PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS AGAINST TECHNOLOGICAL EXPLOITATION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 89
(House of Representatives - May 23, 2017)

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[Pages H4477-H4480]
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PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS AGAINST TECHNOLOGICAL EXPLOITATION 
                                  ACT

  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 2052) to amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to 
prohibit the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual 
images.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2052

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting the Rights of 
     IndiViduals Against Technological Exploitation Act'' or the 
     ``PRIVATE Act''.

     SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON WRONGFUL BROADCAST OR DISTRIBUTION OF 
                   INTIMATE VISUAL IMAGES.

       (a) Prohibition.--Subchapter X of chapter 47 of title 10, 
     United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 917 
     (article 117 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) the 
     following new section (article):

     ``Sec. 917a. Art. 117a. Wrongful broadcast or distribution of 
       intimate visual images

       ``(a) Prohibition.--Any person subject to this chapter 
     who--
       ``(1) knowingly and wrongfully broadcasts or distributes an 
     intimate visual image of a private area of another person 
     who--
       ``(A) is at least 18 years of age at the time the intimate 
     visual image was created;
       ``(B) is identifiable from the image itself or from 
     information displayed in connection with the image; and

[[Page H4478]]

       ``(C) does not explicitly consent to the broadcast or 
     distribution of the intimate visual image;
       ``(2) knows or reasonably should have known that the 
     intimate visual image was made under circumstances in which 
     the person depicted in the intimate visual image retained a 
     reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any broadcast or 
     distribution of the intimate visual image; and
       ``(3) knows or reasonably should have known that the 
     broadcast or distribution of the intimate visual image is 
     likely--
       ``(A) to cause harm, harassment, intimidation, emotional 
     distress, or financial loss for the person depicted in the 
     intimate visual image; or
       ``(B) to harm substantially the depicted person with 
     respect to that person's health, safety, business, calling, 
     career, financial condition, reputation, or personal 
     relationships,

     is guilty of wrongful distribution of intimate visual images 
     and shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.
       ``(b) Definitions.--In this section (article):
       ``(1) Broadcast.--The term `broadcast' means to 
     electronically transmit a visual image with the intent that 
     it be viewed by a person or persons.
       ``(2) Distribute.--The term `distribute' means to deliver 
     to the actual or constructive possession of another person, 
     including transmission by mail or electronic means.
       ``(3) Intimate visual image.--The term `intimate visual 
     image' means a photograph, video, film, or recording made by 
     any means that depicts a private area of a person.
       ``(4) Private area.--The term `private area' means the 
     naked or underwear-clad genitalia, anus, buttocks, or female 
     areola or nipple.
       ``(5) Reasonable expectation of privacy.--The term 
     `reasonable expectation of privacy' refers to circumstances 
     in which a reasonable person would believe that an intimate 
     visual image of a private area of the person would not be 
     broadcast or distributed to another person.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
     beginning of subchapter X of chapter 47 of title 10, United 
     States Code (the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is 
     amended by inserting after the item relating to section 917 
     (article 117) the following new item:

``917a. 117a. Wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual 
              images.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Arizona (Ms. McSally) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Speier) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Arizona.


