An Update On Revenge Porn Laws Across The Country & Abroad

revenge porn laws update
Revenge Porn Has Gone Viral and Politicians Worldwide Are Eager To Make New Laws

Anti-Revenge porn laws have gone viral. Most states in the union have a bill in the draft-to-ratification pipeline. Even Japan and Canada are crafting and passing revenge porn laws.

Quickly, Refresh My Memory, What Is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn is the Internet law topic du jour. So, what is it? Basically, it describes the act of jilted ex-lovers posting intimate selfies of former paramours — without said paramours consent or knowledge.

In some instances, images or videos are used to humiliate or destroy professional reputations. In other instances, less stable – often dangerous — people use the threat of revenge porn to blackmail partners into continuing a bad relationship.

Is Revenge Porn Legal In The United States?

Last year, in response to the question: “Is revenge porn legal in the United States?” I would have said, “Yes.” But now, not so much. In just a few scant months, most states have, at the very least, begun drafting anti-revenge porn legislation. Some legislators –- like Arizona and California — have already passed bills criminalizing the act.

Go here to get a state-by-state rundown of revenge porn laws.

U.S. National Revenge Porn Law? A Prediction.

Prediction: Within two years, revenge porn will be illegal everywhere in the United States. Why commit? Bi-partisan support for revenge porn laws is unusually strong, and it provides politicians an easy way to “reach across the aisle.” Brass tacks, save for some arguably legitimate (albeit perhaps only theoretical) libertarian objections, revenge porn is an effective vehicle for politicians to garner support. And hey, why not. Anti-revenge-porn laws are a good thing, so long as they don’t inadvertently trample free speech rights.

Japan’s New Public Push For Revenge Porn Legislation

Last year, Japan’s National Police Agency reported approximately 300 cases involving explicit photos or videos of minors — a distressing 30 percent increase from 2012.

The significant increase in Japanese revenge porn cases has prompted legislators to draft a law criminalizing the act. The current political makeup of the Japanese Parliament, though, is not what one could call “copacetic,” and analysts predict it will take years to pass a bill that all parties can agree on. (Hmmmmmm, sound familiar?)

Junko Mihara, the current secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, was asked to comment on the seriousness of these incidents. He explained that revenge porn is nothing less than “… sexual violence and an offense that could very well haunt its victims for the rest of their lives.”

Canada Revenge

The public face of Canada’s C-13 Act, or Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, is cyberbullying. Speculation is that the new law could be amended to cover revenge porn, too.

Bill C-13 has several distinct components. Aside from provisions dealing with cyber-sexual assault, the bill contains troubling privacy elements. It allows, for example, the police to request information about any person from any company or Internet service provider — without warrants nor customer consent.

Advocates argue that C-13 is not the ideal way to combat cyber-bullying, but some think it’s the perfect revenge porn legal tool.

Speak With A Revenge Porn Lawyer

If you are dealing with a revenge porn situation and looking to take legal action, get in touch with Kelly / Warner Law.

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