Among the coming changes: a requirement that all Marines sign a statement acknowledging they have read and understand the new guidelines. The adjustments are designed to give leaders more leeway in prosecuting or punishing offenders. Former and current female Marines have reported their photographs and those of women in other services being posted on social media pages without their consent. Investigators are also looking into threatening and obscene comments Marines wrote accompanying the images. The new policy makes it clear how existing rules and the Uniform Code of Military Justice can be used to prosecute offensive, indecent or disrespectful online activities. But it creates no new laws, underscoring the legal quagmire posed by the internet and the constraints on military leaders posed by privacy laws and the First Amendment right of free speech.
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Marines issue new social media policy amid nude photo scandal
A female Marine demonstrates her capabilities in Marine Corps martial arts, non-lethal weapons, foreign weapons handling and combat lifesaving to Romanian and U. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. But it was not immediately clear whether the identified servicemembers were directly involved in sharing nude photos of female Marines or making derogatory comments on the page. Marines Commandant Gen. Robert Neller recently told the Senate that the service believed members of the website accessed a connected Google drive that contained the images. An official close to the investigation confirmed the figures but said it appeared the servicemembers, which also included 15 sailors, were identified using about pages of Marines United screenshots turned over by journalist Thomas Brennan, the founder of the nonprofit War Horse website who uncovered the scandal, and not through analysis of the hard drive. The identification of names did not mean those individuals were involved in wrongdoing or criminal activity, said the official, who asked for anonymity because he was not cleared to speak publicly about the investigation.
Marines' Nude Photo-Sharing Scandal Presents Investigators With Grueling Task
The statute details three conditions that will be considered a violation of Navy regulations, including if images are broadcast or transmitted: "with the intent to realize personal gain; with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person; or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced," the regs read. The new regs, which were signed off by Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, go into effect immediately. It is characterized as interim until the next edition of Navy regulations is printed. The changes were made public Tuesday in an all-Navy message, a move that some experts think will be hard-pressed to defend in court. Changing Navy regulations is a bit of an end-around for making changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which would require an act of Congress.
On the walls are white boards with statistics, crime lists and a montage of social media messages directed to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The objective of this disturbing sleuth work: Rooting out the extent of a nude photo-sharing scandal that has rocked the Corps, embarrassed its leaders and spread to other military services. And the sheer scope of the job is daunting.