As tremendous as this shift in human communication patterns has been, it has also presented some truly troubling developments. To illustrate, consider the phenomenon known as “revenge porn,” which involves individuals sharing sexually explicit images of another person online without their consent.
How big of a problem is this?
This is a far bigger problem than people might imagine. According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, the number of websites publishing this sort of explicit material has increased dramatically in recent years. Indeed, men have been identified as the biggest offenders, submitting images of women without their consent close to 50 percent of the time.
Has anything been done by lawmakers?
Prior to 2013, only three states had laws on the books criminalizing the nonconsensual dissemination of sexually explicit images. However, this number has since grown to 38 and may soon include New York.
What are state lawmakers doing?
Earlier this week, the New York Senate unanimously passed a bill making it a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000, to share sexually explicit content depicting another person without their consent, and regardless of how the material was captured.
Wasn’t there already a law on this?
The state’s current distribution of unlawful surveillance law applies only to the dissemination of sexually explicit imagery taken and distributed without the consent of the subject. The new law builds on this by covering imagery taken consensually in a private relationship.
What are the odds of this passing?
The New York State Assembly’s version of the bill is still in committee. However, the session doesn’t end until June 21, meaning there’s still a good chance that it will pass.
Stay tuned for updates …
If you have been charged or are under investigation for any manner of sex crime, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can protect your freedom, your future and your reputation as soon as possible.