Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ Aims to Ban Internet Blackmail Scheme [AUDIO]

Innocent people are sometimes arrested, but if their mugshots or rap sheets are posted on websites before charges are dropped or they are acquitted, it can ruin their reputations. Some shady website operators know this, and are actually charging arrested people not to post the embarrassing information.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

New legislation would make that practice illegal in the Garden State.

“Your mugshot and those things that go with the arrest are public record,” said Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union). “What these folks are doing at these websites is, they’re threatening to publish those. They literally solicit people that have been arrested, and demand payment for the opportunity not to publish — in other words, blackmail.”

A bill co-sponsored by Cryan and fellow Assembly members Angel Fuentes (D-Audubon) and Celeste Riley (D-Salem) would bar a person from charging a fee to stop publishing personal identifying information obtained through the criminal justice system.

“We live in a country where we hopefully believe in innocent until proven guilty; you can really hurt somebody via these websites with this kind of information out there,” Cryan said. “We live in a society where folks live on their smartphones, where information is instant, and here we are going to use information to literally blackmail people. I think it’s pretty frightening.”

It is legal for the public to access this information, but Cryan said it is clear that in some cases, the true intent for these unscrupulous website operators is to coerce people to pay to remove the information — in order to avoid embarrassment, negative job or social consequences, and other impacts.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.