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In the News: ‘Revenge Porn’ Bill to Be Introduced in Congress in September

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In the News: ‘Revenge Porn’ Bill to Be Introduced in Congress in September

September 3, 2015 by Parrish Law Firm, PLLC

As Congress prepares to return from recess next week, and the Ashley Madison leak is still making top headlines: All eyes in Washington are focused on the proposed bill that would make the non-consensual distribution of intimate photographs a Federal crime.

This proposed bill is sponsored by Representative Jackie Speier (D, California). It aims to ban ‘revenge porn’ for good. A number of states — Virginia is one — punish these offenses with criminal penalties. However, to date there is no federal law in tact that prevents these malicious actions. This lack of Federal law complicates matters for an individual or organization to remove the often humiliating content from the World Wide Web.

What is ‘revenge porn’ really?

In 2015, everyone who’s anyone has a camera in their pocket. And sometimes, in an intimate moment, one romantic partner trusts another to snap a potentially compromising photo; or one romantic partner takes a compromising photo and sends it to another via a text message. Revenge Porn is when that photo is published online without the subject’s permission (and sometimes accompanied by their name, workplace, address and contact information).

What does Representative Speier hope to do about it?

The much-anticipated bill from Representative Speier was originally planned for introduction on the House Floor earlier this summer, but was delayed by an effort to address concerns about unintended effects on legitimate speech online and accidental violators. To this end, Speier has ensured the public, and will present a bill that hangs on knowledge. To face punishment under the proposed law, it would need to be proven that the offenders knew the content was being shared online without consent.

The ‘revenge porn’ bill will be introduced to the House Floor on September 9.

Websites cannot currently be forced by state laws against revenge porn to remove content because Section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act grants Internet companies legal immunity if third-party content doesn’t violate federal copyright or criminal law. Speier’s ‘revenge porn’ bill would change all that.

Consequences for disseminating ‘revenge porn’ would include a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine. Website operators who solicit and promote this material would also be subject to criminal penalties.

The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Victim’s Rights Attorney works with Northern Virginia citizens who have suffered from a Breach in Security and are looking for fair compensation for their injuries. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.

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A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.

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