New Hot Topic in State Legislatures: Criminalizing “Revenge Porn”

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State lawmakers have a new offense in their cross-hairs: revenge porn, Politico reports. A bill being introduced today in Maryland is the latest effort to make it a crime to post an explicit picture of someone to the Internet without their consent. New Jersey put such a law on the books in 2004, with California following earlier this month. Similar measures have been introduced in Florida, Wisconsin, New York and Texas, says the National Conference of State Legislatures. Cyber Civil Rights Initiative board member Mary Anne Franks, a University of Miami law professor, said her group has been contacted by legislators in Delaware, Kansas and Alabama about working together to draft bill. In New Jersey, there have been scores of charges brought under the law, including a woman arrested for allegedly posting explicit photos of her ex this month. In the clamor for criminalizing “revenge porn,” more men and women are telling horror stories about former significant others who post private images online after breakups as a way to get back. Advocates say remedies are nearly impossible under existing law.

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