                             General Leave

  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and insert extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Arizona?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2052, the Protecting the 
Rights of Individuals Against Technological Exploitation Act, or the 
PRIVATE Act. This act would amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice 
to prohibit the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual 
imagines.
  Recent revelations that nude photographs of servicemembers were 
nonconsensually posted to social media websites like Marines United is 
abhorrent. This repugnant behavior is unacceptable, and we must work to 
prevent this deplorable behavior from occurring again.
  The Neanderthals who committed these acts are not emblematic of the 
vast majority of decent and honorable servicemembers who serve our 
Nation. However, the notion that any servicemember would think it is 
acceptable to upload, view, or comment on nude photos of their fellow 
servicemembers is a serious problem that must be fixed.
  This bill will help hold perpetrators of these types of crimes 
accountable. It will strengthen the Uniform Code of Military Justice by 
establishing an enumerated, punitive article that clearly prohibits the 
wrongful, nonconsensual sharing of intimate visual images, even when 
those images were initially given with consent.
  While the Uniform Code of Military Justice currently contains two 
general articles under which these crimes can already be prosecuted, 
this new provision will give commanders an additional specific tool and 
send a clear message to servicemembers that this behavior is 
unacceptable and is, in fact, a crime.
  The PRIVATE Act is designed to protect our servicemen and -women and 
is supported by 26 different military and veterans organizations.
  While there are many divisive issues facing Congress today, as a 
retired colonel and 26-year combat veteran of the Air Force, I am 
heartened that this bill enjoys such significant bipartisan support.
  I wish to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including 
Ms. Speier for her leadership, for her cosponsorship, and for her 
devotion to our servicemembers.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Four years ago, I stood on the House floor and condemned the online 
bullying of U.S. Marine Corps servicewomen on Facebook. These web pages 
contained obscene and abusive pictures, and implied that women only 
advanced professionally by performing sexual favors.
  I sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense and the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps asking them to take action. I got a letter back from the 
Commandant which said, ``I share your indignation.'' I didn't want him 
to share my indignation. I wanted him to do something about it. Neither 
he nor the Department of Defense inspector general did anything.
  Lack of consequences caused this cultural rot to spread further. The 
Marines United page, through which hundreds of Active-Duty and veteran 
marines viewed thousands of nonconsensually distributed intimate 
imagines, damaged the lives and the careers of more servicemembers than 
I can imagine. In fact, many of these servicemembers were identified by 
name and the bases at which they served.
  Despite reports of this vile site, new versions continue to crop up 
and spread more destruction, unchecked by military leadership. Until 
now, the leadership failures that allowed this to go on for 4 years 
also extended to Congress. We did nothing except hold a subcommittee 
hearing on--wait, let me indicate what it was on--social media policy, 
without a single survivor brought to testify.
  This is not about social media policy. This is about abhorrent 
behavior by servicemembers against other servicemembers.
  Two months ago, a bipartisan group of Members held a hearing on this 
very issue, and we had victims who testified. One of those members, who 
was Active Duty, said that her Marine Corps drill instructor said to 
her and the other women during their training, ``The only women that 
serve in the marines are sluts, lesbians . . . '' or a word that starts 
with a B that I won't mention on the House floor.

  How destructive can that be?
  Today, that ends. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle are taking 
a stand. Today, I am honored and proud to support H.R. 2052 with my 
colleague, Ms. McSally.
  This bill will ensure that nonconsensual pornography is made illegal 
by explicitly forbidding the sharing of intimate images without the 
consent of the subject.
  Right now, the reprehensible acts of nonconsensually distributed and 
consensually obtained photographs is not clearly defined as illegal 
under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That is why this bill is a 
critical step in ensuring that our female servicemembers aren't 
distracted from protecting the country by having to also protect 
themselves against online abusers and colleagues within the services.
  But let me be clear. Our work is not done. If the chain of command 
continues to see nonconsensual pornography as a ``boys will be boys'' 
joke instead of sexual violence, nothing will change. Such conduct must 
result in severe and immediate consequences for the perpetrators. The 
PRIVATE Act must pass, and it must be enforced.
  I also want to note that the passage of the PRIVATE Act does not 
apply to the civilian people in our country. Although 34 States have 
passed laws to address nonconsensual pornography, their approaches vary 
widely, and some are very flawed. That is why a Federal law is needed 
to provide a single, clear articulation of the elements of this crime 
to ensure that Americans in every part of the country--civilian and 
military--are protected if they are subjected to this heinous abuse.

