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Revenge porn posters could face up to two years in prison

The UK Government wants to criminalise revenge porn – where people maliciously post nude photos or videos or current or former partners. 

The proposals include imposing prison sentences of up to two years for anyone found guilty of posting or sharing nude pictures or video – whether offline or online – with the intention of causing distress. 

Posting revenge porn may be considered an offence under either the Communications Act 2003 or the Malicious Communications Act 1988, but now ministers want to make it a specific offence.

Cannot unsee: Posting revenge porn could land you a two year stretch in chokey
Cannot unsee: Posting revenge porn could land you a two year stretch in chokey

Justice secretary Chris Grayling said: “The fact that there are individuals who are cruelly distributing intimate pictures of their former partners without their consent is almost beyond belief.

“We want those who fall victim to this type of disgusting behaviour to know that we are on their side and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice. That is why we will change the law and make it absolutely clear to those who act in this way that they could face prison.”

The new legislation will come into play if the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is updated to express the new online and offline rules as it passes through parliament this week. 

The new laws will also toughen up punishment for other sex-related crimes including ending the automatic half-way point release for criminals convicted of rape or attempted rape of a child and making, dissemination or possession of indecent photographs of children under the age of 18. 

Nicky Morgan, minister for women and equalities added: “It is right that those who do circulate these images are held to account, and that we educate young people to the hurt that can be caused by breaking this trust.” 

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

The rise in revenge porn has seen several states in the US as well as Brazil, Germany, Israel and the Australian state of Victoria criminalising the practice. If the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is passed, posting revenge porn will become a specific offence in England and Wales. 

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