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Queens Chronicle

Revenge porn bill finally law

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2019 10:30 am

At times, we have to scratch our heads in amazement why certain proposed laws aren’t passed immediately. A prime example is the “Revenge Porn” bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov Cuomo. The legislation defines revenge porn as the criminal act of unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image when done with the intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person and when the image was taken with a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private.

This bill was first proposed by Bayside Assemblyman Ed Braunstein in 2014. Unfortunately, the Internet Association, a lobbying group that represents Google and other web companies, pressured the Republican-controlled state Senate to table the bill prior to the Democrats gaining control this session.

Also on Tuesday, the federal government announced the Justice Department will investigate Google, Facebook and other internet companies for antitrust practices. Separately, Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion fine yesterday for mishandling users’ personal information. The company also agreed to establish a special privacy committee accountable to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Clearly, self-policing in the internet age hasn’t worked and federal and state governments need to be more vigilant in protecting consumers.

New York is now the 42nd state to outlaw the publishing of sexually explicit images or pornographic videos of a person without his or her consent. The new law will make it a class A misdemeanor to disseminate revenge porn punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Additionally, New York will become the first state in the nation to allow victims to seek a court–ordered injunction to require websites to remove the offending image.

This will go a long way toward protecting victims. Punishing the offender is one step but the victim still suffers if the image remains on the internet. Congratulations to Assemblyman Braunstein for keeping up the fight for five years.

Welcome to the discussion.