California Outlaws Revenge Porn
Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill making it a misdemeanor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 2, 2013 8:41 AM CDT
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference at the Bay Area Council, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2013, in San Francisco, Calif.   (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

(Newser) – California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill outlawing so-called revenge porn and levying possible jail time for people who post naked photos of their exes. Senate Bill 255, which takes effect immediately, makes it a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation. The penalty is up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Before the criminal law was enacted, California allowed victims to sue their virtual assailants, but that is an expensive and time-consuming option. The American Civil Liberties Union had opposed the bill, arguing it might restrict free speech rights, which has been a concern in other states as well. Florida lawmakers rejected a similar bill this year after constitutional free speech concerns surfaced there. Last year, the Missouri Supreme Court cited concerns about free speech in striking down part of a 2008 law enacted after a teenager who was teased online committed suicide.
 

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