consent at all. 41 Another explanation is that many simply do not know suc h a problem exists because victims are often too embarrassed or afraid to speak out. 42 Athird possibility is that the legislature and judiciary are ill equipped to combat the novel issue because tortious behavior committed over the Internet presents complex evidentiary and liability barr iers.43 Whatever the reason, victims of revenge porn are largely unprotected under state and federal law.44 Many tort claims fail to hold liable those who post revenge porn online because most civil laws were enacted prior to the emergence of the Internet and subsequent rise of cybercrime. 45 Even if a tort claim proves successful, however, there is still little guarantee that the explicit images will be removed from the Internet, as many third -party providers are granted immunit y from civil liability.46 Given the lack of meaningful civil remedies, recent strides have been made to criminalize revenge porn at the state level. 47 To date, thirty-eight states have laws criminalizing nonconsensual pornography, up from a mere six in 2014.48 Although state laws have certainly aided in combatting the crime, there are su bstantial issues in their application. 49 For this reason, a federal criminal statute has recently been proposed to criminalize the distribution of nonconsensual pornography.50 Part I of this Note provides an overview of existing civil remedies for nonconsensual porn victims, and explains the inadequacy of such remedies. 51 It also discusses the successful and unsuccessful state efforts at criminalizing revenge porn.52 Part II introdu ces the proposed federal legislation to criminalize involu ntary porn and identifies counter -arguments from its opponents. 53 Finally, Part III argues that the Bill prohibiting nonconsensual pornography represents a succes sful balance between the need to protect Internet intermediaries safeguarded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ( “Section 230”) and revenge porn victims.54 It concludes that the proposed federal legislation is the only e ffective remedy to redress victims of nonconsensual pornography and therefore should be enacted.55 I. EXISTING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL REMEDIES FAIL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE SOLUTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF NONCONSENSUAL PORNOGRAPHY Revenge porn victims are largely unprotected under existing civil and cri minal law.56 Most torts fail to address the unique harm caused by the recent ph enomenon of nonconsensual pornography.57 Likewise, states have had limited success in their efforts at criminalizing revenge pornography. 58 SectionAof this 2018] Part explores available civil causes of action and their shortcomings. 59 Section B of this Part introduces successful and unsuccessful state criminal legislation pr ohibiting nonconsensual pornography.60 A. Civil Claims Civil claims, and their remedies, exist to make a victim whole again. 61 As such, many reven ge porn victims file civil lawsuits to obtain redress for the harm caused by nonconsensual pornography.62 Subsection 1 of this Section outlines possible causes of action and their limitations. 63 Subsection 2 describes the fe deral roadblocks to pursuing these state tort claims.64 1. State Tort Law Is Not an Effective Option for Revenge Porn Victims In theory, there are a number of tort claims available to revenge porn victims.65 Victims could bring claims for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress ( “IIED”), or defamation. 66 In reality, though, these privacybased torts are insufficient to effectively redress the harm caused by the dissem ination of revenge porn.67 Invasion of privacy is insufficient to combat revenge porn because it presupposes privacy. 68 To bring a successful claim for invasion of privacy, a victim nalizing revenge porn are unconstitutional, because revenge porn is protected speech and therefore has First Amendment protection. Id. 59 See infra notes 61–118 and accompanying text. 60 See infra notes 119–156 and accompanying text. 61 Adams v. Aidoo, No. 07C-11-177 (MJB), 2012 Del. Super. LEXIS 135, at *13 (Super. Ct. Mar. 29, 2012); see Sarah E. Driscoll, Comment, Revenge Porn: Chivalry Prevails as Legislation Protects Damsels in Distress over Freedom of Speech, 21ROGER WILLIAMS U. L. REV. 75, 111 (2016) (stating that tort law compensates the victim for pain and suffering instead of imposing crim inal sanctions). 62 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2529. Victims pursue civil remedies from claims like Intentional Infli ction of Emotional Distress ( “IIED”) and other privacy torts in an attempt to redress the harm caused by nonconsensual pornography. Id. at 2529–30. 63 See infra notes 65–94 and accompanying text. 64 See infra notes 95–118 and accompanying text. 65 See Cecil, supra note 21, at 2529–31 (commenting that civil law provides various causes of action for revenge porn victims, but noting the inadequacies of tort law to redress the harm); Dawkins, supra note 18, at 423 (stating that tort law is “hypothetically” available to victims). 66 Dawkins, supra note 18, at 424. Victims pursue privacy torts like IIED and Public Disclosure of Private Facts. Id. In addition, defamation is available when the sexually explicit photograph is accompanied by false and defamatory statements. Driscoll, supra note 61, at 112. 67 Burris, supra note 11, at 2340. Many existing tort remedies do not provide adequate redress for revenge porn victims, because revenge porn is a recent phenomenon. Id. Even if a civil remedy exists, many victims do not have the requisite resources to pursue a civil case. Id. 68 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2530 (explaining the difficulty in proving thatimages, which were originally shared consensually, are within a protected zone of privacy). For example, a privacy tort like the tort of false light requires the image to falsely portray a victim in a manner that is highly offensive to a reasonable person. Alexis Fung Chen Pen, Note, Striking Back: A Practical Solution to must prove that a reasonable expectation of privacy exists with regard to the photographs.69 This requirement effectively bars the majority of victims who originally consented to share the photographs with their ex-partners in the first place.70 IIED is also difficult to prove because it requires a manifestation of harm. Under this cause of actio n, individuals must prove that the defendant engaged in (1) extreme and outrageous behavior as to go beyond all bounds of human decency (2) with intent to (3) cause severe emotional harm, and (4) such harm transpired.72 The conjunctive elements coupled with the requirement of demo nstrating harm make proving a claim for IIED incredibly difficult for victims of revenge porn.73 71 Defamation is not viable because it is impossible to claim the published images falsely depict the victim. 74 Defamation is the unauthorized publication of defamatory statements. 75 Asuccessful defamation claim requires a showing that the published material is false. 76 In contrast, the finding of substantial truth pr ovides a complete defense to a defamation claim7.7 Thus, the substantial truth Criminalizing Revenge Porn, 37 T. JEFFERSON L. REV. 405, 426 (2015). This proves difficult for revenge porn victims because the images usually do not portray them falsely, because it is undeniable they are the subject in the images. See id. at 427 (commenting that the disclosure of nonconsensual pornography usually does not portray victims in a false light, but merely an “unfavorable or undesir able light”). 69 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2530. 70 Id. 2018] doctrine precludes liability because it is undeniable that the victim is depicted in the images.78 For example, in Patel v. Hussain, the Court of Appeals of Texas for the Fourteenth District found the defendant was entitled to aJudgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (“JNOV”) in a claim for defamation where the jury found substantial truth.79 In Patel, Patel sent nude photographs of Hussain, his former girlfriend, to Hussain’s family and co-workers, which were originally sent by Hussain to Patel consensually over the course of their seven -year relationship. 80 Patel also recorded Hussain, without her knowledge, while she undressed and masturbated during video chat conversations with him. 81 Patel frequently textmessaged Hussain threaten ing to send the video to a number of e -mail addresses, including her grandfather ’s.82 When Hussain responded by saying that the video was taken without her consent, Patel responded that he intended to teach Hussain a lesson for being unfaithful during theirrelationship.83 Eventually, Patel followed through with his threats by uploading the thirty minute video to YouTube and sending the link to Hussains’ friends, family, and co-workers.84 He also posted the video on various porn websites, where it received utshaonds of views.85 truth defense in defamation claims). This is because the image accurately depicts the victim, satisfying the truth defense. Id. Despite this, in a non-binding opinion, a federal district court in Hawaii ruled that the nonconsensual distribution of pornographic images could constitute a cause of action for de famation. Taylor v. Franko, No. 09-00002 JMS/RLP, 2011 WL 2118270, at *9(D. Haw. May 2, 2011); Driscoll, supra note 61, at 113. 78 Bloom, supra note 21, at 256 n.189. 79 Patel, 485 S.W.3d at 174. 80 Id. at 158. Hussain asked Patel to erase the photographs after receiving them, but Patel did not. Id. 81 Id. 82 Id. at 158, 162–64. Hussain testifie d that she received twenty to thirty text messages and phone calls a day from Patel threatening to expose her. Id. at 165. For example, Patel messaged, “Tomorrow your mom is going to find out what you did. And so is your nana[,] nani[,] and uncle.” Id. at 164. 83 Id. at 161, 163–64. After learning of the video, Hussain text messaged Patel, “[y]ou recorded me [Patel] . . . without my consent, do you know how bad that is? And [o]n top of that you threaten to expose me with it? ” Id. at 161–62. Patel responded, “[t]hose videos were taken when we were toget her, when you said you were faithful, and you were not.” Id. 84 Id. at 160. Patel titled the video “Pakistani Nadia Houston.” Id. at 165. He told Hussain that the Internet is “huge” and she would never be able to find where the video is posted. Id. 168. 85 Id. at 165. After uploading the video, Patel messaged Hussain: Your vid is up online. Congrats to you and your family . . . . [O]ver 2000 ppl have viewed what you do in your bed. You seem to be very popular amongst the guys, they can’t stop watching you!. . . . Not only did 5000 men and women watch you, 300 downloaded your videos! All I asked for was respect and you couldn’ t do that . . . . The biggest question is what kind of explanation are you going to have for nana and nani . . . . Blame yourself and your attitude for everything that is happening. Id. Patel also uploaded the video on Apple store computers at a local mall. Id. at 168. The Patel court ruled that the trial court erred in denying Patel ’s motion for JNOV after the jury returned a verdict for defamation despite finding the published material to be substantially true. 86 Because substantial truth is an affirm ative defense to defamation, the trial judge was required to disregard the jury’s award of $50,000 in damages for the defamation claim as a matter of law.87 In addition to the difficulties of proving a prima facie case, revenge porn victims encounter a numb er of other constraints limiting their ability to succes sfully pursue a tort claim. 88 First, many revenge porn victims do not have the time or financial resources necessary to initiate a civil lawsuit.89 Second, those victims with adequate resources have difficulty identifying their perpetrators because websites shield their anonymous users. 90 Third, unwanted publicity ensues upon initiating a lawsuit.91 Revenge porn victims are required to file lawsuits using their given name, not a pseudonym, which ultimately brings more attention to the very images they hope to hide. 92 Fourth, and most importantly, civil lawsuits only provide the possibility of a monetary award. 