Perpetrators of "revenge porn" – the recording or sharing of an "intimate image" without the subject of the photo's consent – could be jailed for up to three years under new laws proposed in New South Wales.
The Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017, to be introduced to NSW parliament next week, would make it an offence punishable by up to three years in jail and a $11,000 fine to intentionally record or distribute an intimate image of a person without their consent.
“This activity is a form of abuse that can cause significant distress to victims," NSW attorney general Mark Speakman said on Sunday.
"This bill will empower victims and provide them with the legal right to ensure that perpetrators can no longer get away with such disgraceful behaviour.
"Behaviour between consenting parties will not be criminalised. Instead, victims will be enabled to take a stand against privacy abuse."
Under the bill, intimate images would include photos and videos of a person’s private parts or of a person engaged in a private act in circumstances where a reasonable person would expect to be afforded privacy.
If an offender fails to take reasonable action to "take down" the material, they could face an additional two-year jail sentence and a $5,500 fine.
The NSW bill comes as the Turnbull government is considering new powers for the eSafety Commissioner to investigate complaints and impose civil penalties.
State and territory governments agreed to a national framework for working on new criminal penalties for the sharing of revenge porn on Friday.
"By also penalising perpetrators and the sites which host this content, we are sending a strong message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated," minister for women Michaelia Cash said in a statement on Saturday.
Complaints about revenge porn to the eSafety Commissioner have risen from 24 in 2015/16 to 335 in the last nine months.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at email@example.com.
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