Jones bill to stop ‘cyber revenge’ heading to the governor

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Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to criminalize “cyber revenge” in Michigan is on its way to the governor’s desk.

Cyber revenge, also known as revenge porn, is the posting of sexually explicit images on the Internet without the consent of an individual, but also includes images given through consent within the confines of a private relationship.

“Cyber revenge isn’t about art or speech or even sex — it’s about using the power of the Internet to destroy someone’s life,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “We live in a time of great technological advancements. Unfortunately, it only takes a second put a sexually explicit photo online without consent — for the purpose of intimidating or harassing the victim or to simply ruin their reputation.”

Jones partnered with Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, on the bipartisan legislation, which would make it illegal in Michigan to intentionally disseminate any sexually explicit visual material of another person without the consent of the individual.

Under Senate Bills 508 and 509, first-time offenders would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both. Subsequent violations could result in one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.

“Everyone deserves to have their privacy protected — especially in their own home,” Jones said. “With these bills, we are taking a stand on behalf of these victims that cyber revenge will not be tolerated in the state of Michigan and providing authorities with tools to help stop the crime and prosecute the oppressors.”

To learn more about cyber revenge, visit the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative website at www.endrevengeporn.org.

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