House bill seeks to curb distribution of ‘revenge porn’

Lawmakers in the General Assembly are working on a bill targeting the distribution of so-called “revenge porn.”

House Bill 792 would make it a felony to “disclose certain images in which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

The bill defines an “image” as a photograph, film, videotape or recording of a person’s “intimate parts” or any sort of “sexual act.” It prohibits the “transferring, publishing, distributing or reproducing” of those images without the other person’s consent.

“Some couple may have taken some video or taken some pictures that were expected to be kept confidential,” bill sponsor Rep. Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg, said, “but if they end up on the Internet to get back at someone, I think that’s not right.”

Bryan pointed to national examples of revenge porn being an concern for some.

“There have been some cases in California where there have been some folks concerned about former boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives that have decided — as a way to get back at their ex — to post things online,” Bryan explained.

The crime would be considered a Class H felony, and the victim would have cause to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages no less than $10,000 or up to $1,000 per day for each day the image was online.

House lawmakers say they are still working out the level of responsibility that would fall on websites where people would see the images in question.

If approved, the bill would become law in December.

Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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