Are there laws to address this kind of harm?
Yes. In fact, there are many civil and criminal laws on the books that address the sorts of privacy violations typical in online harassment cases. This website will publish a survey of the current civil and criminal laws. The initial launch will provide information on numerous federal laws and California state laws. We hope to expand the content to include every state and territory in the US.
Is there a clear path to justice?
Unfortunately, no. Consider what’s at stake on the face of the complaint in a traditional lawsuit: the victim’s true name. Even when a victim has the resources and will to hire counsel, the victim is often faced with an impossible choice: (1) file a lawsuit, which would make the humiliation complete by revealing the victim’s identity, and attracting a potential barrage of internet news sources and postings geared toward examining the minutiae of any readily available scandal; or (2) stay quiet and hope not to draw any more attention to the humiliating content.
Many people will choose the latter course rather than endure the irreparable harm to family, children, and personal and professional standing in the community by seeking justice against the harasser. Therefore, unless the individual is allowed to file suit under a pseudonym (for example, as Plaintiff “Jane Doe” or “John Doe”), there is in all likelihood no path to justice.