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'Revenge porn' is on the rise. The act – defined as uploading or sharing intimate pictures or videos without https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/?search=naked cam the subject's consent – has grown rapidly along with social media and the immediacy of phone apps.

It became a criminal offence in England and Wales in April 2015, with a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment. And in the first year of the offence, more than 200 people were prosecuted. However, many victims do not come forward through fear or embarrassment. It means the real number of revenge porn crimes could be much, much higher.

Only this week, a 37-year-old man avoided jail, after taking innocent pictures from Facebook accounts of female friends and and placing them on an x-rated website. Oliver Whiting left sexist and abusive comments next to the images and invited others to do the same. He was handed a suspended six month prison sentence after earlier pleading guilty to 11 charges of making offensive postings.

The women he targeted have now complained that police treated their abuser 'like the victim'.

It’s a shocking case, but it’s not the only one of its kind. Even celebrities have become targets, with actress Mischa Barton recently speaking out about being a victim.

Now, new sentencing guidelines are recommending that offenders who send "revenge porn" images to victims' family members could face up to two years in prison. The most serious offences will be those which the court judges have been calculated to induce "maximum distress", such as sending images to a victim's family who are very religious, or to a younger sibling.

Offenders will also face tougher punishment if they set up social media accounts pretending to be the victim or spread a large number of pictures to a wide audience.

Here, Julie Pinborough, director of the Queen Mary University of London Legal Advice Centre – which offers victims free advice – explains what anyone affected by revenge porn can do.

1) Removal

The first priority for any victim is to have the images or video removed from the public domain – permanently. There’s a good chance, given that a former partner (or even a best friend) has been vengeful enough to upload the images, that they won’t be particularly forthcoming in response to your complaints.

Therefore, requests must be made to the website(s) hosting the material. This can be done directly, but is generally more effective if the victim engages a solicitor, who's a specialist in online privacy work.

Revenge porn offenders who send images to victim's family could face tougher sentences

2) Contacting the website

Many sites are not hosted within the UK. Some have even been created solely for the purpose of hosting revenge porn; so getting something taken down isn’t always easy.

If websites operating with the UK and the EU who don’t take down images when given notice, a claim can be brought against them and it could go to court. So it is in their interest to cooperate.

One particular organisation that can help is www.saferinternet.org.uk – they have an incredibly speedy record of getting images removed.

3) Injunctions

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R3OoVY2mquk

If the ex-partner/publisher of the images and the website operator are not forthcoming in removing them, then an injunction can be sought from the courts. This will prevent the images continuing to be published elsewhere. If an injunction is carefully drafted, it can help prevent any future distribution.

If you're going to apply for an injuction, you need to speak to a solicitor. A good place to start is the Law Society.

4) Civil law Remedies

You might opt for a civil law remedy – where you bring a claim against someone yourself, rather than the police handling it. Again, you'd need a solicitor to do this with you and it will be at your own cost.

Without getting too technical, there are a few civil law remedies available to you:

• Injunctions or proceedings for misuse of private information under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights: damages can be awarded to compensate for the often catastrophic effect of revenge porn.

• Injunctions or proceedings for breach of confidence.

• Injunctions or proceedings for copyright infringement.

• Complaints to the Information Commissioner about breach of data protection regulations.

• Injunctions or proceedings for harassment (if there is only a threat of publishing the images and the threat causes concerns).

5) Criminal law remedies

Revenge porn can be a criminal offence. Although there is not one specific offence which targets this behaviour, it may fall into a number of different categories, including:

• Harassment

• Blackmail

• Voyeurism (if the images were obtained without knowledge)

• Offences under the Malicious Communication Act, if the CPS are satisfied that the images were published in order to cause distress or anxiety

The best way to take action on any of these legal issues is to contact a lawyer who specialises in cyber crime.

6) The law

In April 2015, it became a criminal offence to share intimate images and videos without consent, online or offline – with a maximum prison sentence of two years.

The existing civil law remedies also remain available, and may prove to be effective as a way of quickly removing harmful content from the internet – albeit at a financial cost to the victim.

In early 2017, tougher penalties for stalking and harassment were also introduced. The maximum jail sentence was doubled from five to ten years by the Government following pressure from MPs. For racially-aggravated harassment the maximum sentence was raised from seven to 14 years.

Under new guidelines – the first to give advice to courts under new laws covering the sharing of "private sexual images" – perpetrators who send explicit content to their victim's families could be considered among the most serious of revenge porn offenders and face up to two years in jail.

The definition of domestic abuse has also been widened to reflect types of abuse other than violence, such as coercive and controlling behaviour.

It’s important to remember that if you are a victim of revenge porn, not to feel ashamed or embarrassed when seeking help or advice.

Services exist to support victims, not to judge them.

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The digital currency and stablecoin issuer Paxos has been granted conditional approval for a bank charter under the Paxos National Trust in New York. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a preliminary conditional approval which means the regulating entity still has to authorize the firm’s future banking plans.

Paxos Granted Preliminary Conditional Approval for a US Bank Charter

The New York-based financial institution and technology company Paxos has been granted preliminary conditional approval for a bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC published information on the conditional approval on April 23, 2021, showing authorization of the company’s application to charter the Paxos National Trust.

“The OCC granted a national trust bank charter to Paxos after [a] thorough review of the company and its current operations,” the OCC’s press release notes. “In granting this charter, the OCC applied the same rigorous review and standards applied to all charter applications. The OCC granted preliminary conditional approval to Paxos after [a] thorough review of its application.”

Paxos was founded in 2012 bitcoin trading in New York City, but the company also has offices in Singapore and London as well. At the end of December 2020, documents show that Paxos has raised roughly $240 million in financing since the company’s inception. https://secretstradingbitcoin.com/podcast/ Paxos is also known for issuing a stablecoin based on the value of the U.S. dollar and a token backed by the precious metal gold as well. The preliminary approval status aims to provide Paxos the authority to exercise fiduciary powers under 12 USC 92a and 12 CFR 5.26.

Paxos National Trust Must Obtain the Regulator’s Final Approval

Paxos General Counsel Dan Burstein is addressed in the OCC’s preliminary approval letter. The OCC’s letter stresses that the regulating entity plans to process background checks and other reviews of the Paxos’ executive staff.

“Accordingly, the continued service of these individuals will be dependent on satisfactory completion of the background investigation process,” the OCC letter states.

“Prior to the Bank’s opening,” the OCC’s approval letter concludes. “The bank must obtain the OCC’s prior written determination of no objection for any additional organizers or executive officers or directors appointed or elected before the person assumes the position.” Further, if the OCC finds any issues it can modify, suspend, and rescind the preliminary conditions if any material information changes before the OCC’s final decision.

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