93 They do not ensure the underlying content will be removed, which is often the only effective remedy in restoring a victim’s damaged reputation.94 2. Federal Law Creates Further Roadblocks to Meaningful Civil Recovery In addition to the confines of privacy torts, federal law further narrows a victim’s recovery options.95 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”) provides the ability for copyright holders to remove the incriminat86 Id. at 174. The appellate court found thatthe trial court erred in denying Pate’ls Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict because the finding of substantial truth precluded liability for defam ation. Id. 87 Id. 88 Peter W. Cooper, Comment, The Right to Be Virtually Clothed, 91 WASH. L. REV. 817, 824 (2016). There are a number of possible privacy claims available to revenge porn victims, but they remain inadequate to redress the harm caused by the dissemination of revenge porn. Id. Many victims do not have the financial resources or time to pursue a civil claim. Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 358. Moreover, victims may be wary of commencing civil litigation, as it guarantees even more unwanted publicity. Id. 89 Kitchen, supra note 19, at 251–52 (commenting on the high emotional and financial cost that victims must weigh against the probability of winning a civil lawsuit against their perpetrators). Civil litigation is often not a possibility for revenge porn victims “[h]aving lost their jobs due to the online posts, they cannot pay their rent, let alone cover lawyer ’s fees.” Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 358. 90 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2531; Kitchen, supra note 19, at 251–52 (noting that revenge porn websites are under no obligation to identify their anonymous users). 91 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 358. Courts are reluctant to allow plaintiffs to sue under a pseudonym because it denies defendants the ability to confront their accusers. Id. 92 Id.; Kitchen, supra note 19, at 254. 93 Kitchen, supra note 19, at 254. 94 Cooper, supra note 88, at 824. 95 See infra notes 98–118 and accompanying text. ing content from the Internet.96 This remedy, however, is limited by the Communications and Decency Act ( “CDA”), which grants Internet service providers (“ISPs”) federal immunity from state claims.97 The DMCA provides a path to obtaining removal of revenge pornography from the Internet.98 The DMCA allows the legal holder of a copyright to file a “takedown notice” against the website posting infringing material.99 The ISP will not be liable for copyright infringement of nonconsensual pornography so long as it complies with Section 512 of the Online Copyright Infringement Li ability Limitation Act’s “notice and takedown” procedure.100 This remedy, however, is limited in scope. 101 First, copyright redress is only available to victims who qualify as legal holders of the material1.02 A revenge porn victim is the legal holder only if she took the photograph of herself. 103 Second, a takedown notice does not guarantee the photograph will be removed in a timely manner or even at all1.04 Websites may refuse to remove the material 96 See infra notes 98–108 and accompanying text. 97 See infra notes 109–118 and accompanying text. 98 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512 (2012). Congress enacted the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act ( “Section 512”) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in order to provide notice to Internet service providers ( “ISP”) about their possible liabi lity for claims of copyright infringement. Levendowksi, supra note 57, at 442. Section 512 of the DMCA sets out a “notice and takedown” regime, which protects ISPs from copyright infringement if they comply with a copyright holder’s takedown request. Id. at 442–43. 99 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3). The takedown request for claimed infringement must include the following: identification of the content claimed to have been infringed, reasonably sufficient information to identify the material on the service provider ’s website, the signature and contact information of t he complaining party, a statement that there is a good faith belief the material is not authorized by the copyright owner, and a statement that the included information is correct. Id. § 512(c)(3)(A)(i)–(vi). A revenge porn victim may file a Section 512 takedown request without hiring a lawyer or registering their copyright. Levendowski, supra note 57, at 442. 100 See 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(A)(iii) (providing that an ISP is not liable for copyright infringement if it obtains knowledge of infringement and “acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material”); Levendowski, supra note 57, at 443 (ISPs “that comply with Section 512’ s ‘notice and takedown’ procedures are protected from liability for copyright infringement”). 101 Bloom, supra note 21, at 256 (explaining the limitations of this remedy for revenge porn vi ctims). 102 See 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c)(3) (requiring the owner to hold an exclusive right); Bloom, supra note 21, at 256 (noting that only the legal holder of a copyright may pursue actionunder the DMCA). A copyright holder is a person who owns exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, and duplicate work. Copyright Terms & Definition,s COPYRIGHT SOC’Y USA, http://www.csusa.org/?page=Definitions [https://perma.cc/YWW9-DMMJ]. 103 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 360 (acknowledging that if someone else took the photograph, then the photographer, and not the revenge porn victim, is the legal holder of the material); Bloom, supra note 21, at 256 (stating that a revenge porn victim may only file a Section 512 takedown request if she originally took the photograph or video). Many victims are the legal holder of the sexually explicit content, however, because the majority of intimate photographs are selfies. Burris, supra note 11, at 2342. A “selfie” is a picture where the photographer is also the subject of the photo. Levendowski, supra note 57, at 426. 104 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 360 (noting that revenge porn websites often ignore takedown notices because many website operators know that victims do not have the resources to hire without proper proof of ownership. 105 This requires victims to actually register the nude photographs with the U.S. government. 106 Third, a s uccessful takedown only ensures the photograph will be removed from the named website. 107 It does not prevent other revenge porn websites from re -posting the infringing material, effectively defeating the purpose of a takedown request.108 Section 230 of the CDA further limits a victim’s ability to adequately redress harm caused by the dissemination of nonconsensual porn1.09 Generally speaking, Section 230 shields ISPs from civil liability for failing to remove no nconsensual pornography published on its website by third-party users.110 ISPs also have no obligation to assist victims in identifying the user who posted the incriminating material.111 Section 230, in essence, bars victims from suing rea lawyer); Linkous, supra note 49, at 17 (explaining that websites can refuse to comply with take down notices and force victims to sue for copyright infringement). 105 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2527. 106 Andrea Peterson, John Oliver Explains the Awfulness That Is ‘Revenge Porn,’ WASH. POST (June 22, 2015), https: //www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/06/22/john-oliver-explainsthe-awfulness-that-is-revenge-porn/?utm_term=.eb1f42744ad0 [https://perma.cc/5ZPR-GUU3]. John Oliver commented, “Yes, to stop strangers from seeing their naked bodies, some women have had to send more strangers more pictures of their naked bodies.” Id. 107 Kitchen, supra note 19, at 259. A successful copyright action provides an injunction against the named website, and does not protect victims from un- named websites reposting the material. Id. 108 See Bloom, supra note 21, at 256; Kitchen, supra note 19, at 259 (noting that it is nearly i mpossible to completely remove infringing material from the Internet once posted). 109 The Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) (2012) (T he Communications D ecency Act ( “CDA”) is commonly referred to as Section 230). Section 230 grants ISPs legal immunity for user-uploaded content. Id.; see Cecil, supra note 21, at 2517 (explaining that the CDA grants i mmunity to website operators for content posted by third parties); Patton, supra note 39, at 423 (commenting that the CDA “poses a significant barrier ” for revenge porn victims filing lawsuits based on content posted by users of websites, as opposed to operators of websites). 110 47 U.S.C. § 230 (c)(1) (providing that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”). An “interactive computer service” is an information service or software that enables access by multiple users. Id. § 230(f)(2). In contrast, an “information content provider ” is a person or entity that is responsible for the creation of information provided by an interactive computer service on the Internet. Id. § 230(f)(3). The statute differentiates between two types of websites: websites that host user-uploaded material, and websites that create content. Patton, supra note 39, at 423; see 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2)–(3). Whether the website could face liability or be immune under Section 230 depends on its role in publishing the content. Goldnick, supra note 8, at 601. If the webs ite is merely a “passive conduit” for content provided by its users, and is not responsible for its creation, it is granted immunity from civil liability as an information content provider. Id. 111 See Bloom, supra note 21, at 253 (stating that websites have no incentive to assist revenge porn victims because Section 230 immunizes them for the conduct of their users); Kitchen, supra note 19, at 259 (noting that website operators have no obligation to assist revenge porn victims because Section 230 grants them immunity from any illegal activities stemming from third -party posts on their websites); Patton, supra note 39, at 423 (commenting that courts interpret Section 230’s immunity broadly because of the clear congressional intent to encourage Internet growth and open communication even if such communication includes offensive speech). venge porn websites and provides no recourse for the removal of the expcliit content.112 Congress passed Section 230 in order to effectuate its legislative purpose of promoting Internet growth.113 Congress affords ISPs tort immunity in order to promote the free flow of information on the Internet. 114 Otherwise, service providers would have to screen millions of posts, and this burden would severely restrict the free flow and exchange of information on the Internet. 115 For example, in 2013, the Texas Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in GoDaddy.com v. Toups held that the plaintiffs, a class action of revenge porn victims, failed to state a valid claim against GoDaddy.com ( “GoDaddy”).116 The court character112 Patton, supra note 39, at 423–24. Because nonconsensual pornography is user-created, the websites that host the content will generally be immune from claims because they areconsidered interactive computer services under Section 230. Id. 113 47 U.S.C. § 230(a). The congressional finding indicates that (1) the growth of interactive computer services on the Internet advances the number of educational and informational resources available to citizens, (2) interactive service providers offer users a vast degree of control over the information and content they receive, (3) these services provide a diverse forum for political, intelle ctual, and cultural discourse, (4) the Internet flourishes without government intervention and regul ation, and (5) a growing number of Americans are relying on the use of interactive media as sources for political, educational, cultural, and entertainment. Id. § 230(a)(1)–(5). Subsection (b) of Section 230 outlines the policy of the United States: (1) to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media; (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the I nternet and other interactive computer services; unfettered by Federal or State regulation; (3) to encourage the development of technol ogies which maximize user control over what information is received by individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive computer services . . . . Id. § 230(b)(1)–(3). 