Illinois Senate votes to outlaw revenge porn

SPRINGFIELD — Posting sexually explicit pictures of intimate friends or ex-lovers on the web would become illegal in Illinois under legislation the Senate passed Thursday.

Sponsoring Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Orland Hills, said the practice, known as revenge porn, represents “cyberbullying at its max.”

Under the proposal, it would be a felony to post nude and sexually explicit pictures of another person without his or her permission. The bill also would make it a crime to require a fee to get pictures removed from a web site. The maximum penalty would be up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, though judges would have discretion to impose lesser punishment.

Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, will sponsor Hastings’ measure in the House, but has his own version and expects to meld the two together.

“Legislation like this is needed in Illinois,” said Drury, who noted similar bills have passed in California and New Jersey. “It’s needed everywhere and on a federal level. I think this is a big problem. It ruins people’s lives. So we need to do something to help.”

The move attempts to update statutes to address technological changes as social media advances on the Internet.

The Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has argued the bill would limit the First Amendment right to free speech, but Hastings said not all speech is protected in the U.S. Constitution.

“Anything that’s obscene in nature isn’t protected,” Hastings said. “I think that non-consensual explicit pictures posted online is obscene, and it won’t hold the same judicial standard as regular free speech would.”

The bill passed the Senate 52-0.

Illinois Senate votes to outlaw revenge porn – Chicago Tribune,0,6509340.story
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