Victoria Becomes 1st Australian State to Outlaw Revenge Porn

Dec 12, 2013 12:45 PM PST

VICTORIA, Australia —The south eastern Australian state of Victoria has modified existing sexting legislation to outlaw "revenge porn," making it the first on the continent-down-under to criminalize the new form of cyber harassment.

The forthcoming law will make it an offense to take part in “non-consensual sexting;” i.e., deliberately sending explicit pictures of someone that isn’t yourself. Penalties for those who break the new law have not been finalized.

Caveats have been added to protect minors sending out nude photos to one another from being hit with child pornography charges.

“As the law stands, children can be charged with creating child pornography if they sext, which I don’t think anyone anticipated when the child pornography laws were drafted,” Coalition MP Clem Newton-Brown told The Guardian. “The real harm is done when images are sent to third parties.”

Victoria’s push comes on the heels of the news that Kevin Bollaert, the alleged owner and operator of revenge porn site, was recently arrested in California and charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion. He now faces possible jail time and fines.

Anti-revenge porn fervor has been spreading across the U.S. and abroad: New Jersey and California have respectively criminalized it and similar legislation is now being drafted in New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Maryland and elsewhere.

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