Thinking about uploading that compromising picture of your ex to the internet? Better think again. Australia has proposed increasing prison sentences and fines for those charged under revenge porn laws. The new harsher penalties impose fines up to $525,000 for corporations and $105,000 for individuals who upload intimate photos of people without their consent.
Minister of Communications Mitch Fifield says the laws are intended to protect victims and make an example out of those who exhibit such behavior. "The non-consensual sharing of intimate images is unacceptable in our society," Fifield said Wednesday. "The Turnbull government is cracking down on online creeps who want to cause harm, distress, humiliate or embarrass their victims."
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The proposed penalties passed in the Senate in February and the laws are set to be introduced to the lower house on Wednesday with some amendments that add two new offenses. One of the new offenses carries a maximum prison term of five years, but repeat offenders could face up to seven years in prison.
The revenge porn amendments now include new criminal provisions aimed at allowing legislation that better fits with existing state and territory laws. Fifield told the Nine Network, "We want to have a specific aggravated offense that sends a clear message to creeps that it is not on. We are going to make it clear that the ordinary laws of the land - the ordinary acceptable standards of behavior that apply in the offline world - also apply in the online world."
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The proposed changes give more power to the eSaftey Commissioner whose office handles revenge porn complaints. The eSafety Commissioner could also gain the power to demand the removal of images of people who did give their consent to be shared online but later changed their mind. This could be bad news for pornography companies when adult stars who are seeking to move on to a new career request their content be removed.
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