Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Applauds New Cyber Exploitation Law

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a statement applauding Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of Senate Bill 676 (Cannella, R-Ceres), which she sponsored.

“Cyber exploitation is an insidious crime that is used to humiliate, degrade, and financially exploit innocent people,” said Attorney General Harris. “SB 676 will restore dignity to victims by providing California law enforcement with a powerful tool to seize and destroy cyber exploitation images and prevent future distribution. I commend Senator Cannella for authoring this important legislation and thank Governor Brown for signing it into law.”

“As technology evolves, unfortunately, so does the rate of cyber-crimes such as cyber exploitation,” said Senator Cannella. “I appreciate the work of Attorney General Harris in prosecuting those who commit these crimes and am glad that Governor Brown signed SB 676 into law to provide stronger protection to victims."

In April, Attorney General Harris announced an 18-year sentence for cyber exploitation operator Kevin Bollaert. This case was the first successful prosecution in the country of an operator of a cyber exploitation website. Bollaert operated ugotposted.com, which allowed the anonymous, public posting of private photographs containing nude and explicit images of individuals without their permission.

In addition to SB 676, Attorney General Harris is also sponsoring AB 1310 (Gatto, D-Glendale), which would allow search warrants to be issued for crimes related to cyber exploitation and allow for the prosecution of cyber exploitation cases in the county where the victim resides or in the county where the images were posted.

Attorney General Harris has convened a working group of 50 major technology companies, victim advocates, and legislative and law enforcement leaders to fight cyber exploitation through a public-private partnership. Specifically, the Attorney General’s working group on cyber exploitation is focused on four key areas: developing an industry statement of principles, education and prevention, law enforcement training and collaboration, and legislation and advocacy. The working group includes major tech companies such as Microsoft, Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

Attorney General Harris created the eCrime Unit in 2011 to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cybercrimes, and other crimes involving the use of technology.

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