January 29, 2014 4:51 pm

The Chicago Tribune: Revenge porn ban introduced in Springfield

Illinois State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Orland Park) has introduced legislation to criminalize revenge postings of nude or sexually explicit photos and videos on the internet. Calling such posts harassment and cyber bullying, Hastings’ bill would make it a felony to post these types of pictures, taken during private relationships, on the internet without permission. Hastings maintains that current Illinois statutes fail to offer protections against former partners sharing pictures out of revenge.  Similar bills are being considered in 13 other states and have already been enacted in New Jersey and California. However, the ACLU has long urged caution whenever issues of free speech and censorship are raised.  In a statement commenting on Senator Hastings’ bill, Ed Yohnka, ACLU of Illinois Communications Director, maintained that:

“We recognize that embarrassment, shame and damage to one’s reputation can result from the non-consensual publication of intimate photos and videos.   While this measure seeks to criminalize this conduct, Illinois civil law already provides a remedy, including the removal of the offending image. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois hopes that legislators will examine these civil remedies before adopting criminal penalties.”

Read the Chicago Tribune article.