'Revenge porn' ban is debated in California

Senate Bill 255 would make it illegal to publish images of another in full or partial states of nudity

California is debating implementing a law to ban so-called 'revenge porn' being posted online.

The state assembly bill - Senate Bill 255 - currently being considered would make it illegal to upload pictures onto the Internet of anyone partially or fully undressed, even if the person in the image originally consented to it being there.

Websites such as Is Anyone Up allowed site visitors to upload pictures of others, often of ex-partners, or people who have participated in 'sexting' and sent nude or sensitive pictures of themselves to another.

The trend in uploading private images and videos is increasing rapidly as more people use smart phones, ipads and other internet devices.

At it's peak, Hunter Moore's website received 300,000 hits a day. The website has since been closed down and the domain name is now owned by an anti- bulling organisation.

SnapChat, an app allowing users to send photos to others that self destruct after a few seconds, has also proved controversial as some users have screen-grabbed photos, allowing them to save the image.

If the law is introduced, those who publish pictures of a person with "reasonable expectation of privacy" could expect a six month jail sentence or a $1,000 fine (£645), or both.

“Right now law enforcement has no tools to combat revenge porn or cyber-revenge,” Senator Anthony Cannella who proposed the bill told the Huffington Post. “Unfortunately it is a growing trend and there are a lot of victims out there, a lot more than I ever imagined. It's destroying people's lives.”

The bill also states that anyone who suffers "serious emotional distress" as a result of having their image circulated would constitute "disorderly conduct" making the perpetrator "subject to that same punishment".

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