Calif. 'Revenge Porn' Bill Sailing Through Legislature

Jul 2, 2013 2:30 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — Another California Senate panel has approved legislation that targets "revenge porn" websites.

On Monday, SB 255 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee, 6-0. Last month, the piece of legislation was affirmatively voted on, 7-0, in the state's Senate Public Safety Committee.

The bill now moves along to the full state Senate. Pending approval by the full Senate, the bill will be referred to the Assembly and go through a similar policy and fiscal review process.

Revenge porn is a recent phenomenon and online category where website operators post nude or erotic images of women or men without their consent. Some revenge porn sites include actual email addresses, cellphone numbers, links to Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn profiles, and residential addresses displayed for all to see.

SB 255, introduced by state Sen. Anthony Cannella, would amend Section 653.2 of  the Penal Code and make it a crime to "cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation" to others by distributing over the Internet nude images of them along with personal identifying information.

The measure would punish convicted operators with one-year jail sentences and imposing fines of $1,000.

The provisions of the bill, legislative analysts say, could result in increased court costs due to additional misdemeanor filings. But the fiscal impact is estimated to be minor —  $24,000 for every 50 new misdemeanors.

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