Government & Politics
9:21 am
Fri October 4, 2013

State Lawmaker Seeks to Outlaw 'Revenge Porn'

State lawmakers are already considering efforts to tamp down bullying online, but one Democrat wants to quash a very particular kind of harassment.

Sexually explicit photos or videos that are posted without the consent of the person they feature have become known as “revenge porn.”

It’s illegal in New Jersey and was just banned in California.

Sen. Judy Schwank of Berks County said she’s talked to people whose reputations, job opportunities and safety has been affected by material their ex-spouses or ex-lovers posted online.

"Trying to approach for example websites that host this kind of information is extremely difficult," Schwank said. "So it seems more appropriate to catch this at the level of making sure that the individual who does this kind of crime is penalized."

Schwank said current law is inadequate to address the practice.

In other states, the American Civil Liberties Union has voiced opposition to such measures, saying they infringe free speech.

Schwank said she hopes to work with the ACLU as well as the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association in drafting her proposal.