Brown signs ‘revenge porn’ ban

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Spurned lovers, take note: If you live in California, don’t try to redress your romantic grievances by posting naked photos of your ex online.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he had signed Senate Bill 255 by Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, that outlaws what’s commonly called “revenge porn” – maliciously posting graphic images or footage of someone “with the intent to cause serious emotional distress,” in the bill’s language.

Doing so now qualifies as a misdemeanor carrying penalties of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine, both of which would double for a second offense.

Cannella had argued for the bill by saying technology has outpaced the law. His legislation is intended to fill that enforcement gap.

“Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims,” Cannella said in a news release. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.”

But civil liberties advocates worried that the bill represented an overly vague attempt to restrict online activity. The American Civil Liberties Union ended up opposing the bill.

– Jeremy B. White



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