‘Revenge Porn’ Scandal At Canadian University Has The Nation Looking On In Horror (DETAILS)

According to a recent press release, the University of Moncton is currently “working non-stop” in an attempt to block ‘revenge porn’ emails containing explicit photos of a female student that have been circulated amongst staff members and students of the university.

As of early Saturday morning, thousands of students and staff had been sent the explicit images and videos of the student, through nine separate emails.

What is being viewed as a “veiled threat” at the university, at least one of the emails also contained the message:

“This is just a warning for the “university” of Moncton because I’m coming back to play with you guys, see you around!”

In a recent press conference, university President Raymond Theberge claimed that the administration was doing their best to combat the onslaught:

“Teams in our IT department have been working non-stop, keeping watch in order the intercept the messages coming from this individual.”

Theberge went on to state that despite their attempts, they are still having a difficult time blocking the emails and preventing their further spread. He identified that:

“The messages are difficult to block because the perpetrator uses several identities.”

The school has refused to discuss how the messages are being intercepted, hoping not to open the victim and school up to more attacks. They are classifying the emails as “cyberterrorism” and therefore the school has also decided not to shut down their internet servers, believing that doing so would be allowing the perpetrator to prevail. They have, however, identified that a 24-hour help line would be set up to assist students with the associated trauma.

Following the email release and the acknowledgement that the university will not shut down its servers, protests erupted across campus.

The President of the Moncton University Student Union believes that the school is mostly looking out for their own interest, rather than the interest of the victim:

“We received a ninth email last night- I don’t believe they are on top of this! The email from last night has explicit photos again, so we are talking about the students dignity versus the university’s ego.”

Bill C-13, known more commonly as the cyber bullying act, was put into place for instances such as this. While the bill was initially geared toward protecting children and minors from online bullying, as well as sexting of nude photos, it also protects adults as well. “Revenge porn” is classified as the distribution of sexually explicit photos or videos onto the internet, without the consent of the subject. People found to be distributing revenge porn can now face up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5 000.

Revenge pornography can often result in lifelong physiological issues, as well as social reclusion and damaged relationships. Knowing this makes us question why the University of Moncton isn’t taking more steps towards ensuring photos of the female student are not further circulated.

Earlier in the week it was confirmed by the RCMP that they are investigating the situation and that the victim has asked them to press charges. The university has also brought in several independent firms to track down the source of the threatening emails.

According to Sergeant Andre Pepin, however, no arrests have been made. And while the RCMP has successfully identified the IP address of the sender as originating from Europe, determining who was on that computer at the time they were sent remains a very real problem in confirming guilt.

This incident at the University of Moncton is certainly not the first of its kind. University and college campuses across the country and the world often act as the site for crimes of this nature. The increased level of reliance of educational institutions on the internet inevitably means that we live in an era where similar acts of “cyberterrorism” will flourish, therefore identifying the most appropriate response to these situations becomes crucial.

Watch the National and CBC Atlantic’s news coverage of the story below:

Feature Image via YouTube.

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