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Harvey    [30363.   Posted 10-Oct-2014 Fri 06:37]
phantom [30358]

Re Avenging Revenge

CPS is just suggesting that so called revenge porn could be prosecuted with existing laws on the sending of malicious/offensive communications rather than either needing any new law or resorting to using or revamping the OPA. Quite apart from which, an image which is merely indecent wouldn`t fall within the scope of the OPA.

I think the point is that the CPS are saying that by using the Communications Act, it is the message which is the relevant factor and that the act of publishing a picture of a former partner can be threatening, humiliating and menacing to that person, whether or not the image itself would be construed as indecent or obscene.

I`m not so sure that the CPS is on the right track, though. The aim of the Communications Act is to protect people from receiving threatening or menacing letters, emails, etc. The point of revenge porn is that publishing an image without permission of the subject of that image, harms the subject of the image, rather than the recipient(s) of the message.

But.. we shouldn`t be looking at yet another new law based on whether an image is pornographic or not. For me, "revenge porn" is just a special case of breach of privacy. It happens to feature images which may be pornographic, but the harm done is in the making public of something which is personal and private, with intent to threaten or humiliate. At the moment all we can do is make a civil claim for damages, but that`s really only an option for those of us who are wealthy enough to go to court. We really need a new criminal offence to prosecute the malicious publication of private information/data/images.


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