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‘Revenge Porn’ Is Now Officially Banned in California

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‘Revenge Porn’ Is Now Officially Banned in California
[ Technology]

With a stroke of Governor Jerry Brown’s pen, California has become the latest state to criminalize so-called “revenge porn.”

We’ve been tracking the bill, SB 255, as it moved through the state’s legislature – passing committee back in June and finally passing the assembly unanimously last month. The law makes it illegal to “electronically distribute nude images of another person with the intent to cause serious emotional distress.”

Here’s the actual text of the new law:

…[A]ny person who photographs or records by any means the image of another, identifiable person without with his or her consent who is in a state of full or partial undress in any area in which the person being photographed or recorded has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and subsequently distributes the image taken, where the distribution of the image would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the other person suffers serious emotional distress would constitute disorderly conduct subject to that same punishment.

When the law refers to the “same punishment,” it means the penalty for those who use a concealed camera to take compromising photos of others without their consent. In fact, this new anti-revenge porn provision was build into section 653.2 of the code, which houses California’s “Peeping Tom” laws.

“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,” says Cannella. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.”

The bill contained an “urgency clause,” so it went into effect the moment Gov. Brown signed it. Now, posting revenge porn images of an ex online could net an offender six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine on their first offense.

California follows in New Jersey’s footsteps, who also has anti-revenge porn laws on the books.

Image via Thinkstock

‘Revenge Porn’ Is Now Officially Banned in California
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  • http://www.frogdice.com Michael Hartman

    Typo? =>

    “without with”

    Which is it? :)

  • Rabblerouser

    From the sounds of the wording, it sounds like if a guy was sent a picture by a girl in.. “mid-flagrante” with a new boyfriend just to make him jealous and he sent her dad the pic (don’t shoot me, I read that elsewhere)…

    … the wording of the law seems to hint that this isn’t covered because the girl would have consentually shared said picture. She alone is responsible for releasing the picture into the public.

    • Layne L.

      I agree with you. The revenge porn ban fails to cover 99% of revenge porn cases because very of them involve a person “photographing another person”. Most of the time, it goes more like this:

      -Girl takes pictures of herself naked and sends them to her boyfriend’s phone.
      -Girl either cheats on boyfriend or dumps him.
      -Boyfriend gets furious and wants to get even.
      -Boyfriend sends girl’s nudes to all his friends or uploads them to the Internet.

      Since the girl took the pictures herself, this law does not cover her and no legal action can be taken against her boyfriend.

      Another example: Hunter Moore, a California resident and the creator of the now-defunct revenge porn site “Is Anyone Up?” recieved every picture he posted from somebody else, typically the “angry boyfriend” in the above scenario. He even continues to post revenge porn today. And how many times has he been persecuted for revenge porn? Zero. Why? Because he does not take the photos. He only distributes them, which, in my opinion, makes him just as much of a criminal as the people who send them to him.

      The government needs to realize this and revise the revenge porn ban so that more of the people who commit these disgusting acts can get what they deserve.

      • Layne L.

        *very FEW of them