The United Kingdom is poised to pass the first national law that will ban revenge porn or posting nude pictures of a person without their consent.
In a statement, 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.”
Depending on the circumstances, the distribution of nude pictures without the consent of the subject also violates other British laws, such as the Communications Act of 2003, added Grayling.
The UK government plans to add rules on revenge porn to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. If the amendment goes through, it could become law within weeks.
In addition to covering websites, the new law also includes pictures shared via text message, e-mail or even on paper, with offenders spending up to two years in jail.
While the UK government can easily pass a law prohibiting revenge porn across all internet service providers and social networks, US legislators are having a more difficult time.
California passed a law specifically aimed at revenge porn in October. Other states have since followed suit.
To date, 15 US states have laws that allow for prosecution of revenge porn. This is a significant improvement from the three states that had such laws in 2012.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union noted a First Amendment problem with some of the laws. In fact, it has filed a suit challenging Arizona’s version, which it claims is too broad and might harm legitimate publishers and bookstores.