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Technology Industry Leaders and Lawmakers Express Support for Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s New Initiative to Combat Crime of Cyber Exploitation

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES - Today, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the launch of a new, first-of-its-kind online resource hub with tools for victims, technology companies and law enforcement agencies to combat cyber exploitation, the criminal act of posting intimate photos or videos online without the consent of the individual.  Today’s announcement is a culmination of nine months of work by the Attorney General’s Cyber Exploitation Task Force, a collaboration between the Department of Justice, major technology companies, law enforcement, and victims’ advocates. 

In response, elected officials and leaders in the technology industry released the following statements of support:

Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety Policy, Facebook:

"Sharing intimate images of someone without their consent can be both devastating and dangerous for the victim. Such activity is not allowed on Facebook and we are proud to support Attorney General Harris’ anti-cyber exploitation initiative to raise awareness of this abhorrent practice and promote tools to fight it.”

Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft:

"Non-consensual distribution of sexual content, commonly known as ‘revenge porn’, is a horrific violation of privacy that can damage nearly every aspect of a victim’s life. Microsoft commends Attorney General Harris' commitment to this issue and we are proud to support this effort to help ensure victims have easy access to the tools they need to regain control of their images and their privacy. We hope this new online hub, which includes reporting information for online services such as Microsoft’s new reporting site for Bing, OneDrive and Xbox Live, will prove to be a valuable resource for victims."

Danielle Keats Citron, Lois K. Macht Research Professor & Professor of Law, University of Maryland Carey School of Law:

“Attorney General Kamala Harris's Working Group has set a major milestone in the fight against cyber exploitation today.  In my research of hate crimes in cyberspace, I’ve interviewed more than 50 exploitation victims.  Victims had a hard time finding employment because their nude images and contact information appeared prominently in online searches. They were terrified that strangers would confront them in person. They moved; some changed their names; all were distraught. The fallout was devastating. AG Harris's work is groundbreaking, educating victims about their rights, providing training to law enforcement, securing essential legislation, and working with companies on best practices. The Working Group's efforts in California are a model for the rest of the country.” 

John Doherty, Vice President of State Policy & Politics and General Counsel, TechNet:

“TechNet applauds Attorney General Kamala Harris' efforts to crack down on cyber exploitation, which violates a victim on a deeply personal and private level.  We’re proud that the technology industry has come together in support of this important issue to provide victims an avenue of protection. Over the past 50 years, the Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, engage in commerce, and collaborate with friends and colleagues around the world.  Overwhelmingly, these changes have been a force for good.  But, clearly there is a dark side, and we must remain vigilant in the effort to protect Internet users from this type of terrible and troubling cyber exploitation.” 

Bob Stresak, Executive Director, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST):

“The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training is honored to be a part of the Attorney General’s working group in a progressive effort to combat cyber exploitation.  As technology advances, criminal activity takes new forms.  This often presents challenges for law enforcement.  Law enforcement must advance in its ability to proactively address and effectively respond to those challenges.  To that end, the Commission on POST will continue in its commitment to provide the best training available to the law enforcement community.”

California Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Glendale):

“Cyber exploitation is a serious crime.  I was proud to partner with Attorney General Harris on legislation to eliminate jurisdictional loopholes and give additional tools to law enforcement to investigate and prosecute this type of crime. The Department of Justice’s resource hub will play an important role in the fight to end cyber exploitation in California.”

California Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres):

“Cyber exploitation greatly disrupts the lives of victims.  I am glad that California remains in the forefront of fighting this horrendous crime. We need victims to be more aware that there are resources to protect them.  This is a valuable tool to help in ending cyber exploitation.”

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