Measure in Illinois would make posting explicit pics online without subject’s permission a felony

“Under the measure, it would become a felony to post nude and sexually explicit pictures of another person without his or her permission. The bill also would make it a crime to require a fee to get pictures removed from a website. The maximum penalty would be up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, though judges would have discretion to impose lesser punishments.”

Revenge porn ban introduced in Springfield, Illinois

image from the Chicago Tribune

image from the Chicago Tribune

Illinois soon may take on one of the more malicious uses of the Web: Revenge porn.

The idea is to curb the major embarrassment people suffer when their scorned ex-boyfriends or girlfriends post raunchy photos and videos of their former partners as a way to get back at them.

A new proposal filed at the Capitol would make it illegal for people to take to the Internet with such content without consent. Sponsoring Sen. Michael Hastings likened the posting of such pictures after bad breakups to “harassment and the worst type of cyberbullying.”

The legislation is needed because Illinois statutes fail to protect people who posed for racy pictures and videos while in a private relationship, only to have their “trust broken,” said Hastings, D-Orland Hills.

Under the measure, it would become a felony to post nude and sexually explicit pictures of another person without his or her permission. The bill also would make it a crime to require a fee to get pictures removed from a website. The maximum penalty would be up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, though judges would have discretion to impose lesser punishments.

New Jersey and California have enacted laws to make revenge porn a criminal offense. Bills are pending in 13 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Elsewhere, opponents of such legislation have argued that it would infringe on the right of free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says the state’s civil laws should be considered for changes before such activities are made a crime, spokesman Ed Yohnka said.

mzurick@tribune.com

This article by Maura Zurick was originally published by the Chicago Tribune on January 29th, 2014.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-29/news/ct-illinois-revenge-porn-ban-talk-0129-20140129_1_revenge-such-content-permission