Those found guilty of 'revenge porn' could face a 6 month jail sentence

Those found guilty of 'revenge porn' could face a  6 month jail sentence

The Labour Party wants to make sharing an intimate image without consent a criminal offence as part of a bill which aims to broaden the definition of harassment to include cyberstalking and cyberbullying.

The new bill would see the criminalisation of revenge porn and see people facing a 6 month jail sentence on conviction.

The bill also introduces offences for cyberstalking and cyberbullying and would take new apps and technology into account, where the old laws only stretched as far as abusive images or threats sent by text.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin says people have to feel safe online.

“The advent of technology means we’re now living in a very different communications climate, and Ireland’s harassment current laws don’t reflect that," Mr Howlin said ahead of this afternoon's debate.

"Our Bill seeks to bring existing regulation up to date by broadening the legal definition of communication, so it covers all electronic, written and spoken word, including for example, an iMessage, Whatsapp or Facebook message, and a tweet or social media post.

"It seeks to protect against online harassment by covering against the persistent communication about someone as well as directly to that person, which is often the case when it comes to cyber-bullying.

“Women are also too often the targets of online abuse, and Labour’s Bill moves to protect against so-called 'revenge porn' by creating a new offence of distributing an intimate image without consent.

"This has proven effective in countries like the UK where such legislation already exists, with the British Crown Prosecution Service reporting more than 200 convictions across 2015/16."

Digital desk

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