Arizona lawmakers are trying to bring back the revenge porn law.
The Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed HB2001 last week. This bill would make it a crime to share “revenge porn” without the person’s permission. The previous revenge porn law was suspended when the court ruled that the verbiage of the law was overly broad. This new version has been tailored to better address the problematic behavior. If this bill becomes a law, it will be
[U]nlawful for a person to intentionally disclose an image of another person who is identifiable from the image itself or from information displayed in connection with the image if all the following apply:
1. The person in the image is depicted in a state of nudity or is engaged in specific sexual activities.
2. The depicted person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Evidence that a person has sent an image to another person using an electronic device does not, on its own, remove the person’s reasonable expectation of privacy for that image.
3. The image is disclosed with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the depicted person.
If this law passes, it will illegal to post your ex-partner’s naked selfie online or show it to a friend, even if your partner voluntarily shared the image with you. The requirement of intent is beneficial; it will protect artists, galleries, and bookstores from criminal prosecution if they inadvertently use a nude image without a model release.
If this law passes, the penalties will be similar to other sexual crimes:
- Images disclosed through electronic means (meaning delivered to an email address, mobile device, tablet, other electronic device, or disclosed on a website) = Class 4 Felony – minimum 1.5 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
- Images disclosed through other means = Class 5 Felony – minimum 9 months in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
- Threatening to disclose revenge porn without making the disclosure = Class 1 Misdemeanor – up to 6 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
I hope this law passes. Based on the number of questions I get about revenge porn, this is a problem that is not going away on its own. If it passes, I hope there will be campaigns to quickly educate people – in every age group. If you have a cell phone, you have the means to create explicit images and send revenge porn. Comprehensive, age-appropriate education needs to be disseminated in homes, schools, community groups, and via social media, because ignorance of the law will not absolve you from the consequences.
Stay educated about social media law – this list of revenge porn laws in the U.S. is regularly updated. If you have a question about revenge porn, internet law, or photography rights, please contact me directly or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn.