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Governor Signs Second Bill in Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s Cyber Exploitation Legislative Package

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a statement in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of Assembly Bill 1310 (Gatto, D-Glendale), one of two cyber exploitation bills sponsored by Attorney General Harris.

“This new law gives law enforcement important tools necessary to hold cyber exploitation perpetrators accountable and bring justice to victims,” said Attorney General Harris. “AB 1310 furthers the ability of law enforcement to gather evidence and prosecute these heinous cases. I thank Assemblymember Gatto for authoring this critical measure.”

AB 1310 amends current law by allowing search warrants to be issued for cyber exploitation crimes, giving law enforcement the ability to search electronic databases and retrieve the victims’ images.  AB 1310 also allows for the prosecution of cyber exploitation cases in the county where the victim resides or in the county where the images were posted.  Since posters and website operators commonly reside outside of the victim’s jurisdiction, this change in the law will relieve some of the burden placed on the victim during the prosecution of the case. 

“With this legislation, law enforcement will be able to more effectively investigate and prosecute cyber exploitation criminals across multiple jurisdictions,” said Assemblymember Gatto.  “I applaud the Attorney General for championing this measure and thank Governor Brown for signing it into law.”

This year, Attorney General Harris sponsored two bills to enhance the prosecution of cyber exploitation in the state.  Senate Bill 676 (Cannella, R-Ceres), signed by the governor last month, enables law enforcement to seek the forfeiture and destruction of cyber exploitation images. 

On October 14, the Attorney General’s Cyber Exploitation Working Group will announce its findings and unveil new resources for victims, law enforcement, and tech companies in the fight against cyber exploitation.  This new initiative represents the culmination of a 9 month-long collaboration on four key areas: developing industry best practices, education and prevention, law enforcement training and collaboration, as well as legislation and advocacy.  The working group includes major technology companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo!, Google, 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. The California Department of Justice is leading the nation in prosecuting these crimes, having garnered the first successful prosecution of a cyber exploitation operator in the country. In 2015, Kevin Bollaert was sentenced to eight years imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised release 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.

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