114 Goldnick, supra note 8, at 599. Congress enacted the CDA to protect the development of the Internet by preventing endless legal claims against interactive media providers for the content its users post. Id. Immunity is not absolute, however, and it does not shield service providers from criminal or federal liability. Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 367–68. 115 Zeran v. Am. Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327, 330 –31 (4th Cir. 1997). The court in Zeran v. Amer ica Online, Inc., found that: The amount of information communicated via interactive computer services is therefore staggering. The specter of tort liability in an area of such prolific speech would have an obvious chilling effect. It would be impossible for service providers to screen each of their millions of postings for possible problems. Faced with potential liability for each message republished by their services, interactive computer service providers might choose to severely restrict the number and type of messages posted. Congress consi dered the weight of the speech interest s implicated and chose to immunize service pr oviders to avoid any such restrictive effect. Id. at 331; see 47 U.S.C. § 230(b) (2012) (describing a policy fav oring the free flow of information on the Internet and minimizing regulations that block or filter access to online material); Patton, supra note 39, at 423. 116 GoDaddy.com v. Hollie Toups, 429 S.W.3d 752, 759 (Tex. App. 2014). In GoDaddy.com v. Hollie Toups, the plaintiffs, a putative class action of women, sued GoDaddy.com ( “GoDaddy”) for hosting sexually explicit depictions of the plaintiffs despite knowing the images were posted without ized GoDaddy as an interactive computer service because the website merely published, and did not create, the content uploaded by a third party.117 As such, the website was entitled to immunity under Section 230 as a matter of law.118 B. Criminal Law Due to the inadequacy of tort law, criminal law remains the only viable l egal option to end revenge porn. 119 Well-drafted criminal legislation provides the effective enforcement and deterrence necessary to combat nonconsensual pornography.120 Subsection 1 of this Section introduces successful state legias-l tion.121 Subsection 2 describes unsuccessful state efforts to criminalize revenge porn.122 1. Successful State Legislation New Jersey, the pioneer state to criminalize nonconsensual pornography in 2004, has one of the strictest statutes to date. 123 The legislation makes it a crime to knowingly observe, record, or disclose pornographic images or recordings without a person’s consent.124 For the purposes of the statute, “disclose” is deconsent. Id. at 753. The nonconsensual pornography was posted on GoDaddy by two owners of revenge porn websites. Id. In response, GoDaddy contested liability on the grounds that the website is an interactive service provider, and not an information content provider. Id. at 755. GoDaddy argued that the revenge porn websites, not GoDaddy, were information service providers with respect to the sexually explicit material, and thus were the correct party to be sued. Id. 117 Id. at 759. The court found GoDaddy acted as an interactive computer service provider and not an information content provider of the nonconsensual pornography posted on its websiteI.d. The plaintiffs agreed that the revenge porn websites created the offensive content and GoDaddy only pu blished it. Id. at 753. 118 See id. at 759 (holding GoDaddy to be an interactive service provider that published the content). The court supported its holding by reiterating the congressional purpose behind Section 230, which is to promote the free flow of information and eliminate any restraints on communication. Id. 119 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 349 (arguing in favor of a criminal law because civil remedies fail to redress the harm caused by nonconsensual pornography). 120 Id. 121 See infra notes 123–136 and accompanying text. 122 See infra notes 137–156 and accompanying text. 123 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 371 (characterizing New Jersey’s statute prohibiting nonconsensual pornography as the broadest); Talbot, supra note 19 (noting the first state to criminalize revenge porn was New Jersey). 124 N.J. STAT. ANN. § 2C:14-9 (West 2016). Section 2C:14-9 provides: a. An actor commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know that another may expose intimate parts or may engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact, he observes another person without that person ’s consent and under ci rcumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed. b. (1) An actor commits a crime of the third degree if, knowing that he is noti-l censed or privileged to do so, he photographs, films, videotapes, records, or otherwise reproduces in any manner, the image of another person whose intimate parts are exfined as the act of publishing, distributing, sharing, or making nonconsensual images available on the Internet by any other means. 125 Adefendant convicted of the crime faces up to a $30,000 fine and a prison sentence of three to five years.126 The legislation is regarded as the toughest revenge porn statute because of its breadth in criminalizing a wide range of behavior.127 California also passed a statute criminalizing revenge porn in 2013. 128 The legislation makes it a crime to intentionally distribute nonconsensual pornogr aphy with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the victim actually suffers serious emotional distress. 129 Aviolation of the statute constitutes a mi sdemeanor with up to six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine1.30 In 2014, Noe Iniguez was the first person to be convicted under California ’s nonconsensual pornography statute for distributing a private image1.31 Iniguez posted a Id. Id. posed or who is engaged in an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact, without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed. 125 Id. The New Jersey statute provides the following definitions: (1) “disclose” means sell, manufacture, give, provide, lend, trade, mail, deliver, transfer, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, advertise, offer, share, or make available via the Internet or by any other means, whether for pecuniary gain or not; and (2) “intimate parts” has the meaning ascribed to it in N.J.S.2C:14-1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine not to exceed $30,000 may be imposed for a violation of this subsection. Any person who intentionally distributes the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, or an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulat ion, sexual penetration, or an image of masturbation by the person depicted or in which the person depicted participates, under circumstances in which the persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private, the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress. topless image of his ex -girlfriend along with the comment “slut” on her employer’s Facebook page.132 The image was taken while the two were in a relationship, and the ex-girlfriend testified that Iniguez promised to erase all images in the event they broke up.133 Despite successful efforts to prosecute perpetrators, the California an-ti revenge porn law was swiftly criticized. 134 Critics argue that requiring prosec utors to prove the defendant intended to cause serious emotional harm is too high of a burden. 135 Additionally, critics assert that even if prosecutors are successful in proving the requisite mens rea, the punishment is too lenient compared to ot her revenge porn statutes.136 2. Failed State Efforts In 2016, in Vermont v. VanBuren, a Vermont Superior Court deemed the state’s anti-revenge porn statute unconstitutional just one year after its enatcment.137 The statute imposes up to a five-year prison sentence for knowingly 1205-story.html [https://perma.cc/TT7B-EJVR] (stating that Iniguez was the first person to be co nvicted under California’ s revenge porn law and commenting that sharing a private image was outside the scope of the law before the law was enacted in California). 132 Iniguez, 202 Cal. Rptr. 3d at 240–41. 133 Id. at 240. 134 Driscoll, supra note 61, at 100 –02; see Williams, supra note 128, at 301–02 (noting that Cal ifornia’s legislation has been criticized for possible constit utional violations). Conversely, proponents of anti-revenge porn laws characterize California’ s law as too weak. Heather Kelly, New California ‘Revenge Porn’ Law May Miss Some Victims , CNN (Oct. 3, 2013, 3:01 PM), https: //www.cnn.com/ 2013/10/03/tech/web/revenge-porn-law-california/index.html [https://perma.cc/DMG9-RYZ5]. They note that California’ s law only provides redress when the person who posted the nonconsensual pornography is also the photographer, and does not cover instances when the victim took the photo of herself and later shared the image. Id. 135 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 373–74; see Cynthia Barmore, Note, Criminalization in Context: Involuntariness, Obscenity, and the First Amendment, 67 STAN. L. REV. 447, 452 (2015) (referring to California’ s intent requirement as “demanding”). California’s legislation, Danielle Keats Citron and Mary Anne Franks argue, is the weakest because it requires prosecutors toprove both intent to cause serious emotional distress, and also that such harm actually resulted. Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 373–74. 136 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 374. The dissemination of nonconsensual pornography in California is a misdeme anor with up to six months of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine, whereas New Jersey’s statute makes the crime a felony. Id. California’s decision to classify nonconsensual porno graphy as a misdemeanor deters potential perpetrators less than a felony because a misdemeanor carries a lower punishment and is not viewed as negatively. Diane Bustamante, Comment, Florida Joins the Fight Against Revenge Porn: Analysis of Florida’ s New Anti -Revenge Porn Law , 12 FLA. INT’L U. L. REV. 357, 382 (2017). 137 See State v. VanBuren, No. 1144-12-15Bncr, at 3–4 (Vt. Super. Ct., July 1, 2016), https/:/ assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2998410/State-v-VanBuren-1144-12-15-Bncr.pdf [https://perma. cc/W9A8-UFP3] (expressing concerns about the constitutionality of Vermon’ts anti-revenge porn law); Mark Davis, Vermont’s Revenge Porn Law Under First Amendment Challenge , SEVEN DAYS (Aug. 2, 2016, 9:33 AM), http: //www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2016/08/02/vermontsrevenge-porn-law-under-first-amendment-challenge [https://perma.cc/Z8X7-NJ2Q] (noting that the Vermont Supreme Court will review the decision); Elizabeth Hewitt,Judge Finds ‘Revenge Porn’ disclosing sexually explicit photographs of another without their consent. 138 The legislation was passed in an attempt to create liability for ex- lovers motivated by vengeance and third parties motivated by profit.139 Rebekah VanBuren was the first person to be charged under Vermont ’s antirevenge porn statute. 140 In October 2015, an unidentified woman privately me ssaged nude photographs of herself to the Facebook account of Anthony Coon, who was her ex -boyfriend.141 At the time he received the pictures, Coon was in a relationship with VanBuren. 