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  • Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf September 20, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    HERE[‘S WHAT I WROTE:

    Pranksters using a Samsung (or any other) cell phone to hack into Internet signals being sent by a woman’s lover to control her “smart” dildo can be liable for the civil wrong of sexual battery (sometimes called sexual assault), and might even be criminally liable for the felony of rape.
    He explains that a new high tech “smart” dildo connects to the Internet, so that the woman’s lover can control the type, intensity, and sequence of the vibrations she feels as he brings her to orgasm, even from hundreds of miles away.
    But since anything connected to the Internet can be hacked, it may not be too long before hackers send their own control signals to the cyber dildo – perhaps from a cell phone with appropriate programming – says law professor John Banzhaf, one of the nation’s oldest hackers, and the man who first copyrighted programs for computers, and then had computers and data processing recognized under federal copyright law.
    There are dozens of cases where men have penetrated women – with their own penis or with an object – only as a result of obtaining consent by misrepresentation; e.g., a man who impersonates a doctor, and inserts something supposedly for a medical purpose.
    This can occur even if the woman is not aware of the violation at the time – e.g., medical students who were permitted to practice gynecological exams digitally and with instruments on women undergoing operations – and suffers no adverse physical consequences.
    The same principle has also been applied in rape cases. For example, a perpetrator known as the “Fantasy Man” was convicted of felony rape when he got women in Nashville to permit him to have sex – including stimulating foreplay – with him by pretending to be their boyfriend.
    Similarly, a Palestinian man who obtained consent from a woman to penetrate her only by falsely claiming that he was Jewish was found guilty of rape by deception.
    Although the law in the new era of cyber sex and possibly therefore cyber sex crimes is in its infancy, there has already been one civil law suit where a woman found that her responses to the different vibratory sequences on her cyber dildo, as well as her email address, were being transmitted to a third party.
    Although the defendant was the device’s manufacturer, the same principle would seemingly apply if a hacker intercepted the same information. Indeed, the liability would seem to be even clearer since the hacker, unlike the product’s maker, can advance no possible justification for acquiring the information.
    Furthermore, if a man can be guilty of rape for inserting an object where the woman was tricked into believing him to be a doctor or her lover, shouldn’t the same principle apply if she agrees to have the sexually stimulating vibrations from the object drive her to orgasm – a very intimate activity for which she would grant consent only to her husband or lover, and not to an unknown hacker.
    As the Israeli court said in upholding a verdict of rape even though the woman had consented to have sex, but only with Jewish men: “The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls. When the very basis of trust between human beings drops, especially when the matters at hand are so intimate, sensitive and fateful, the court is required to stand firmly at the side of the victims – actual and potential – to protect their well being. Otherwise, they will be used, manipulated and misled, while paying only a tolerable and symbolic price.”

    Doesn’t the same principle also apply here?

    PUBLIC INTEREST LAW PROFESSOR JOHN BANZHAF

  • Sherrie R. September 20, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Just when we thought we’d heard everything! Who would think this could possibly be private? Just from the description of the app, a reasonable person would realize there would be considerable data gathering & storing, which requires being sent through a server somewhere.

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