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Lawmaker Wants 'Revenge Porn' Outlawed

State senator to draft legislation, says illegal use of nude images and 'selfies' must be stopped.

End Revenge Porn Facebook
End Revenge Porn Facebook

State Sen. Phil Boyle, R-Bay Shore, is readying legislation to outlaw "revenge porn," and is primed for battle with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Revenge porn is the Internet posting of nude and sexual explicit photos and videos with the intention to cause public humiliation and emotional harm and is typically accompanied with personal information.

In a statement released Thursday, Boyle noted several incidents nationwide. One involved a Florida woman’s ex-boyfriend putting her nude photos on 200 websites along with her phone number and address. In Texas, an 18-year old’s ex-fiancé posted her nude photos on a website and the action led to her being stalked and having to quit her job.

While Boyle could not provide any specific numbers regarding revenge porn incidents in his district, he told Patch in a phone interview Friday he believes it’s happening more often and that he is certain women, as well as some men, on Long Island have had to deal with such incidents.

“I have no doubt there are victims and there’ll be more victims given the increasing use of social media. I think New York should be at the forefront of getting such legislation in place,” he told Patch.

His proposed bill would make revenge porn activity a class A misdemeanor with a potential one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.

California is actually at the forefront in passing such legislation, with Governor Jerry Brown signing the first-ever revenge porn bill in the nation on Wednesday. California’s law stipulates a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

The legislation did not get approved without objection as civil liberties groups voiced opposition, according to Imperial Beach Patch. A revenge porn bill in Florida has been pulled from rule making process due to opposition, noted Boyle, and New Jersey is working on similar law making.

Boyle expects much greater opposition and a fierce battle with New York civil liberties groups but expects to be victorious.

“I think it’s a constitutional bill and the damage caused by revenge porn activities outweighs any privacy concerns,” he said.

“I expect a bigger fight [than what California Senator Anthony Cannella faced] but I will fight hard to get this into law,” he said.

A call to the New York Civil Liberties Union was not immediately returned.

Boyle’s law is a bit more expansive than California’s bill as it includes the use of ‘selfie’ images that are taken by a person and then distributed with malicious intent by another party.

“I think a great majority, about 80%, of the images distributed as revenge porn are the selfie pictures people take and share with someone so the law would include those images,” he explained.

Boyle told Patch states need to enact revenge porn bills even though he does believe it's a federal issue given it involves the Internet and something Congress should be handling.

"Congress obviously has other things on their agenda right now," he said.

Arnold October 05, 2013 at 10:01 AM
It's only the misguided libertarians who will object to this and try to wrap their objections in the First Amendment. How many more teenagers and young adults must die due to bullying/humiliation-induced suicides that are rooted in public humiliation??? Remember, the First Amendment doesn't protect the right to prank-cry "Fire!!!" in a crowded theater, so why should it extend to intentional violations of a person's privacy and dignity? Hear that word- DIGNITY? I commend Sen. Boyle for undertaking this potentially unpopular stance, but at the same time we should use this to examine just what our actions are doing and the consequences.
Eddy October 05, 2013 at 12:10 PM
This one seems pretty obvious to me. Anyone opposing it should be considered a deviant themselves.
Robert Thomas Drake October 06, 2013 at 04:42 AM
To me anyone that would post nude pictures or negative comments about someone that were false to intentionaly hurt or embarass someone should be illegal.
Jerry Butler October 07, 2013 at 04:59 AM
I agree this should be agains the law.
Common Sense October 07, 2013 at 09:02 PM
If a woman is "dumb" enough to send her "boyfriend" pictures of herself then they are the property of the "boyfriend", that is the pictures!!!!
Common Sense October 07, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Actions especially stupid actions have consequences!!!
Common Sense October 07, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Don't send pictures of yourself or you will pay the price!!!

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