SPECIAL REPORT: New measures planned to tackle revenge porn

Rapid take-down orders and new offences are among the recommendations to tackle so-called revenge porn.

The Law Reform Commission (LRC) is preparing a report and draft bill for the Department of Justice, targeting online abuse and crime.

However, it has stopped short of recommending mandatory sentences, which has proved successful in other jurisdictions.

Revenge porn is where a person uploads intimate images of another online without their consent. While it is an offence in England, Wales, and dozens of states in America, it is not classified as a crime in Ireland.

“We will try our best to propose draft legislation that doesn’t involve going to court but instead that gets things down as quickly as possible,” said LRC commissioner Raymond Byrne.

The LRC is looking at offences in the cyber world from both a criminal and regulatory point of view.

“The key thing the Commission will be concerned with is divided into two blocks of law,” said Mr Byrne. “One is the criminal side. There is a recognition there is a gap in law and it’s clear from consultations we’ve had that the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act doesn’t deal with revenge porn.

“When an image is uploaded to a social media platform, in this manner, it’s not done to communicate directly with the target and it might not be persistent. That’s a clear gap. The Commission recognises that’s a clear gap.”

Under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, harassment must be persistent to be classified as a crime. Acts of revenge porn can often be one-off incidences, the behaviour therefore, does not fall under that criminal legislation for harassment. Mr Byrne said the LRC consulted with young people when researching for the report.

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Revenge porn to be made a crimeRevenge porn to be made a crime

Government backs Labour party bill that would mean tough penalties for people who distribute revenge pornGovernment backs Labour party bill that would mean tough penalties for people who distribute revenge porn


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