Revenge porn bill would impose $10,000 fine for posting private photos of "intimate parts"

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The Google Plus photo for the now-defunct Is Anybody Down? website.
In February 2013, we told you about Craig Brittan, the Colorado Springs man behind Is Anybody Down?, a website that published "involuntary" nude photos -- meaning intimate images typically intended to embarrass ex-lovers. The popular term for such web destinations? Revenge porn sites.

Brittan's address is now history, but the concept is alive and well -- and the subject of a new bill that would impose a $10,000 fine for posting private images depicting "intimate parts."

As we've reported, Brittain's site included scads of photos posted without the pictured individuals' permission plus a link to a service called Takedown Hammer, which offered to facilitate removal of said images for a mere $250. While Brittain tried to distance himself from the Hammer, it appears that he was on the receiving end of at least some, if not most or all, of these funds -- a way to make money from online victims as they were coming and going.

is.anybody.down.screen.capture.jpg
A screen capture from Is Anybody Down?
In interviews with CBS4's Brian Maass, Brittain initially claimed to be proud of the site -- but as the heat increased, he backed down. He eventually pulled Is Anybody Down? off the web and announced that he was going to become an investigator.

Nonetheless, the revenge porn phenomenon remains very much a going concern. As such, legislators around the country have introduced bills intended to strengthen penalties against it, including several in Colorado.

House Bill 14-1378 is co-sponsored by Representatives Amy Stephens and Dan Pabon; she's a Republican, he's a Democrat.

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Dan Pabon.
We've included the entire document below, but its summary notes that the measure "makes it a crime for a person eighteen years of age or older, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, to post, add to a post, or otherwise distribute through the use of social media any photograph, video, or other image containing the intimate parts of an identified or identifiable person eighteen years of age or older, without the depicted person's consent."

Such an action would be considered a class 1 misdemeanor -- a crime that includes a sentencing range of six-to-eighteen months in county jail.

But that's not all. Here's an excerpt from the body of the bill:

IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER SENTENCE THE COURT MAY IMPOSE, THE COURT SHALL FINE THE DEFENDANT TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS AND SHALL ORDER THE PERSON OR THE ENTITY WHERE THE PHOTOS ARE POSTED OR PUBLISHED TO REMOVE ALL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE VICTIM THAT SHOW THE VICTIM'S INTIMATE PARTS.
According to Pabon's office, the bill is tentatively scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee on April 24.

Look below to see a 2013 CBS4 report on revenge porn, followed by HB 14-1378.

House Bill 14-1378

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Tech archive circa May 2013: "Revenge porn's Craig Brittain drops involuntary nudes site to become...an investigator?"


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17 comments
dbdb
dbdb

How do you even enforce this? If I put my wife's boobs online with her permission becasue she's an exhibitionist or w/e, does she get to arrest me whenever she wants just on her word?

Will Hayden
Will Hayden

First amendment? Never vote for anything that compromises net neutrality.

David Judd
David Judd

Is there really a reasonable expectation of privacy in such cases? I would think not, everyone knows these things get passed around before sending it

Scott Ellerbrock
Scott Ellerbrock

Trying to regulate the WORLD WIDE WEB. Good luck with that. You will drive this behavior offshore and outside of the reach of your local laws.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Think their should be jail time and a fine for posting such pics

John Donohoe
John Donohoe

Joseph Vasquez no more pics of Eric Bueno in his Level 2's sorry Sheri Duran

Chas Chasman Budde
Chas Chasman Budde

Craig Brittain, with whom I had a couple of unpleasant exchanges on fb through bogus pages on which he posed as iother people, is, in my opinion, an immature, expoitive, attention starved llittle boy. $10,000 fine per picture is a good start to keep him and his ilk where they belong. In their parent's basements...

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

With political bribery being labeled "freedom of speech," I wonder how this issue would be viewed by the supreme court?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

So a newspaper would be guilty for publishing photos online of people who participated in the Naked Bike Rides, or criminal suspects who were running naked down the street ...


... or paparazzi and entertainment sits who publish photos of famous people who are sunbathing nude.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga  ... this nonsense law written by legal imbeciles wouldn't make it past the first court of record.


If posting the photos WITHOUT the "intent to cause SERIOUS emotional distress" is legal, then the only thing this idiotic turd attempts to criminalize is the THOUGHTS of the poster.


Colorado's original criminal extortion statute was struck down for the same reason. 

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay      Maybe....if the naked people approach the photographers and tell them that they expect the images to remain private and that releasing the images would cause them serious emotional distress.

Covana
Covana

@DonkeyHotay  Obviously those arent private photos as they occur in a public place.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GuestWho  


1) define "emotional distress"


2) define "serious" emotional distress, as differentiated from 1 above


3) define both in a universal context so that ANY person would know the exact level of conduct that would or wouldn't be criminal in all cases, regardless of the individual victim's emotional maturity.


4) define "intimate parts" to a universal legal standard.


Would the bare ankles of a Muslim woman be considered "intimate parts" ?


Would the bare shoulders of a Mennonite woman be considered "intimate parts"


Would the huge, disgusting, naked flopping man boobs of some morbidly obese male pig qualify if said human swine were seriously emotionally distressed to see them posted online?




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Covana  So it's where the photos are taken, and not the nature of the photos themselves ?


So photos of people using PUBLIC restrooms aren't private under your analysis, eh numbnuts?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Covana ... what law prohibits cameras -- every cell phone currently in existence -- from PUBLIC restrooms?


Be specific, and show your idiocy.

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