EXPERTS IN THE NEWS: Marine Porn, Quelling Dissent, FB Live, and World Bank ‘Death Squads’

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Marines Photo Scandal: What Can Revenge Porn Victims Do? I NBC News

"We've been successful in encouraging legislators in these states to take up these laws, but that doesn't mean that these states have come up with good ones," said Mary Anne Franks, a professor of law at the University of Miami and the legislative and tech policy director with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.

Before her nonprofit group began pushing the issue with lawmakers in 2013, there were just three states with respective legislation. Now, 35 states and Washington, D.C., have some form of so-called "revenge porn" laws, which make it illegal to use a sexually exploitative image or video of someone online without their permission

Gainer-backed bill targets protests I Panama City News Herald

Caroline Mala Corbin, a professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, said Gainer's bill proposes a new law that would be unnecessary and unconstitutional. Some of the staff and teachers at the University of Miami participated in the recent anti-Trump protests Gainer cited.

"First, there is probably not a jurisdiction in the country that does not already have a law on the books to deal with obstruction of traffic," she said. "Consequently, it is not clear what purpose these new laws serve other than to chill dissent. Second, to specifically target protesters is likely unconstitutional. It is one thing to write neutral traffic laws that apply to everyone. It is another to write laws that apply only to protesters. Government attempts to target unpopular speech are presumptively unconstitutional."

She said the right to protest is protected by the First Amendment and is an "essential component of democracy."

Facebook, Rushing Into Live Video, Wasn’t Ready for Its Dark Side I The Wall Street Journal

Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami and vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a group focused on stopping online abuse, said Facebook was naive about how Facebook Live would be used.

“If you can’t get a handle on it, maybe the answer is not to introduce that particular technology,” she said. When she offers that opinion to tech companies, “they look at me like I’ve sprouted another head,” she added.

Sex Crimes in Cyberspace I NPR’s 1A

Mary Anne Franks is a guest discussing a Facebook group with about 30,000 male Marines posting nude photos of their female colleagues prompted a Pentagon investigation and a conversation about revenge porn in the military. But it’s not just the Marines. Revenge porn and other forms of nonconsensual pornography are major concerns in high schools and among advocates against online harassment. Now, state and federal lawmakers are trying to protect victims of revenge porn, and many others are trying to change the culture that causes online harassment.

Lawsuit: World Bank Arm Aided Firm That Hired ‘Death Squads’ I The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law who specializes in international human rights law, said a central issue that would determine the lawsuit’s success was its challenge to the IFC’s claims of immunity.

A previous case filed by EarthRights involving an IFC investment in India was dismissed by a federal court due to the IFC’s immunity privileges, which are similar to those enjoyed by foreign governments. EarthRights has appealed that decision to a higher court.

“I think the India case is likely to be highly influential in the court’s decision on this case,” Bettinger-Lopez said. She said a key question would be “whether the immunity arguments made in the case differ from the immunity arguments made in the India case.

CONTACT: Catharine Skipp at 305-284-9810 or cskipp@law.miami.edu