Arizona "Revenge Porn" Bill Moves Forward

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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By Kelvinsong via Wikimedia Commons


The Arizona House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would make it a felony to share someone else's nude pictures without his or her permission.

Although the lawmakers on the panel were generally supportive of the concept of House Bill 2515, there were a lot of concerns, like who exactly would be charged with a crime for sharing such images.

See also:
-Arizona Lawmakers Look to Criminalize "Revenge Porn"

Democratic Representative Martin Quezada said the bill doesn't appear to protect people who weren't the first to share the images. Representative Lupe Contreras, also a Democrat, wondered if this would result in a bunch of kids ending up with felonies on their records.

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J.D. Mesnard
The sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative J.D. Mesnard, admitted those might be issues but said he's open to clarifying these concerns in the legislation.

Before this hearing, U of A law professor Derek Bambauer told New Times the bill is "almost certainly unconstitutional" on First Amendment grounds.

An example Bambauer provided was if a newspaper published picture of Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton in a sex act, which would be a matter of public concern and protected by the First Amendment.

Mesnard acknowledged First Amendment concerns, and reiterated that he really has no problem with the wording of the legislation being changed.

"I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment; I don't think this is what our founding fathers had in mind when they put the First Amendment together -- obviously they didn't conceive of smartphones, among many other things," Mesnard said. "That being said, I'm happy to work with whomever it is, to address whatever concerns, to make sure this is criminalizing those who are the perpetrators -- those who are the bad guys that we want to stop."

Republican Representative Eddie Farnsworth suggested some fault lies with those who send out naked pictures of themselves, saying, "You can't absolve somebody of complete stupidity."

Mesnard countered, "I am not willing to judge what two people do in the context of a trusting relationship."

Despite some sort of objection from about half the committee, they all voted in favor of its passage.

Under the current language of the bill, sharing private nude photos without someone's written permission would be a class-five felony, and if the person in the photo is recognizable, it would be bumped up to a class-four felony.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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15 comments
downtownbrown
downtownbrown

This is an absurd reach by the legislators.  Next they will make it illegal to break up with your GF because her feelings were hurt.  Don't want your cootchie out there in cyberspace?  Don't let nekkid pics get taken!!!

zengphoo
zengphoo

You have got to be kidding me that is the most ABSURD thing I have EVER heard.


www.Anon-Works.com

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

Anyone dumb enough to pose nude for anyone expecting them to honor your privacy is a idiot and if they experience bad karma, exposure I doubt I will lose any sleep over their misery and embarrassment!;-)

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Note that this is talking about photos that were taken with the person's permission, since taking nude photos of somebody without their permission is already a felony, whether you share them or not.


shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"
Under the current language of the bill, sharing private nude photos without someone's written permission would be a class-five felony, and if the person in the photo is recognizable, it would be bumped up to a class-four felony."


What if the person is recognizable, but is incredibly ugly.............like say a nude picture of Jan Brewer? 

Wouldn't the immediate blindness caused by viewing this picture be considered punishment enough?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative  " taking nude photos of somebody without their permission is already a felony, whether you share them or not."


So some tweaker is running nude down the middle of the street, and witnesses or news reporters who snap a photo of them are guilty of a FELONY, whether they share said PUBLIC DISPLAY of nudity or not?


Do tell.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative 

Of course not.

Do you really need me to specify that we're talking about photos taken in private?  Do you think that you've somehow made me, rather than yourself, look foolish?  Think again.

 

The sorts of cases that would be covered by the bill under discussion would be felonies if the subject wasn't aware that they were being taken.

 

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