142 VanBuren accessed Coon ’s messages, posted the photographs to his public Facebook page, and “tagged” the woman depicted in them.143 She also called the woman a “moral-less pig” and threatened to reveal Law Unconstitutional, VT DIGGER (Aug. 1, 2016), https/:/vtdigger.org/2016/08/01/judge-findsrevenge-porn-law-unconstitutional/ [https://perma.cc/WN7A-E3XA] (stating that Judge Howard declared the law unconstitutional one year after its enactment). The case is currently under review by the Vermont Supreme Court. See generally Brief for Appellant, VanBuren, No. 1144-12-15Bncr. The Vermont Supreme Court will address whether Superior Court Judge Howard erred in holding that the statute violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Id. 138 13 V.S.A. tit. 13, § 2606 (2016). Specifically, the statute provides: (b)(1) A person violates this section if he or she knowingly discloses a visual image of an identifiable person who is nude or who is engaged in sexual conduct, without his or her consent, with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the person depicted, and the disclosure would cause a reasonable person to suffer harm. A person may be identifiable from the image itself or information offered in connection with the image. Consent to recording of the visual image does not, by itself, constitute cons ent for disclosure of the image. A person who violates this subdivision (1) shall be impri soned not more than two years or fined not more than $ 2,000.00, or both. (2) A person who violates subdivision (1) of this subsection with the intent of disclosing the image for financial profit shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. Id. § 2606(b)(1)–(2). 139 Sam Heller, Shumlin Signs Revenge Porn Bill, VT DIGGER (June 17, 2015), http://vtdigger. org/2015/06/17/shumlin-signs-revenge-porn-bill/ [https://perma.cc/NBQ5-SUVV]. The legislative purpose of Vermont ’s law against nonconsensual pornography is to provide redress for victims against both former lovers and hosts of revenge porn websites. Id. 140 See Hewitt, supra note 137 (reporting that this was the first application of Vermont ’s legislation criminalizing revenge porn). 141 VanBuren, No. 1144-12-15Bncr at 1. The complainant privately messaged these photographs to Coon’s Facebook Messenger account so that only Coon could access them. Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 4. 142 See VanBuren, No. 1144-12-15Bncr at 1 (stating that at the time the photographs were sent, the complainant was not in a relationship with Coon); Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 4 (noting that the complainant was previously in a relationship with Coon, but was not in a relationship with him at the time the images were shared). 143 VanBuren, No. 1144 -12-15Bncr at 1; Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 4. Coon had pr eviously accessed his Facebook account on VanBuren’ s phone, which automatically saved his account information and allowed VanBuren to later access Coon’ s account without his knowledge. Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 4. The brief states that the victim’s sister and co-workers viewed the sexually explicit images. Id. at 5. Tagging someone on Facebook links the tagged person’ s Facebook page to the photo. Elise Moreau, What Is ‘Tagging’ on Facebook?, LIFEWIRE (Jan. 25, 2018) , https:// www.lifewire.com/what-is-tagging-on-facebook-3486369 [https://perma.cc/2QTH-B5Z3]. the images to the woman ’s employer. 144 VanBuren admitted she posted the nude photographs in an effort to harm the womans’ reputation and teach her a lesson.145 In 2016, the VanBuren court held the Vermont statute to be an unconstit utional restriction on free speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.146 The court recognized that freedom of expression is not an abs olute right, and states are permitted to prohibit certain categories of expression that violate public policy. 147 For example, governments may regulate “obscenities,” which are the depiction of sexual conduct that appeal to morbid sexual fantasies.148 The court rejected the State’ s argument that revenge porn falls into this exception because such photographs do not necessarily depict sexual acts and can be sent without intent to elicit shameful desires.149 To rule otherwise, the court reasoned, would unconstitutionally enlarge the narrow categorical exception for regulation of obscenities.150 At least one state has invalidated nonconsensual porn statutes on the do ctrine of vag ueness alone. 151 In 2014, Arizona enacted a criminal law prohibiting 144 Hewitt, supra note 137. At the time, the complainant worked at a child care facility. Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 4–5. VanBuren informed the complainant that she intended to tell the complainant’s employer about the photographs because VanBuren believed the complainant should not be able to work with children. Id. 145 Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 5. After admitting that she posted the photographs, VanBuren allegedly asked a Vermont state trooper if he thought the victim “learned her lesson.” Id. 146 VanBuren, No. 1144-12-15Bncr at 3–5. 147 Id. at 2. The Judge noted that the First Amendment protects freedom of expression, but is limited by its exceptions for obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement, and speech integral to criminal conduct. Id. 148 Id. at 2–3; see, e.g., Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 20 –21 (1973) (articulating the standard for obscenity); Roth v. United States, 353 U.S. 476, 484–85 (1957) (holding that obscenity is outside the bounds of First Amendment protection). 149 VanBuren, No. 1144 -12-15 Bncr at 3. The Judge held that nudity is not automatically equated to obscenity, and therefore, does not automatically fall into one of the categorical exceptions to First Amendment protection. Id. 150 Id. Even if the court assumed that nonconsensual pornography falls into the obscenity exception, the judge reasoned, the state of Vermont failed to prove there are no other less restrictive altern atives to combat this behavior. Id. Hence, the statute was facially invalid because it was not narrowly drafted to advance the state’ s interest in protecting the privacy of citizens. Brief for Appellant, supra note 137, at 6. The court also expressed concern about the statute being overly vague but did not rule on the issue. VanBuren, No. 1144-12- 15Bncr at 3. Characterizing the facts of the present revenge porn case as atypical, the court seemingly denounced the statute ’s ability to criminalize the behavior of a third party and not a former partner. Id. Additionally, the court disapproved of the statute ’s potential to criminalize a spouse who discovers unsolicited sexually explicit photographs and forwards them in anger or disgust. Id. 151 See Antigone Books, L.L.C. v. Brnovich, No. 2:14-vs-02100-SRB, at 1 (D. Ariz. July 10, 2015), https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/antigone_v_horne_final_decree.pdf [https://perma.cc/ZPQ5-QAKF] (issuing an injunctive decree from enforcing Arizona ’s overly broad anti-revenge porn law). The doctrine of vagueness prohibits laws that do not clearly define what the legislation aims to prohibit. Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 106– 09 (1972) ( citing Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513, 526 (1958)). the disclosure of sexually explicit images if the person“knew or should have known” that the subject did not consent to disclosure. 152 In 2015, after objections claimed the statute was overl y broad, a United States District Court Judge for the District of Arizona issued a decree, in Antigone Books, L.L.C. v. Brnovich, prohibiting prosecutors from enforcing the law. 153 Similarly, a Rhode Island gove rnor exercised her veto power to reject a bill aimed at prohibiting nonconsensual pornography.154 The governor warned that the breadth of the proposed legisla152 See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 13-1425 (2014), invalidated by Antigone Books, No. 2:14-vs02100-SRB. Specifically, the statute provided: It is unlawful to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure. Id. 153 Antigone Books, No. 2:14-vs-02100-SRB at 1. The order approved a settlement agreement between the defendants and the Arizona Attorney General, who agreed not to enforce the 2014 anti revenge porn law. Id. at 1–2. The American Civil Liberties Union ( “ACLU”) filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona claiming the law criminalizes use of non- obscene images protected by the First Amendment. Complaint at 2, Antigone Books, No. 2:14-vs-02100-SRB. In its complaint, the ACLU argued the law is unconstitutionally vague because it does not require malicious intent, proof of resul ting harm, a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the images, or an identifiable subject. Id. at 20–21. The complaint f urther criticized the “should have known” consent standard as unclear. Id. at 24 n.66. The ACLU also noted that the legislation could criminalize the display of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning image, often called the “Napalm Girl,” where a nine- year-old girl was captured fleeing from a Vietnamese village after it was bombed with napalm, because she was not voluntarily nude. Id. at 8 n.19. The state agreed to halt enforcing the anti -revenge porn law until it was revised. Bob Chri stie, Arizona House Approves Revisions to ‘Revenge Porn’ Law, WASH. TIMES (Mar. 3, 2015), http: // www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/3/arizona-house-sets-vote-on-revisions-to-revenge-po/ [https://perma.cc/3WMC-DKKR]. In 2016, the Arizona legislature successfully passed a revised version of the law with these criticisms in mind. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 12-1425 (2016). The statute provides: A. It is unlawful for a person to intentionally disclose an image of another person who is identifiable from the image itself or from information displayed in connection with the image if all of the following apply: 1. The person in the image is depicted in a state of nudity or is engaged in specific sexual activities. 2. The depicted person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Evidence that a person has sent an image to another person using an electronic device, does not, on its own, remove the person’s reasonable expectation of privacy for that image. Id. 154 Katherine Gregg, Raimonda Vetoes ‘Revenge Porn’ Bill, PROVIDENCE J. (June 21, 2016, 7:43 PM), http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160621/raimondo-vetoes-revenge-porn-bill [https:// perma.cc/W9Y7-6YBC]. The Bill criminalizes the unauthorized dissemination of indecent material in cases where: (1) The person captures, records, stores, or receives a visual image depicting another person eighteen (18) years of age or older engaged in sexually explicit conduct or of the intimate areas of that person; tion could chill free speech1.55 The governor recommended a more carefully drafted statute with internal limitations, such as requiring a minimum mens rea of intent to harass.156 II. THE PROPOSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION CRIMINALIZING REVENGE PORN Afederal criminal law prohibiting nonconsensual pornography is necessary to resolve the challenges state legislators have faced in this area. 157 Anti-revenge porn activists emphasize the need for a well -drafted, uniform piece of legislation in order to ensure effective enforcement.158 Recognizing the growing need to protect revenge porn victims, Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced the I PPA, a federal bill criminalizing the dissemination of revenge pornography1.59 This Part explains the IPPA and its response from supporters and critics. 160 Section A of this Part introduces and interprets the text of the IPPA. 161 Section B of (2) The visual image is captured, recorded, stored, or received with or without that person’s knowledge or consent and under such circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and (3) The person by any means, intentionally disseminates, publishes, or sells such visual image without the affirmative consent of the depicted person or persons in the visual image for no legitimate purpose. (b) A third-party recipient of any visual image described in subsection (a) of this section does not violate this section if, they did not have actual knowledge that the visual image was intentionally disseminated, published, or sold in violation of subsection (a) of this section. H. 7537, Gen. Assemb., Jan. Sess. (R.I. 2016) . 155 See Driscoll, supra note 61, at 105–06 (commenting on First Amendment concerns that the Rhode Island law raised such as overbreadth); Gregg, supra note 154 (stating that the Rhode Island Governor mentioned the statute would criminalize all work of the human body). 