‘Revenge Porn’ Is Now Officially Banned in California

Josh WolfordTechnology

Share this Post

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

Comments

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf