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cyber exploitation - timeline

The Fight Against Cyber Exploitation

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eCrime Unit Created

Attorney General Harris Creates eCrime Unit Targeting Technology Crimes

Attorney General Harris Creates eCrime Unit Targeting Technology Crimes
December 13, 2011
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the creation of the California Department of Justice eCrime Unit, charged with identifying and prosecuting identity theft crimes, cyber crimes and other crimes involving the use of technology. This unit would go on to investigate and prosecute the first case in the country involving the operator of a cyber exploitation website. View Press Release

First Cyber Exploitation Conviction

Attorney General’s Office Prosecutes First Case of Cyber Exploitation Operator

Attorney General’s Office Prosecutes First Case of Cyber Exploitation Operator
February 03, 2015
Kevin Bollaert was found guilty on 6 counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft for his operation of a cyber exploitation website that allowed the anonymous, public posting of intimate photos accompanied by personal identifying information of individuals without their consent. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised release. This case is the first criminal prosecution of a cyber-exploitation website operator. Attorney General Harris and a statewide team of California Department of Justice attorneys and investigators collaborated to prosecute Bollaert. View Press Release

Cyber Exploitation Convening

Attorney General Harris Hosts Cyber Exploitation Convening

Attorney General Harris Hosts Cyber Exploitation Convening
February 04, 2015
Attorney General Harris convened over 50 stakeholders from advocacy organizations, direct legal service providers, government, law firms, and technology companies to discuss cyber exploitation and commit to working collaboratively to combat these crimes. From this convening, the Attorney General’s Cyber Exploitation Task Force was formed for the purpose of identifying emerging issues and to work towards viable solutions to address cyber exploitation.

Safer Internet Day at Facebook

Attorney General Harris Addresses Safer Internet Day at Facebook

Attorney General Harris Addresses Safer Internet Day at Facebook
February 10, 2015
Attorney General Harris delivered the keynote address at Facebook’s Safer Internet Day, discussing the dangers of cyber exploitation and threats of online harassment. As part of the event, the Attorney General addressed and answered questions from a room full of high school students about their experiences and thoughts about online harassment. The Attorney General shared a stage with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

Cyber Exploitation Legislation

Attorney General Harris Sponsored a Cyber Exploitation Legislative Package

Attorney General Harris Sponsored a Cyber Exploitation Legislative Package
March 02, 2015
Attorney General Harris announced a package of bills to provide greater protection for victims and equip law enforcement with stronger tools to prosecute the growing number of cyber exploitation cases in California.

Senate Bill 676 (Cannella, R-Ceres) extends the forfeiture provision for possession of child pornography to cyber exploitation images, allowing law enforcement to remove these images from unauthorized possession.

Assembly Bill 1310 (Gatto, D-Glendale) allows law enforcement to obtain search warrants for cyber exploitation crimes. It also expands and clarifies jurisdiction for the prosecution of cyber exploitation crimes to include where: (1) the offense occurred, (2) the victim resided when the offense was committed, and (3) the intimate image was used for an illegal purpose. Since perpetrators often reside outside of the victim’s jurisdiction, and the Internet enables worldwide victimization, this change in the law allows state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute those who exploit their victims across multiple jurisdictions. View Press Release

Twitter and Facebook Update Cyber Exploitation Policies

Twitter and Facebook Update Cyber Exploitation Policies

Twitter & Facebook Update Policies

March 2015

Members of the Attorney General’s Cyber Exploitation Task Force took measures to fight cyber exploitation on their social media platforms.

Facebook Update Cyber Exploitation Policies
Facebook: clarified its rules on cyber bullying, cyber exploitation, and nudity.

Twitter Update Cyber Exploitation Policies
Twitter: updated its cyber exploitation policy and banned the posting of cyber exploitation images.

Women in the World Panel

Attorney General Harris Discusses Internet Harassment at Women in the World Panel
April 22, 2015
Attorney General Harris participated in an interactive conversation on Internet harassment at Women in the World. The panel featured: Ashley Judd, actress; Anita Sarkeesian, media critic and founder of the website Feminist Frequency; and Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. Katie Couric, Yahoo’s Global News Anchor, moderated the panel. Link to Article and video

3-year Sentence of Website Operator

Attorney General Harris Announces 3-year Sentence of Cyber Exploitation Operator

Attorney General Harris Announces
3-year Sentence of Cyber Exploitation Operator
June 08, 2015
Attorney General Harris announced today that Casey E. Meyering, the operator of a cyber exploitation website which posted intimate images of unsuspecting victims without their consent, was sentenced to three years in jail. View Press Release

Guilty Plea of Hacker

Attorney General Harris Announces Guilty Plea of Hacker Involved in Cyber Exploitation Scheme

Attorney General Harris Announces Guilty Plea of Hacker Involved in Cyber Exploitation Scheme
June 17, 2015
Attorney General Harris announces the operator of a cyber exploitation hacking scheme, Charles Evens, who coordinated the hacking of over 300 email accounts, pled guilty to disruption of computer access in San Francisco Superior Court. He pled guilty to computer intrusion and was sentenced to three years imprisonment, concurrent with a Federal prison term for the same conduct a year earlier. View Press Release

Google and Microsoft Announce New Policy of Removing Cyber Exploitation Images from their Search Engines

Google and Microsoft Announce New Policies

Google and Microsoft Announce New Policy of Removing Cyber Exploitation Images from their Search Engines
June | July 2015
Search engine giants and members of the Attorney General’s Cyber Exploitation Task Force change their policy on link removal.
Google: commits to removing search image results for victims of cyber exploitation.
Microsoft Announce New PoliciesMicrosoft: sets up a new reporting page and commits to remove images from Bing, OneDrive and Xbox Live.

Cyber Exploitation Legislation Signed

Cyber Exploitation Legislation Signed into Law

Cyber Exploitation Legislation Signed into Law
September | October 2015
Governor Jerry Brown signs Senate Bill 676 (Cannella, R-Ceres), which extends the forfeiture provision for possession of child pornography to cyber exploitation images, allowing law enforcement to remove these images from unauthorized possession. The forfeiture provisions apply to: illegal telecommunications equipment, or a computer, computer system, or computer network, and any software or data, when used in committing a violation of disorderly conduct related to invasion of privacy, as specified. The bill also establishes forfeiture proceedings for matter obtained through disorderly conduct by invasion of privacy. View Press Release

In October, Governor Brown also signed Assembly Bill 1310 (Gatto, D-Glendale) which amends Penal Code § 1524 to allow search warrants to be issued for cyber exploitation crimes. It also expands and clarifies jurisdiction for the prosecution of cyber exploitation crimes to where: (1) the offense occurred, (2) the victim resided when the offense was committed, and (3) the intimate image was used for an illegal purpose. Since perpetrators often reside outside of the victim’s jurisdiction, and the Internet enables worldwide victimization, this change in the law allows state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who exploit their victims across multiple jurisdictions. View Press Release

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