156 Gregg, supra note 154. The Rhode Island Governor suggested a more carefully drafted piece of legislation to avoid overbreadth concerns. Id. 157 Linkuous, supra note 49, at 36–37; Burris, supra note 11, at 2340; Cecil, supra note 21, at 2519. As mentioned previously, state efforts to legislate a prohibition of nonconsensual pornography have been met with varying degrees of success. See supra notes 119–156. 158 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 386 (noting criminal laws are subject to constitutional challenges if they are vague or over -broad); Linkuous, supra note 49, at 36– 37 (emphasizing the need for a uniform federal legislation to resolve the constitutionality challenges states like Arizona and Rhode Island have encountered). 159 Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016); Mary Anne Franks, It’s Time for Congress to Protect Intimate Privacy, HUFFINGTON POST (July 18, 2016, 1:32 PM), http: //www. huffingtonpost.com/mary-anne-franks/revenge-porn-intimate-privacy-protection-act_b_11034998. html [https://perma.cc/H8E8-HFHD]. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D -CA) introduced the bipart isan Bill on July 14, 2016. See H.R. 5896 (stating the Bill is co -sponsored by the following represent atives: Katherine Clark (D -MA), Ryan Costello (R -PA), Gregory Meeks (D -NY), Thomas Rooney (R FL), John Katko (R -NY), Walter Jones (R -NC), Patrick Meehan (R -PA), Ted Yoho (R -FL), and D avid Joyce (R-OH)). 160 See infra notes 163–197 and accompanying text. 161 See infra notes 163–175 and accompanying text. 2018] this Part addresses the influence major technology companies played in shaping the bill.162 On July 14, 2016, Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced the IPPA to combat the distribution of nonconsensual pornography. 163 This proposed legislation, Speier has stated, is a direct response to the disturbing reality that most r evenge porn victims cannot afford to bring civil lawsuits and are largely unprotected under criminal law. 164 The bill aims to alleviate this harsh legal landscape by providing meaningful remedies to otherwise helpless revenge porn victims. 165 The proposed bill, just four pages long, targets whoever “knowingly” distributes sexually intimate images with “reckless disregard” for the subject ’s lack of co nsent.166 Specifically, the proposed bill reads, in part: Whoever knowingly uses the mail, any interactive computer service or electronic communication service or electronic communication system of interstate commerce, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to distribute a visual depiction of a person who is identifiable from the image itself or i nformation displayed in conne ction with the image and who is engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or of the n aked genitals or p ost-pubescent female nipple of the person, with reckless disregard for the person’s lack of consent to the distrib ution, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.167 The legislation, however, is inapplicable in a number of circumstances. 168 First, the IPPA does not apply to law enforcement or legal proceedings. 169 Second, individuals who voluntarily or commercially engage in the visual depiction of their genitalia are not protected. 170 Third, the bill does not apply in the event that there is a bona fide public interest in the disclosure of such ima1g7e1s. Fourth, the bill provides immunity for otherwise innocent ISPs, who are protec ted under Section 230.172 Most importantly, the safe harbor provision upholds Section 230’ s immunity for third -party content posted to Internet intermediaries ’ websites.173 This provision protects innocent websites like Facebook and Twitter who host, and do not create, their own content.174 The IPPA, however, targets salacious revenge porn websites that specifically solicit nonconsensual pornography.175 As noted, the proposed IPPAlegislation includes a safe harbor provision for Section 230 ISPs. 176 The bill grants operators of interactive platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, immunity from criminal liability if nonconsensual pornogr aphy is disseminated on their websites. 177 The immunity, however, does not apply tion, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or the exhibition of genitals or pubic area of any person. See 18 U.S.C. § 2265(2)(a) (2012). 168 See Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016) (providing exceptions for: (1) law enforcement, (2) individuals who commercially engage in the visual depiction of porno graphy, (3) where there is a bona fide public interest, and (4) ISPs as defined under Section 230 of the CDA). 169 Id. The IPPA provides exceptions for lawful behavior conducted by law enforcement, corre ctional, or intelligence officers. Id. Specifically, the Bill provides exceptions for the following scenar ios: lawful law enforcement, individu als reporting unlawful activity, and court orders or subpoenas. Id. 170 Id. Voluntary public or commercial exposure applies to those individuals who voluntarily expose their own genitalia or female nipple and the voluntary engagement in sexually explicit conduct during a lawful commercial setting. Id. In essence, this excepts consenting individuals in the porn industry. See id. (providing exceptions for consensual nudity in a commercial setting). 171 Id. For instance, this exception allows the dissemination of involuntary porn where there is serious artistic or literary value. See id. (excepting involuntary porn for a bona fide public interest). 172 Id. The immunity, however, only extends to ISPs who innocently disseminate the content on their websites, and do not intentionally promote revenge porn. Id. 173 Id. 174 Id. (excepting Section 230 Internet intermediaries who do not solicit nonconsensual porn). 175 Id. (imposing liability on Internet intermediaries who solicit nonconsensual porn). 176 See id. (providing an exception for Section 230 ISPs); supra notes 109–110 and accompanying text. 177 H.R. 5896. The section provides that “[t]his section does not apply to any provider of an interactive computer service as defined in section 230(f)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. [§] 230(F)(3)) unless such provider of an interactive computer service intentionally promotes or soli cits content that it knows to be in violation of this section. ” Id. The safe harbor applies to social media websites because they are ISPs who host, and do not create, content published on their websites. See Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) (2012); Mario Trujillo, Revenge Porn Bill U nif the provider “intentionally promotes or solici ts” content that would otherwise be in violation of the IPPA.178 Large technology firms in Silicon Valley are strong supporters of the IPPA ’s prohibition against nonconsensual pornography. 179 Representatives from Facebook and Twitter issued public statements c ommending the IPPAand its work to fight cyber bullying. 180 This support, however, was not steadfast at the outset. 181 The first draft, circulated for discussion in 2015, imposed a hefty burden on website operators. 182 The discussion draft compelled ISPs to reso lve nonconsensual pornography takedown requests within forty-eight hours of receiving the notice.183 Website and search engine operators were required to remove the inveiled After Struggle to Bring Tech on Board, HILL (July 14, 2016, 2:40 PM), http/:/thehill.com/ policy/technology/287773-revenge-porn-bill-unveiled-after-struggle-to-bring-tech-on-board?utm_ campaign=HilliconValley&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter [https://perma.cc/V3V93QA9] (stating technology companies were responsible for the delay in introducing the revised Bill). This exception ensures the Bill does not violate Section 230 of the CDA yet provides redress for interactive platforms that specifically promote the di ssemination of nonconsensual pornography. Trujillo, supra. 178 Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016). In other words, the IPPA would criminalize interactive platforms whose primary purpose is to publish involuntary porn, but would not punish interactive platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, that post third- party content but do not intentionally solicit involuntary porn. See id. (providing exceptions to ISPs that do not intentionally solicit revenge porn); Press Release, supra note 164 (acknowledging that the IPPA provides a safeharbor to online intermediaries who post third -party content, but do not solicit nonconsensual pornography). 179 Press Release, supra note 164. Silicon Valley giants Facebook and Twitter support the IPPA because they are granted immunity for third-party content. Id. 180 Id. Erin Egan, Vice President of U.S. Public Policy for Facebook, characterized revenge porn as “abhorrent,” and the reason why Facebook proudly joins Speier’s effort to combat the issue. Id. Similarly, Amanda Faulkner, U.S. Public Policy Manager for Twitter, regarded nonconsensual pornography as a form of abuse and extolled Twitter’s support in the fight against it. Id. 181 See Amanda Hess, Reddit Has Banned Revenge Porn. Sort of. , SLATE (Feb. 25, 2015, 11:36 AM), http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/02/25/reddit_bans_revenge_porn_victims_advocates_ and_the_aclu_react_to_the_new.html (opining that Reddit may have changed their privacy policy on revenge porn takedown requests in an attempt to avoid government regulation like the IPPA); Lily Hay Newman, Twitter Moves to Prohibit Revenge Porn,SLATE (Mar. 12, 2015, 7:09 PM), http:// www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/03/12/twitter_updates_its_privacy_policy_against_revenge_ porn_and_rep_katherine.html [https://perma.cc/2REC-2KZC] (suggesting that Twitt’esr policy against revenge porn may be an effort t o avoid government regulation and handle the problem privat ely). 182 JACKIE SPEIER, DISCUSSION DRAFT 5–7 (2015), https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/view content.cgi?article=2006&context=historical [https://perma.cc/QJ9H-GNFE]. 183 Id. The Discussion Draft of the Intimate Privacy Protection Act of 2015 (the“Discussion Draft”) included provisions requiring website and search engine operators to remove the material within forty-eight hours after receiving notice that the website contains “a visual depiction, the repr oduction, distribution, exhibition, publication, transmission, or dissemination of which is in violation of this section.” Id. at 5–6. The person depicted, the legal representative of the person depicted, or law enforcement were authorized to provide ISPs notice that the website contains material in violation of the Act. Id. at 7. criminating content or to inform the user of their apparent consent to disseminate the material.184 Silicon Valley firms generally objected to these cumbersome provisions as being starkly in conflict with Section 230 of the CDA18.5 Section 230 grants ISPs immunity for user-uploaded nonconsensual pornography.186 The original version of the IPPA did notonly eliminate this immunity, but also imposed a burdensome and unprecedented procedure on ISPs.187 In theory, the 2015 bill required interactive platforms, like Facebook and Google, to dedicate tremendous resources to developing and executing an entirely new scheme for proactively resolving takedown requests or face criminal liability.188 The 2016 draft notably excludes these provisions, thereby alleviating the burden on ISPs to monitor nonconsensual pornography on their websites. 189 In fact, the current bill affirms Section 230’s safe harbor so long as the computer service does not intentionally promote nonconsensual pornography on its site. 190 A number of sources hypothesize that the lobbying efforts of major technology 184 Id. at 4–8. The Discussion Draft required ISPs to either remove the incriminating content or inform the user about their right to distribute the material. Id. In making a determination about whet her a violation occurred, the 2015 draft provided as follows: In determining whether consent was given to publicly disseminate visual depictions of the private area of sexually explicit conduct of an individual covered in [the] section, the operator of a website or search engine must be provided credible information that affirmative consent was given. This may include contacting the individual that uploa ded the content. Id. at 7. 