The recent leak of nude celebrity photographs onto the Internet has piqued the attention of an entire nation this month. Not only does it raise questions about online security but it also raises an important legal question as well: is leaking a nude photo a cybercrime or a sex crime?
Have you ever tried to contact someone repeatedly via email, telephone or other form of electronic communication before? If so, were your attempts done so in good faith or was the intent to annoy the other person? If you answered with the latter of the two, then you might be surprised to know that you may have broken the law. And depending on what happened afterwards, you may have even faced criminal charges as well.
An internet cafe in a neighboring community was raided by police for what was labeled illegal online gambling. A notice was posted reporting that property seized could be a part of an "unlawful gambling operation."
California legislators recently proposed a bill that could toughen penalties for juveniles charged with sharing images of a sexual nature to harass others under the age of 18. Minors charged with a similar offense under current law could be charged with distributing child pornography. However, one attorney who drafted the proposed legislation was hoping to address what is referred to as the bullying nature of sharing these images.
It’s a fair reminder: as a writer for the E-Commerce Times’ Technology Law Corner reported recently, hefty sentences are being ordered for those convicted of Internet offenses, although the public may not realize that fact. As the writer said, the press is very active whenever a deft hacker is caught, an online drug sales operation is revealed, or a massive data breach is reported. Some reporters will follow these stories to trial, but few go as far as to cover the sentencing hearing.
In 2003, a San Diego college student wrote a computer program called “Loverspy” or “Email Pi” and sold it online for $89 a copy. Meant to help buyers catch lovers suspected of cheating, it self-installed virtually undetectable software that could capture every email or instant message sent by the infected computer. It could even operate the computer’s webcam remotely. All the suspicious lover had to do was send their lover an electronic greeting card. If they opened it, the software would be installed.