Albany Lawmakers Announce ‘Revenge Porn’ Legislation

(Observer Illustration)
(Illustration: Ed Johnson)

Lawmakers in Albany today announced new legislation to criminalize so-called “revenge porn”–the non-consensual disclosure of explicit photography intended to be private.

Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, a Democrat from Queens, and State Senator Joseph Griffo, an Upstate Republican, announced the legislation this afternoon. The bill comes in the aftermath of California’s implementation of a first-in-the-nation law criminalizing “revenge porn” earlier this week.

“Disseminating sexual explicit images that were shared with an expectation of privacy can cause lasting damage to victims and should be a crime, Mr. Braunstein said in a statement. “Passage of this legislation would make it clear that New Yorkers will not allow this type of harassment to continue.”

Senator Griffo concurred, describing the growing practice as “exploitation.”

“This so-called phenomena of ‘cyber-revenge,’ is a tawdry form of exploitation. From what we know, the majority of its victims are women who don’t know that their images and likenesses has been bartered and sold over the internet,” he said. “New Jersey and California have laws addressing this problem, we’re advocating that New York should be the third.”

According to the announcement, the bill makes the non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a $30,000 fine.

The Observer‘s tech blog BetaBeat has extensively covered the issue.

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