185 Trujillo, supra note 177; see Sarah Jeong, New Revenge Porn Bill Shows Silicon Valley’s Influence in Politics, MOTHERBOARD (July 15, 2016, 4:28 PM), https://motherboard.vice.com/en_ us/article/new-revenge-porn-bill-shows-silicon-valleys-influence-in-politics [https://perma.cc/NV82YCCF] (commenting that lobbying efforts by major social media platforms helped eliminate liability in the 2016 draft of the IPPA) . 186 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) (2012). 187 See SPEIER, supra note 182, at 3–7; Jeong, supra note 185 (stating that the initial draft imposed liability on ISPs). The 2015 Discussion Draft required ISPs to respond to takedown requests within forty-eight hours. See Jeong, supra note 185. 188 Jeong, supra note 185 (commenting that the 2016 bill omits portions of the Discussion Draft that weakened Section 230’s protections of Internet intermediaries that host third- party content) ; A dam Clark Estes, This Is the Revenge Porn Law We Need in America , GIZMODO (Feb. 25, 2015, 1:15 PM), http/:/gizmodo.com/so-what-happens-if-you-have-a-talented-with-photoshop-c-1688021532 [https://perma.cc/E7P4-556W] (stating that, websites like Facebook are generally immune from illegal content they host, “[b]ut making revenge porn a federal crime would strip away this safe harbor, as Section 230 ‘does not apply to federal criminal law’”). 189 See Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016); Jeong, supra note 185 (noting the absence of the aforementioned provisions). Google, among other ISPs, would have been greatly affected by the Discussion Draft requirements. Jeong, supra note 185. Although major companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have announced private efforts to combat revenge pornogr aphy, the Discussion Draft would have introduced criminal liability for failing to do so. Id. 190 Jeong, supra note 185. companies were responsible for the amendm ent.191 Upholding the safe harbor, it seems, was necessary to gain the approval of major technology companies in Silicon Valley.192 Despite their legal immunity, many major websites have voluntarily adop ted policies to combat revenge porn. 193 Search engines Goog le, Bing, and Yahoo have also agreed to“de-index” revenge porn, so the content does not appear when searching the subject’s name.194 Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, updated their privacy policies to prohibit nonconse nsual pornography as early as 20151.95 Notably, in October 2015, PornHub, a popular porn website, announced its new procedure to honor subject ’s requests to take down nonconsensual pornography. 196 These private efforts evidence that Internet intermediaries are willing to combat revenge porn.197 III. THE SAFE HARBOR PROVISION EFFECTIVELY BALANCES THE COMPETING INTERESTS OF SECTION 230 OPERATORS AND The IPPAaims to regulate certain content on the Internet by prohibiting the dissemination of nonconsensual pornography. 198 Previous efforts to draft a fe deral law prohibiting revenge porn, however, have been resisted by advocates of 191 Id. Although many social media platforms have a private system for dealing with revenge porn takedown requests, many objected to the Discussion Draft ’s notice and takedown procedures because it would have imposed liability for failing to do so. Id. 192 See SPEIER, supra note 182, at 5 (imposing liability on service providers for failing to remove the content within forty- eight hours); Jeong, supra note 185 (commenting that the technology industry’s lobbying shaped the Bill’s final text). 193 Talbot, supra note 19. Beginning in 2015, many social media platforms adopted procedures enabling victims to fill out online forms requesting the content be removed. Id. Reddit, Twitter, Fac ebook, and Instagram each have policies combating the dissemination of nonconsensual pornography. Id. 194 Id. Despite the re-indexing, the image will still appear with the correct URL address. Id. 195 Charlie Warzel, Twitter Takes Steps to Combat Stolen Nudes and Revenge Porn, BUZZFEED NEWS (Mar. 11, 2015, 5:55 PM), https: //www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/twitter-tackles-revengeporn?utm_term=.seb27D2K#.liZm9rmA [https://perma.cc/BFK3-ZTEP]. Twitter’s nonconsensual pornography policy warns users that they “may not post or share intimate photos or videos of som eone that were produced or distributed without their consent.” The Twitter Rules, TWITTER, https:// help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-rules [https://perma.cc/48H2-6M9Y]. Similarly, Re ddit’s privacy policy prohibits revenge porn. Account and Community Restrictions: Do Not Post Involuntary Pornography, REDDIT, https://www.reddithelp.com/en/categories/rules-reporting/account-andcommunity-restrictions/do-not-post-involuntary-pornography [https://perma.cc/F5GB-RG3C]. The policy provides: “Reddit prohibits the dissemination of images or video depicting any person in a state of nudity or engaged in any act of sexual conduct apparently created or posted without their permi ssion, including depictions that have been faked.” Id. 196 Talbot, supra note 19. 197 Jeong, supra note 185. 198 See Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016) (prohibiting the dissem ination of sexually explicit photographs with reckless regard towards the subjec’ts lack of consent towards the distribution of such photograph). Section 230 of the CDA.199 This Part argues that the IPPA’s safe harbor provision is necessary to balance the concerns of Section 230 hosts and revenge porn victims alike.200 Section A of this Part contends the inclusion of the safe harbor provision is necessary to avoid displacing Section 230. 201 Section B of this Part argues the “intentional” mens rea requirement provides revenge pornvictims with adequate redress against the egregious behavior of third-party hosts.202 The safe harbor provision of the IPPAis necessary to uphold Section 230 of the CDA’s legislative purpose to promote the free exchange of information on the Internet. 203 Unlike earlier versions of the bill, the IPPAdoes not penalize I nternet intermediaries for failing to remove nonconsensual pornography. 204 The inclusion of this provision is essential to harmonizing the legislative purpose of the CDA and silencing earlier criticisms purporting the bill to over -regulate the Internet.205 At first glance, the IPPA’s legislative purpose appears to conflict with the goals of Section 230. 206 For one, the IPPA attempts to regulate Internet content by prohibiting the dissemination of nonconsensual pornography. 207 On the other hand, Section 230 aims to promote the free flow of information on the Internet by shielding many technology companies from liabliity stemming from user2018] uploaded content.208 The IPPA’s safe harbor provision, however, explicitly affirms the efficacy of Section 230 ’s immunity. 209 The proposed legislation grants immunity to ISPs for user -uploaded nonconsensual pornography. 210 Specifically, the bill states liability does not extend to Section 230 ISPs for content uploaded by another information content provider. 211 This provision is necessary to avoid a chilling effect on free speech and, consequently, protect the important funct ion of Section 230.212 In comparison, the 2015 discussion draft of the bill obliterated the prote ctions afforded under Section 230. 213 The prior draft obliged websites to respond to takedown requests within forty -eight hours or face criminal liability for user uploaded content. 214 If they did not remove the content, websites were required to conduct a consent determination and inform the individual of the websites’ 208 Jia, supra note 45. Congress enacted Section 230 to promote the idea of a self -governed and largely unregulated Internet by providing immunity to Internet intermediaries. Id. 209 See Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016) (granting Section 230 ISPs immunity for publishing third-party created and uploaded content); Jeonsgu, pra note 185 (commenting that the 2016 draft of the IPPA more closely reflects the interests of technology comp anies) . 210 H.R. 5896. 211 Id. § 1802(b)(4) (providing that “[t]his section shall not apply to any provider of an interactive computer service as defined in section 230(f)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. [§] 230(f)(2)) with regard to content provided by another information content provider, as defined in section 230(f)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. [ §] 230(f)(3)) unless such a provider of an interactive computer service intentionally promotes or solicits content that it knows to be in violation of this section”). 212 See Steven Nelson, Congress Set to Examine Revenge Porn , U.S. NEWS (July 30, 2015, 11:32 AM), https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/07/30/congress-set-to-examine-revenge-porn (addressing the concerns of Internet activists). In 2013, Matt Zimmerman, previously a senior staff atto rney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, warned that adoption of the Discussion Draft may result in over-censorship because “websites would reflexively take down nonoffending content to free themselves of potential problems. ” Id. The legislative purpose of the CDA is to promote the free exchange of ideas on the internet with minimum government regulation. Zeran v. Am. Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327, 330 (4th Cir. 1997). If liability were imposed upon service providers for failing to remove content after a takedown request, service providers would be incentivized to simply remove the material whether or not it was in violation of a government regulation. Id. at 333. Hence, imposing liability creates a chilling effect on free speech because service providers are incentivized to remove content in direct contrast with Section 230’s protections. Id. 213 See Jeong, supra note 185 (arguing that the Discussion Draft “would have shattered” Section 230 immunity by imposing a new notice-and-take down system on ISPs). 214 See SPEIER, supra note 182, at 4–5 (providing Section 230 immunity unless the ISP did not respond to take down requests within forty-eight hours). The Discussion Draft provided, in part: In the case of an operator of a search engine, the operator, after receiving notice from a person described in clause (ii) that a search result on that search engine directs the user to a website that contains a visual depiction, the reproduction, distribution, exhibition, publication, transmission, or dissemination of which is in violation of this section, does not, within 48 hours after receiving such notice, remove that search result from the search engine . . . . Id. at 5. authority to host the content. 215 This overly burdensome requirement impinged on the vital role of interactive websites in promoting free exchange of information.216 Section 230 provides Internet intermediaries broad immunity in order to allow individuals to communicate directly with one another instead of relying on skewed traditional media sources. 217 The original draft undermined Section 230’s legislative purpose by obliging websites like Facebook and Twitter to e xhaustively monitor and censor their content.218 The discussion draft blatantly ignored the practical realities of tod’say online world. 219 Obliging major websites to respond to takedown requests within forty-eight hours of receiving notice is unreasonable. 220 Websites like Facebook, for instance, would theoretically have to dedicate an entire department to mon itoring and completing these requests daily. 221 Furthermore, requiring major s o215 Id. The Discussion Draft allowed ISPs to forgo removing the material within forty- eight hours if they provided notice to the individual who requested the content be removed of their right to publi cly disseminate the content. Id. 216 See Laura Cannon, Comment, Indecent Communications: Revenge Porn and Congressional Intent of § 230(c), 90 TUL. L. REV. 471, 473 (2016) (commenting that the congressional intent of the CDA was to protect the Internet from regulation); Jia, supra note 45 (stating the purpose of Section 230 is to offer immunity to Internet intermediaries in order to provide a self-governed Internet). In Zeran v. America Online, Inc., the court explained that imposing liability on Internet intermediaries for failing to respond to takedown requests would restrict speech, and consequently, defeat the purpose of Section 230 of the CDA to promote the free exchange of information on the Internet. 