Thursday, October 03, 2013

California now one of only two states that have outlawed revenge porn'

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 255 into law on Tuesday, and as such, "revenge porn" is now illegal in the state, a press release on the website of the bill's author, State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) said. The bill promises up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for people "convicted of illegally distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy."

"Revenge porn" begins when relationships end. As defined in the press release, "revenge porn" involves the posting of private photos, sometimes to multiple sites, without a subject's knowledge or consent. These are, of course, sexually explicit or nude images of the subject. Some sites even specialize in revenge porn photos and charge the subject hefty fees to remove them.

Cannella said:
I want to thank Governor Brown for recognizing that this bill was needed. Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims. Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.
Victims’ rights advocate Dr. Charlotte Laws, whose daughter was a victim of revenge porn, expressed gratitude to Cannella:
I want to thank Senator Cannella for his leadership in getting this bill signed into law. I am thrilled to see California taking a leadership role in protecting victims of revenge porn.
One group which opposed the bill may surprise you. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said that, although revenge porn needed addressing, the new law was not the way to go. Nate Cardozo, an EFF attorney said:
It (the law) also criminalizes the victimless instances. And that's a problem with the First Amendment. Whenever you try and criminalize speech, you have to do so in the most narrowly tailored way possible.
California is one of only two states that has criminalized revenge porn. The other is New Jersey.

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