[[Page H4479]]

  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2052. We have come 
a long way in 4 years since I found those vile Facebook pages. Four 
years from now, I hope I am standing here commending us all for 
stamping out the scourge of nonconsensual pornography.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1615

  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Guam (Ms. Bordallo).
  Ms. BORDALLO. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to urge my colleagues to 
support H.R. 2052, the Protecting the Rights of IndiViduals Against 
Technological Exploitation Act, also known as the PRIVATE Act. This act 
will amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit the 
wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images.
  As technology evolves, so, too, must our judicial systems; and it is 
clear, especially after the Marines United scandal, that there is a gap 
in the UCMJ. This bill addresses that gap and gives commanders the 
tools they need to address this horrific crime of posting or sharing 
intimate images that were previously privately shared.
  The bill clearly states that distributing or broadcasting intimate 
visual images without consent would result in punishment. This change 
in the UCMJ will send a strong message to any bad actors in our 
military and remind them that honor, trust, and respect are paramount 
whether you are deployed or back home. Servicemembers will know that 
sharing, broadcasting, or posting intimate images are illegal and will 
be punished under the UCMJ.
  I thank the gentlewoman from Arizona, Representative McSally, for 
introducing this important legislation and diligently working it 
through the legislative process. I am also pleased to see such 
bipartisan support. Although the circumstances that led this bill to be 
written are appalling, it is heartening to see so many colleagues 
coming together today to make the necessary changes.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2052. This 
amendment to the UCMJ is very necessary and very timely.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Massachusetts (Ms. Tsongas).
  Ms. TSONGAS. Mr. Speaker, earlier this year, many of us heard of the 
Marines United Facebook page for the first time. On this page, women 
marines found that their intimate photos were posted without their 
knowledge and without their consent. Some had no idea these photos had 
ever been taken.
  Beneath the photos, marine members of the Facebook group wrote 
obscene and abusive comments about their comrades. This betrayal of 
marines by marines disgracefully disrespects fellow members, sows the 
seeds of distrust, and undermines the unit cohesion so essential to 
military readiness, putting our national security at risk.
  Today we bring a bill to the floor to make sure military members who 
have broadcasted or distributed certain private images are held 
accountable. H.R. 2052 creates a separate article under the Uniform 
Code of Military Justice that specifically criminalizes the wrongful 
sharing of intimate photos without explicit consent to do so.
  H.R. 2052 sends a clear message to all servicemembers and to our 
military leadership that this kind of abusive behavior will not and 
must not be tolerated. Members from both sides of the aisle have come 
together, and I thank Representatives McSally and Speier for their 
leadership in support of this commonsense legislation, and I encourage 
all of my colleagues to vote for it.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Frankel), my good friend and colleague, and the co-chair 
of the bipartisan Women's Caucus.
  Ms. FRANKEL of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank my great colleague from 
California and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for 
their leadership on a subject of urgency.
  Mr. Speaker, in the strongest terms possible, I urge support of this 
bipartisan legislation called the PRIVATE Act that makes it illegal for 
military members to share explicit photos without consent.
  Our Democratic Working Women's Group recently held a bipartisan 
hearing regarding the Marine United Facebook page where male marines 
posted thousands of nude photos of female servicemembers and veterans 
without their consent.
  At this hearing, we heard the testimony of two courageous female 
marines whose privacy was violated with the nonconsensual posting of 
intimate photographs. They described their embarrassment, their anger, 
and the vitriolic harassment by their marine brothers that followed, 
with threats of rape and violence, and stomach-sickening posts like: 
``We should throw female Marines into a tub of acid and rip off their 
eyelashes.''
  Mr. Speaker, I am the proud mother of a United States Marine veteran, 
so I can tell you, I understand firsthand the selfless sacrifice a 
marine makes when he or she puts on their uniform.
  So I say to those warriors whose honor was violated: We stand with 
you today to declare that you were targets of behavior that we will not 
tolerate; and we will seek to punish those who offended and prevent 
similar conduct in the future because that conduct is not only 
degrading to brave patriots, it threatens the safety and security of 
our Nation.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New Hampshire (Ms. Kuster), the chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to 
End Sexual Violence.
  Ms. KUSTER of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative 
McSally and Representative Jackie Speier for bringing us to the floor 
today.
  I speak on behalf of H.R. 2052, the PRIVATE Act. I was deeply 
disturbed by the Marine United photo-sharing scandal, as were many of 
my colleagues, both men and women, Republican and Democrat.
  Our Armed Forces are the greatest fighting forces the world has ever 
seen. It is unacceptable that members of the Marines sought out 
intimate photographs of their fellow soldiers and distributed them 
purposely online. Not only were the actions by the participants in the 
Marines United scandal morally repugnant, but they jeopardized our 
national security and endangered the security of both male and female 
marines. Women in the Armed Forces put their lives on the line every 
single day to defend our country, and they should not have their safety 
risked by their fellow marines.