129 F.3d at 333. 217 See Jia, supra note 45 (noting that “[t]he rise of Internet intermediaries enabled individuals to speak directly to the masses without having to rely on traditional intermediaries, who had long determined the substance of media content ”). By granting Internet intermediaries immunity for third -party content, Section 230 promotes the free exchange of information.Zeran, 129 F.3d at 331–33. The Zeran court explained that it would be impractical to require ISPs to screen posts made by millions of users utilizing interactive computer services to exchange information. Id. at 331. 218 See Zeran, 129 F.3d at 330 –31 (stating the impossibility of requiring Internet intermediaries to screen millions of postings for issues); Samantha H. Scheller, Comment, A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: The Legal Implications of Revenge Porn, 93 N.C. L. REV. 551, 586–87 (2015) (commenting that creating an exception to Section 230 for revenge porn defeats the congressio nal purpose of the CDA, which is to protect ISPs); Scott H. Greenfield, How Long Before the Safe Harbor, Article 230, Falls?, SIMPLE JUST. (Oct. 13, 2013), http://blog.simplejustice.us/2013/10/13/how-long-beforethe-safe-harbor-article-230-falls/ [https://perma.cc/398Y-7HAU] (criticizing a revenge porn law for undermining Section 230); Sarah Jeong, Opinion, Revenge Porn Is Bad. Criminalizing It Is Worse, WIRED (Oct. 28, 2013, 9:30 AM), https: //www.wired.com/2013/10/why-criminalizing-revenge-pornis-a-bad-idea/ [https://perma.cc/K2ZJ-82VZ] (noting the tension between a revenge porn law and Section 230). 219 See Zeran, 129 F.3d at 330–31 (commenting on size of the Internet). Because Internet intermediaries have tens of millions of users, it would be impossible for them to screen user uploaded content to avoid liability for each takedown request. Id. at 331. 220 Jeong, supra note 185. 221 See Zeran, 129 F.3d at 331 (noting that Internet intermediaries host millions of users); Jeong, supra note 185 (stating that interactive platforms would have to expend huge resources on screening posts to flag nonconsensual pornography); Michelle Goldberg, Revenge Porn Is Malicious and Repr ehensible. But Should It Be a Crime?, THE NATION (Oct. 20, 2014), https://www.thenation.com/article/ cial media websites to conduct an ad -hoc consent based determination is unten able.222 The 2015 discussion draft obligated interactive websites, who did not r emove the requested material, to notify the individual of their autho rity to post the content.223 The issue is that interactive website providers, by definition, host content that is user, not provider, uploaded. 224 Hence, these Internet intermedia ries do not possess the information necessary to make such a determination.225 Without the capabilities to elect the consent determination option, Internet intermediaries only have one option —remove the content. 226 The resulting effect chills speech and plainly subverts Section 230’s congressional purpose to promote Internet exceptionalism.227 For this reason, it is necessary to uphold the safe harbor provision in the most recent draft of the proposed bill.228 B. Revenge Porn Victims Are Nonetheless Protected Despite Heightening the Mens Rea Required for Internet Intermediaries The IPPAprovides a safe harbor for Internet intermediaries so long as they do not intentionally solicit nonconsensual pornography.229 Unlike earlier versions of the bill that imposed a “negligence” mens rea, the 2016 version of the IPPArequires an “intentional” mens rea for criminal prosecution. 230 Heightening the mens rea is necessary to avoid unduly restricting ISPs. 231 Revenge porn vi ctims are nonetheless protected by the legislation’ s ability to target revenge porn war-against-revenge-porn/ [https://perma.cc/T7EU-85GX] (explaining that a takedown request on Google could take up to a couple of months or it could be rejected without explanation). 222 See Zeran, 129 F.3d at 330–31 (comm enting on the tremendous amount of information communicated via the Internet and the impracticalities for Internet intermediaries to screen every posting). 223 See SPEIER, supra note 182, at 5 (granting ISPs the ability to forego removing the requested content so long as they provide notice of their ability to republish the material). In order to determine whether consent was granted to the ISP, the Discussion Draft provides that “the operator of a website or search engine must be provided credible information that affirmative consent was given. This may include contacting the individual that uploaded the content.” Id. at 7. 224 See 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2)–(3) (2012) (defining an interactive computer service as a publisher of third-party created content and an information content provider as a person responsible for creating content). 225 See Goldnick, supra note 8, at 601 (explaining that an interactive service provider acts as a “passive conduit” with regard to user-created content, and is not liable under Section 230). Internet intermediaries merely host third-party content. Zeran, 129 F.3d at 330–31. 226 See Nelson, supra note 165 (addressing the concerns of Internet activists that the Discussion Draft would result in websites over-censoring their content to avoid criminal liability). 227 Id. (commenting that a federal revenge porn law requiring Internet intermediaries to r espond to takedown requests conflicts with Section 230’s protections). 228 See Jeong, supra note 185 (noting that including the safe harbor in the IPPA was necessary to uphold Section 230 of the CDA). 229 Intimate Privacy Protection Act, H.R. 5896, 114th Cong. (2016). The criminal prohibition does not apply to Section 230 ISPs unless they intentionally promote or solicit nonconsensual pornography. Id. 230 Id.; Discussion Draft, supra note 182. 231 Jeong, supra note 185; see 47 U.S.C. § 230(c) (2012) (granting immunity to ISPs). websites and the voluntary efforts of major social media companies who solicit revenge porn.232 The 2016 IPPA bifurcates the requisite mens rea for lack of conse n23t3. Prosecutors must prove that an individual perpetrator intentionally disseminated nonconsensual pornography with “reckless disregard” for the subject’s lack of consent.234 The mens rea for ISPs, however, is higher and requires an “intentional” solicitation of involuntary pornography. 235 This is a welcomed changed from the 2015 discussion draft for ISPs2.36 The earlier version of the bill touted a mens rea of “knew or should have known ” for both individual perpetrators and ISPs.237 Heightening the mens rea for ISPs protects the legislative purpose of Section 230, which is to promote the free flow of information2.38 Ascribing a higher mens rea in order to impose liab ility on ISPs shields websites from crim inal liability for negligently publishing nonconsensual pornography.239 In turn, websites will not be incentivized to over -censor user-uploaded content because they are not liable for third-party content.240 Therefore, the “intentional” mens rea advances the goals of Section 230.241 Nonetheless, the IPPA protects revenge porn victims from the dissemination of involuntary pornography by Internet intermediaries. 242 The bill explicitly targets revenge porn websites that solicit nonconsensual pornography. 243 Without this legislation, Section 230 of the CDA completely shields revenge porn websites from liability arising out of user -uploaded content.244 The IPPA closes this legal loophole by imposing criminal liability on websites that intentionally publish nonconsensual pornography. 245 Hence, the bill pierces Section 230’ s immunity only for egregious conduct by revenge porn websites withou-t over criminalizing the innocent behavior of other ISPs.246 CONCLUSION Revenge porn is an epidemic thta can only be effectively remedied by adopting the proposed federal legislation. The IPPA delicately balances the te nsion between victims of nonconsensual pornography and ISPs. The IPPA was introduced in response to the legal ambivalence towards revenge porn victims and little deterrence in the way of its perpetrators. Previous efforts to legislate a national prohibition of involuntary porn were halted by claims that imposing criminal sanctions on websites would violate Section 230 of the CDA. The most recent draft, however, addresses these criticisms by upholding Section 230 unless a website “intentionally” solicits revenge porn. This compromise is necessary to combat the prior pitfalls of Section 230, which shielded revenge porn websites from criminal liability, but also provides redress for revenge porn vi ctims. 33 Justin Pitcher , The State of the States: The Continuing Struggle to Criminalize Revenge Porn, 2015 BYU L . REV. 1453 , 1438 ; Lovers Beware: Scorned Exes May Share Intimate Data and Images Online , MCAFEE (Feb. 4 , 2013 ), http: //www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2013/q1/ 20130204 - 01 .aspx [https://perma.cc/J8TU-L6UM]. 34 Lovers Beware , supra note 33 . McAfee, a computer security software company, conducted a survey entitled “2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology” to identify the risks of sharing personal online information with friends and family . Id . The study found that many users risk having their private information shared online after a break up . Id. 35 Id. 41 See supra note 14 and accompanying text. Involuntary pornography includes intimate images that were not originally obtained with consent, as was the case with Erin Andrews . See id. 42 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 347 (commenting that society does not understand the grave risks of revenge porn because many victims are afraid to come forward with their stories in fear of experiencing further harm). Often, speaking out against the harasser can result in further harm to the victim, such as physical stalking or continued cyber harassment . Vora, supra note 11 , at 229 -30. 43 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 347 (noting that because revenge porn looms on the i nternet and social media, law enforcement is unable to grasp the mechanics of the issue); Blo om , supra note 21 , at 245 ( stating that revenge porn is a relatively new cyber bullying phenomenon). 44 Cecil, supra note 21, at 2517 (noting the inadequacy of current legal claims to redress the harms caused by nonconsensual pornography). 45 See Nations , supra note 11 , at 190 ( referring to revenge porn as a “uniquely modern phenom ena”); Kitchen , supra note 19, at 253-54 ( commenting that tort law fails to address the novel harms of revenge porn); Kai Jia, From Immunity to Regulation: Turning Point of Internet Intermediary Regul atory Agenda , JOLTT (Oct. 8 , 2016 ), http://sites.utexas.edu/joltt/2016/10/08/61/ [https://perma.cc/ J8H4-XFNY] (stating that cyber-tort law is still developing). 46 Burris, supra note 11, at 2341- 42 . Additionally, a successful civil lawsuit against an ex-lover may prove futile as many of these defendants have insufficient financial resources to satisfy a judgment . Id. 47 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 371 (noting that as of May 2014 , only New Jersey, Alaska, Texas, California, Idaho, and Utah hadlawscriminalizingrevenge porn). Asof 2018 , Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, theDistrictofColumbia, Florida,Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin have criminalized nonconsensualpornography. 38 States+ DC Have Revenge Porn Laws, CYBER RTS . INITIATIVE ( 2017 ) [hereinafter 38 States] , https://www. cybercivilrights.org/revenge-porn-laws/ [https://perma.cc/W4RX-PS79]. 48 38 States, supra note 47. 49 See Taylor Linkous , It's Time for Revenge Porn to Get a Taste of Its Own Medicine: An Argument for the Federal Criminalization of Revenge Porn, 20RICH . J.L. & TECH . 14 , 36 - 37 ( 2014 ), http://jolt.richmond.edu/v20i4/article14.pdf [https://perma.cc/62UY-VFJN] (explaining that the inte rstate dissemination of involuntary porn via the Internet posits jurisdictional issues because state crim inal statutes impose varying degrees of proof and punishment ). 50 Id. A federal criminal law would have a far -reaching impact and could apply to both those who upload and host revenge porn on the internet . Citron & Franks, supra note 6 , at 365. 