The Law Commission recommends that it is a crime to share “sloppy” images and nude photos or videos without consent.
It said the recommendations would bring intimate image abuse legislation into the smartphone age, adding that the “patchwork” of criminal offenses had failed to keep up with technology and failed to protect victims. while the perpetrator evades justice.
The Commission is proposing to create a basic crime, with a maximum prison term of six months, including all acts of knowingly taking or sharing sexually explicit, nude or intimate photos or videos without permission. agreement.
This will apply regardless of the perpetrator’s motives, as the conduct is “wrong and harmful enough to warrant criminal prosecution”.
The commission also recommends other offenses – where images are taken or shared for sexual gratification, to cause humiliation, alarm or distress, or when the perpetrator threatens the victim – with prison sentences. two to three years heavier.
This “classification” approach is not intended to reflect the harm caused to the victim, but rather the higher level of crime when the perpetrator acts with a specific purpose, the organization said.
Installing equipment such as hidden cameras in Airbnb properties or restrooms to take photos or videos of someone without their consent is also subject to criminal action, with maximum penalties consistent with the following: classified proposals.
The new charges will apply to victims and perpetrators of all ages and cover photos of nudity, partial nudity, sexual act or defecation.
These include images of a woman’s upper body, known as montages, poignantly erotic photographs, and images where someone’s clothing has been removed by technique. digitally, making them appear nude, including existing criminal offenses such as Advanced and satisfied.
But that would exclude cases where the circumstances and nature of the behavior “wasn’t wrong or morally harmful,” such as a family member proudly sharing nude or partially nude photos of themselves. a newborn baby on social networks.
Lifetime anonymity for victims
All victims of the new crimes will be eligible for lifelong anonymity and special remedies in the case of a trial, such as being able to give evidence behind the screen or record evidence. before.
Professor Penney Lewis, commissioner of criminal law, said: “Current laws about taking or sharing sexually explicit or nude images of someone without their consent are inconsistent. consistent, is based on a narrow set of motivations and doesn’t go far enough to cover the disruptive and abusive new behaviors that were born in the smartphone age.
“Our new government reforms will broaden the scope of criminal law to ensure that no perpetrators of these deeply damaging acts can evade prosecution and victims are protected. effective protection.”
Emily Hunt, an independent campaigner and adviser at the Department of Justice (MoJ), said the reforms around anonymity were “important” because they would ensure better protections for victims. and encourage more people to reach out and report crime.
A government spokesman said: “Nearly 1,000 abusers have been convicted since we outlawed ‘revenge porn’.
“With the Online Safety Bill, we will force internet companies to better protect people from a wide range of image-based abuses – including deep-rooted scams.
“But we asked the Commission to find out if the law could be further strengthened to keep the public safer.
“We will carefully review its recommendations and respond on time.”