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    Israel Waging War Against 'Revenge Porn' Plague

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    In November, a special hotline was introduced in the country to root out violence against minors and revenge porn, or at least provide a quick initial response to crimes, which have been on the rise lately. But campaigners argue that law enforcement’s current efforts are not sufficient to fully eradicate the issue.

    The spread of explicit photos and videos of minors online affects children as young as six years old, but law enforcement authorities are unable to put a stop to it, according to a new Knesset study, which found that while the law stipulated a jail term for offenders, most cases are never brought to trial, Ynet News reported.

    The report has it that Israeli police launched as many as 643 cases between 2014 and 2017 on the alleged dissemination of explicit and private content online, but an estimated 84 were closed, as perpetrators covertly filmed ordinary people, including their partners, during the most intimate moments and thereafter posted videos online as revenge, or for other reasons, making it tremendously difficult to track them.

    The study reveals that the lion's share of cases (71 percent) were closed because "the perpetrator was unknown", while only 14 percent were blocked because "the circumstances of the matter did not justify prosecution", and 12 percent were ditched due to lack of evidence. Only 108 cases of the total 643 made it to court, resulting in just 17 convictions in three years.

    The findings were presented at a conference organized by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie, who sought to put a spotlight on the numerous cases of so-called revenge porn and the insufficient enforcement, with tLavie pointing out that a vast number pf cases are closed due to lack of public interest and support.

    "The police and the State Prosecution have yet to realize that digital offenses-such as the dissemination of offensive sexual content about a person-spread quickly, and the speed of enforcement must be matched to the speed of dissemination", attorney Roni Aloni-Sadovnik, who is defending a victim, noted.

    In a bid to put an end to cybercrimes against minors, as well as revenge pornography, the state police introduced a special hotline number, 105, which is to provide an initial response to online violence targeting children.

    "Since the 105 hotline was launched in November, there have been 198 incidents of disseminating explicit photos or videos of minors online", Dr Nava Cohen, who heads the Public Security Ministry's Division of Society and Crime Prevention, pointed out. "The age range of the victims is 6-18, and 90 percent of them are girls. The ability to stop the damage is difficult and complex".

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    law enforcement, revenge porn, pornography, violence, Minors, Israel
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