51 See infra notes 65-118 and accompanying text. 52 See infra notes 119-156 and accompanying text. 53 See infra notes 157-197 and accompanying text. 54 See infra notes 198-246 and accompanying text. 55 See infra notes 242-246 and accompanying text. 56 See supra notes 47-50 and accompanying text. 57 See Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 347 (noting the lack of laws prohibiting nonconsensual pornography and suggesting that it is due to the fact that society does not fully understand the harm caused by the dissemination of nonconsensual pornography); Amanda Burris, supra note 11, at 2340 (hypothesizing that existing tort remedies fail to redress revenge porn victims because their position does not “fit well into any existing civil remedy”); Amanda Levendowski , Note, Using Copyright to Combat Revenge Porn, 3 N.Y.U. J. INTELL. PROP. & ENT . L. 422 , 431 - 32 ( 2014 ) (stating that tort remedies for invasion of privacy are ill equipped to remedy the harm caused by nonconsensual pornography). 58 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 357-58 ( commenting that tort law is not always successful to combat revenge pornography because of the uniqueness of online harassment) . Some object to state criminal statutes because of First Amendment concerns. Danielle CitroDne,bunking the First Amendment Myths Surrounding Revenge Porn Laws , FORBES (Apr. 18 , 2014 , 11 :19 AM), https:// www.forbes.com/sites/daniellecitron/2014/04/18/ debunking-the-first-amendment-myths-surroundingrevenge-porn-laws/#71fed81e25c8. These opponents of state criminal statutes argue that laws crim i- 71 Id. at 2529- 30 . To pursue a claim for IIED, most laws require the victim to demonstrate suffering from a disabling emotional response . Id. at 2530. In 2002 , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that anger and embarrassment from sexual and physical harassment did not constitute a disabling emotional response . Id . (citing Smith v. Ame disys Inc ., 298 F.3d 434 , 450 ( 5th Cir . 2002 )). Accordingly, many revenge porn victims fail to satisfy this element of the tort . Id. 72 Dawkins, supra note 18, at 424. See generally Agis v . Howard Johnson Co., 355 N .E.2d 315 , 318 - 19 ( 1976 ) (articulating the elements of an IIED claim in Massachusetts) . 73 See Cecil , supra note 21 , at 2529- 30 ( stating that, because IIED requires proof of a “severely disabling emotional response” or “unendurable” emotional distress, mere anger, humiliat ion or embarrassment will not suffice ); Driscoll, supra note 61, at 113-14 (noting the difficulty of proving em otional distress because it requires the manifestation of actual harm and cannot simply be embarras sment). 74 See Alix Iris Cohen, Note, Nonconsensual Pornography and the First Amendment: A Case for a New Unprotected Category of Speech, 70 U . MIAMI L. REV. 300 , 322 ( 2016 ) (stating that defam ation requires proof of falsity). Victims of nonconsensual pornography do not dispute the fact that the images accurately depict them . Id. 75 Id. The cause of action comprises two different torts: libel, in the case where the defamatory statement is written, or slander, where the defamatory statement is made orally . Id. 76 Driscoll, supra note 61, at 113 . See generally N.Y. Times Co . v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 , 279 - 81 ( 1964 ) (holding that a defamation claim requires proof the statement is false). 77 Patel, 485 S.W.3d at 173. A statement need not be literally true, but only substantially true in order to preclude liability . Klentzman v. Brady , 312 S.W.3d 886 , 899 (Tex. App. 2009 ). Therefore, victims of nonconsensual pornography have issues pursuing a defamation claim, despite the fact that the text accompanying the image may not be true . See Taryn Pahigian, Ending the Revenge Porn Epidemic: The Anti-Revenge Porn Act , 30 J.C.R. & ECON. DEV . 105 , 122 - 23 ( 2017 ) (explaining the 126 Id.; Patton, supra note 39, at 430. 127 Citron & Franks, supra note 6, at 371. It is often regarded as a model statute for criminalizing nonconsensual pornography . Patton, supra note 39 , at 430. 128 See CAL . PENAL CODE § 647 (West 2013 ) (criminalizing nonconsensual pornography); Lauren Williams, California's Anti-revenge Porn Legislation: Good Intentions, Unconstitutional Result, 9 CAL . LEGAL HIST . 297 , 308 ( 2014 ) (stating that California's anti-revenge porn legislation became effective on October 1, 2013 ). 129 CAL. PENAL CODE § 647(j)(4). Specifically, the statute provides: 130 Id. If the victim is a minor, the California anti -revenge porn law imposes a greater punishment of less than one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine . Id. § 774 (l)( 2 ). 131 See People v. Iniguez , 202 Cal. Rptr. 3d 237 , 240 - 41 (Cal. App. Dep't Super . Ct . 2016 ) (affirming the jury' s finding that Iniguez violated California' s anti-revenge porn statute by distributing a private image); Veronica Rocha, 'Revenge Porn' Conviction Is a First Under California Law , L.A. TIMES ( Dec . 4, 2014 , 5 :00 PM), http: //www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-1204 - revenge-porn -2014 162 See infra notes 176-197 and accompanying text. 163 See H.R. 5896 (criminalizing the dissemination of nonconsensual pornography). 164 Press Release, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congresswoman Speier, Fellow Members of Congress Take on Nonconsensual Pornography, AKA Revenge Porn (July 16 , 2016 ), https://speier. house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ congresswoman-speier-fellow-members-congress-takenonconsensual [https://perma.cc/3XZQ-NATS]. Congresswoman Jackie Speier noted that many perpetrators of nonconsensual pornography acknowledge that their victims usually do not have the time or money to pursue civil litigation . Id. 165 Id. In her press release, Congresswoman Jackie Speier acknowledges that many victims of nonconsensual pornography do not have the resources to seek redress, and that the Intimate Privacy Protection Act ( “IPPA”) attempts to fill this gap in the law with a federal criminal law . Id . The Bill is a culmination of Congresswoman Speier 's battle to end revenge pornography by legislating a federal criminal law . See Steven Nelson , Federal 'Revenge Porn' Bill Will Seek to Shrivel Booming Internet Fad, U.S. NEWS (Mar. 26, 2014 , 6 :01 PM), http: //www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/26/federalrevenge-porn -bill-will-seek-to-shrivel-booming-internet-fad (discussing Speier 's efforts to introduce legislation in early 2014 ). 166 H.R. 5896 . The Bill purports to amend Title 18 of the United States Code, the federal criminal code . Id. 167 Id. The proposed legislation defines “visual depiction” as any photograph, film, or video . Id. “ Sexually explicit conduct ” is defined as actual or stimulated sexual intercourse, bestiality , masturba- 199 DANIEL CASTRO & ALAN MCQUINN, WHYAND HOW CONGRESS SHOULD OUTLAW REVENGE PORN 5 ( 2015 ), http: //www2.itif.org/2015-congress -outlaw-revenge-porn .pdf [https://perma.cc/FR6NTSW5] (commenting that federal legislation should not displace Section 230's immunity for ISPs); Alex Jacobs, Comment, Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn: A Legislative Solution, 12 NW . J.L. & SOC. POL 'Y 69 , 77 ( 2016 ) (commenting that Section 230 creates obstacles to the enforcement of a federal law prohibiting revenge porn because it provides immunity to Internet providers) . 200 See infra notes 203-246 and accompanying text. 201 See infra notes 203-228 and accompanying text. 202 See infra notes 229-246 and accompanying text. 203 See Jeong , supra note 185 (commenting that Section 230 is responsible for enabling the growth of many start -up technology companies because they are shielded from lawsuits against their user-created material); Trujillo, supra note 177 (noting technology companies did not originally support the Bill until the safe harbor was introduced). 204 Compare H.R 5896 (excepting internet intermediaries), with SPEIER , supra note 182, at 5 , 8 -9 (requiring notice and takedown procedures). 205 See supra notes 185-192 and accompanying text. 206 See The Communications Decency Act , 47 U.S.C. § 230 (c) ( 2012 ) (providing immunity to interactive computer services for the content posted by third- party users ); H.R. 5896 (regulating the content on the Internet by criminalizing nonconsensual pornography). 207 See Press Release, supra note 164 ( “ Technology today makes it possible to destroy a person 's life with the click of a button or a tap on a cell phone. That is all anyone needs to broadcast another person's private images without their consent . ”) . Inresponse to this issue, the IPPA criminalizes knowingly distributing sexually explicit content of another with reckless disregard towards the vi ctim's lack of consent . Id. 232 Jeong, supra note 185. 233 See H.R. 5896 (requiring a mens rea of“intentional” promotion or solicitation of revenge pornography); SPEIER, supra note 182, at 2-3 (imposing a “knew or should have known” mens rea standard with regard to the perpetrators knowledge that the subject did not consent). With regard to this discussion, mens rea refers to the awareness of the victim 's lack of consent for the images to be disseminated . Jacobs, supra note 199 , at 87. 234 H.R. 5896 . 235 Id. Increasing the requisite mens rea narrows the scope of ISP behavior subject to criminal prosecution. Priyanka Nawathe, Congresswoman Speier's Revenge Pornogrphy Bill: Crossing the First Amendment Line? , JOLT DIGEST (July 25 , 2016 ), http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/congress woman-speiers -revenge-pornography-bill-crossing-the-first-amendment-line [https://perma .cc/638QKHWB]. 236 Mike Masnick , Federal Revenge Porn Bill Not as Bad as It Could Have Been, Still Probably Unconstitutional , TECH DIRT (July 15 , 2016 , 10 :39 AM), https: //www.techdirt.com/articles/20160714/17 282334978/ federal-revenge-porn-bill-not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been-still-probably-unconstitutional . shtml/ [https://perma.cc/FPF9-B926]. The 2015 Discussion Draft imposed liability on ISPs for failing to remove content within forty-eight hours of a take-down request . SPEIER, supra note 182 , at 5. 237 SPEIER, supra note 182, at 2-3. 238 See 47 U.S.C. § 230 (c) ( 2012 ) (providing immunity to ISPs in order to promote the free flow of information on the Internet); Nawathe, supra note 235 (stating that a higher mens rea narrows the scope of behavior subject to criminal liability). Thus, only websites that intentionally solicit nonconsensual pornography will be liable under the IPPA . H.R. 5896 . 239 See Burris , supra note 11 , at 2355 ( commenting that an intentional mens rea avoids criminali zing the accidental or unintentional publication of revenge porn); Nelson, supra note 212 (commenting that the IPPA does not punish for the unintentional disclosure of nonconsensual pornography for Se ction 230 ISPs) . 240 See Nelson , supra note 165 (addressing the concerns of Internet activists that the Discussion Draft would result in websites over-censoring their content to avoid criminal liability). 241 See Nelson , supra note 212 (stating that the IPPA, in its final form, upholds the CDA 's protection for ISPs) . 242 See Intimate Privacy Protection Act , H.R. 5896 , 114th Cong. ( 2016 ) ; Cooper, supra note 88, at 838 (discussing the balance needed in a law to target revenge porn websites without over -censoring all third-party hosts). Although the IPPA upholds Section 230 of the CDA, it narrows its protections and imposes liability on Internet intermediaries who solicit revenge porn . H.R. 5896 . 243 See H.R. 5896 (creating legal liability for Internet intermediaries who solicit nonconsensual pornography). 244 See 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) ( 2012 ); Dawkins, supra note 18, at 407-08. 245 See H.R . 5896; Dawkins, supra note 18, at 407-08. 246 See Jeong , supra, note 185 ( noting the IPPA upholds Section 230's protections for Internet intermediaries, but criminalizes websites that solicit revenge porn).


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Meghan Fay. The Naked Truth: Insufficient Coverage for Revenge Porn Victims at State Law and the Proposed Federal Legislation to Adequately Redress Them, Boston College Law Review, 2018,