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Revenge porn will soon be illegal in England and Wales

Attention vengeful exes, posting revenge porn is shortly to become an offence in England and Wales.  

People found guilty of posting explicit videos of people without consent, with the express intention of causing harm or humiliation, will soon face up to two years in prison. 

Back in October of last year, we reported that the British government was planning to take steps to criminalise anyone posting ‘revenge porn’ online and now, thanks to an amendment to The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, offenders will soon face up to two years in prison for ‘sharing’ personal material without their partner (or former partner’s) consent. 

Revenge porn, is defined by the Bill as “the electronic publication or distribution of sexually explicit material (principally images) of one or both of the couple, the material having originally been provided consensually for private use.” 

Posting revenge porn may have been considered an offence under either the Communications Act 2003 or the Malicious Communications Act 1988, but now it’s a specific crime. 

Former culture secretary Maria Miller welcomed the new legislation, telling BBC Radio 4: “When you speak to the victims of these crimes, many say that it feels as if you’ve been virtually raped. You can’t underestimate the impact of having an image distributed to many people around the world.”

The law follows the highly-publicised leak and distribution of nude celebrity pictures, following the hacking of Apple’s iCloud service.

There is also set to be an amendment to cover the physical sharing of images too, which will likely carry the same punishment.

The law will be passed in England and Wales in the near future, and both Scottish and Northern Irish governments are reportedly planning consultations of their own, to begin the process of passing similar legislation in the coming months.

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