Athletes from eight different schools including Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Indiana, Penn, Iowa State and Michigan State Universities have filed suit against several companies, individuals and Internet service providers after secret videotapes taken in the schools' locker rooms were sold over the Internet and through the mail.
The lawsuit charges defendants with invasion of privacy, unlawful use of the plaintiffs' images for profit, and mail and wire fraud under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The 28 unnamed plaintiffs have been described as male football players.
David Sobel, general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, stated that the ISPs named in the suit will likely evade responsibility for their customer's actions, given that the Communications Decency Act maintains that ISPs are not responsible for the content of their customer's Web sites. "I think the law goes a little further than it probably ought to in shielding ISPs, particularly in case where they have knowledge of what's there," commented Sobel.
In related news, New York state police officials are investigating allegations that 8 state troopers encouraged two young women to strip and pose naked for pictures at the Woodstock '99 festival this weekend.
Lt. Jamie Mills commented, "obviously, such allegations are disturbing and would be considered inappropriate."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .