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Sexual Privacy an Emerging Field of Law

Sexual Privacy an Emerging Field of Law
Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC

With the unfortunate rise of "revenge porn", lawmakers and attorneys alike are exploring options to prevent and punish online invasions of sexual privacy. In 2004, New Jersey passed legislation that explicitly criminalizes the sharing of,

“any photograph, film, videotape, recording or any other reproduction of the image of another person whose intimate parts are exposed or who is engaged in an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact, unless that person has consented to such disclosure.”

While New Jersey’s statute is commonly referred to as the “revenge porn law,” advocates for these types of statutes prefer the term, “nonconsensual-porn laws.” This is because the sharing described above is not always motivated by a scorned ex-lover looking for revenge. Several websites collect images like this in hopes of turning a profit, and digital platforms are often hacked to reveal sexually explicit images of celebrities.

Even without specific legislation, victims can seek damages under other tort laws, such as those prohibiting the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” What most victims seem to want most of all, though, is for photos of them to be taken off the internet. Fortunately, companies like Facebook, Google, and even PornHub are happy to comply. Unfortunately, many victims must use internet copyright law to remedy what is in some states considered a criminal act. This is because many bills that aim to protect privacy rights online are criticized for being insufficiently attentive to the First Amendment.

Hearing these complaints, California Democrat Jackie Speir has drafted a federal nonconsensual-porn bill to protect the rights of women and men who have been victimized by this type of inappropriate online behavior. According to a constitutional scholar, the bill does not present a challenge to the first amendment because “The First Amendment does not protect a right to invade a person’s privacy by publicizing, without consent, nude photographs or videos of sexual activity.”

Until more state and federal protections are passed, which is a goal of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, victims of nonconsensual-porn attacks will have to rely on existing laws. While specialized lawyers can sometimes help their clients using existing laws, many cases produce more questions than answers, or fail to register nonconsensual-porn as anything other than reprehensible.

Getting Help in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of the states that has passed legislation to prohibit revenge porn. While this will make it easier for you to pursue claims and charges against someone who has disseminated nonconsensual-porn, it is still a good idea to have an attorney who understands your unique situation. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, we have ample experience handling tort cases and can approach your case from multiple angles to give you the best chance of success. We know that these cases are sensitive, but you should never feel ashamed of getting the justice you’re entitled to.

Tell us your story today by calling (918) 347-6456 or requesting a free consultation online.