  I am proud to support H.R. 2052, the PRIVATE Act, which will update 
the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure that the type of 
explicit image sharing we saw in the Marines United scandal is 
expressly prohibited.
  As the cofounder, with my colleague, Jackie Speier, of the Bipartisan 
Task Force to End Sexual Violence, I understand the persistent 
challenges that the culture of sexual violence poses on our society.
  The conversation around sexual violence is beginning to change, 
thanks in no small part to Members of this Congress on both sides of 
the aisle. This legislation will support broader cultural reform and 
improve the lives of our brave servicemembers.
  This is an issue that transcends politics, and I am encouraged by the 
bipartisan support for the PRIVATE Act. I urge my colleagues to support 
the bill.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my colleague from 
California (Mrs. Davis), the ranking member on the Democratic side of 
the Armed Services Committee.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for 
bringing this forward.
  The Marines United website was a disgusting breach of trust, and I 
immediately called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted. I appreciate 
General Neller coming to Congress earlier this year, taking ownership 
of the problem, immediately establishing a task force, and conducting 
multimedia and personal engagements across the Marine Corps.

[[Page H4480]]

  He said he would deal with this immediately and decisively, and we 
demand nothing less. I take him at his word, and he was clear in asking 
to be held accountable.
  While the Navy and Marine Corps have updated policies regarding 
social media and established no-tolerance policies for nonconsensual 
pornography, these still need to apply across all the services and must 
be codified into law. For this reason, I support the PRIVATE Act, and I 
hope that we continue to work together with my colleagues to ensure 
that this bill becomes law.
  Mr. Speaker, as the scandal unfolded, it became clear to me that, 
even from initial recruitment, servicemembers must be held to the 
highest ethical standard online, and prevented from joining the 
military should their behavior fail to meet that standard.
  Our children live their lives online, and the laws need to be updated 
to reflect that. The issue of nonconsensual pornography, unfortunately, 
is prevalent across our society. It has no place anywhere, but 
especially not in our military ranks.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers. If the 
gentlewoman from California has no further speakers, I am prepared to 
close once the gentlewoman does.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close, and, in so doing, I 
also want to make the point that our commitment to making sure that our 
armed services have the cohesion and readiness to serve requires us to 
take action on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  As a 26-year combat veteran, I am deeply disturbed, but not surprised 
by the scandal.
  As a former commander, I know that you need to give commanders all 
the tools they need to hold perpetrators accountable. This is not just 
about good order and discipline. This is about the military mission. 
This bill gives commanders an additional tool in order to address this 
culture and to hold people accountable for their abhorrent behavior.
  I want to say that I appreciate the strong support across the aisle 
and our side of the aisle. This is strong, bipartisan support. I would 
urge all of my colleagues to support the PRIVATE Act.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. McSALLY. I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. I want to add my support for this legislation, and I 
thank the gentlewoman from California and the gentlewoman from Arizona 
for their longstanding service.
  We have been dealing with bills dealing with sexual assault in the 
Judiciary Committee. Having listened to the young female soldiers who 
were impacted by Marines United, I know that this legislation that 
gives the military leadership additional tools to ensure that the 
depiction of women and others in the United States military, against 
their will, on social media, will not be tolerated and will not be 
viewed as an honorable act under the U.S. Military Code. Giving these 
tools will show that you will be punished and that men and women will 
be respected in the United States military. I ask colleagues to support 
this legislation.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Thornberry for his 
leadership on this issue.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Arizona (Ms. McSally) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2052.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

                          ____________________