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Mary Anne Franks
Mary Anne Franks is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, family law, and First Amendment issues. She is also the Legislative and Tech Policy Director and Vice-President of the the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. Mary Anne received her law degree from Harvard Law School and her doctorate and master's degree from Oxford University, where she studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. She has previously taught at the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard University. She has published several articles on cyber harassment, free speech, and gender-based violence and is a frequent media commentator on issues of cyberlaw, criminal law, and family law. Follow on LinkedIn, Twitter @ma_franks. See more of her work at Moving Targets.

Entries by Mary Anne Franks

An Open Letter to YACHT re: Sex Tape Publicity Stunt

(6) Comments | Posted May 11, 2016 | 10:34 AM

We at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, who advocate on behalf of individuals who have suffered the devastating and irreversible harms caused by nonconsensual pornography, condemn your recent publicity stunt involving a false claim of a leaked sex tape, as well as the uninformed...

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Why Hulk vs. Gawker Is Not About Privacy vs. Free Speech

(2) Comments | Posted March 23, 2016 | 12:17 PM

The high-profile case of Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) against Gawker Media has prompted a flood of headlines, thinkpieces and blog posts characterizing the conflict between the two parties as "privacy versus free speech." This characterization misunderstands both concepts and obscures the important issues at stake in the case,...

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Who's Afraid of Hot Girls?

(21) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Hot Girls Wanted, a documentary that explores the "professional amateur" porn industry, has hit a nerve. The documentary tracks the experiences of five young women recruited by a talent agent in Miami who specializes in youthful performers for hardcore porn productions.

Hot Girls Wanted explores what goes on behind...

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Como derrotar o 'pornô de vingança': primeiro, reconheça que se trata de privacidade, não de vingança

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 6:08 PM

Os americanos dão valor à privacidade. É por isso que temos leis para nos proteger de revelações não-autorizadas de muitos tipos de informações pessoais - dados financeiros, históricos médicos, carteiras de motorista, endereços de casa - e por que intrusões e voyeurismo são considerados não apenas violações das...

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How to Defeat 'Revenge Porn': First, Recognize It's About Privacy, Not Revenge

(15) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 8:22 AM

Americans value privacy. It is why we have laws to protect us against unauthorized disclosures of many kinds of personal information -- financial data, medical records, driver's licenses, home addresses -- and why trespass and voyeurism are considered not only violations of social norms but criminal offenses.

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The ACLU's Frat House Take on 'Revenge Porn'

(3) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 11:23 AM

Members of the Penn State chapter of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity are accused of taking photographs of unconscious, naked women and posting them to 144-member Facebook Group pages coyly titled "Covert Business Transactions" and "2.0." Soon after the story broke, one of KDR's members took...

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Presumed Unworthy

(6) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 6:21 PM

On August 9, 2014, a black teenager named Michael Brown was shot to death in broad daylight by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. His dead body lay uncovered in the street for four hours afterwards. News of the killing spread rapidly across social media, and soon began...

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Stand Your Ground's Woman Problem: Laws Expanding Self-Defense Raise Questions About Gender as Well as Race

(130) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 6:02 PM

In 2012 editorial, father-and-son Florida politicians Don and Matt Gaetz called criticism of the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law "anti-woman." "Consider," they gravely intoned, "an elderly woman in a dimly lit parking lot or a college girl walking to her dorm at night. If she was attacked,...

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Free Speech Elitism: Harassment Is Not the Price 'We' Pay for Free Speech

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 10:06 AM

Many thoughtful and provocative conversations about online harassment have emerged lately, particularly in the wake of Amanda Hess's excellent article, "Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet."

Hess and others detail the violence and severity of the harassment many women receive simply for being identifiable...

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The Lawless Internet? Myths and Misconceptions About CDA Section 230

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 2:35 PM

The recent arrest of revenge porn site operator Kevin Christopher Bollaert and the defamation ruling against the gossip site The Dirty have brought a 1996 federal law called the Communications Decency Act Section 230 into the media spotlight. The popular narrative of...

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