Sen. Cannella Introduces New Legislation to Combat Revenge Porn

Thursday, February 20, 2014

State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) today introduced Senate Bill 1255, new legislation to combat revenge porn, the act of distributing an image that displays a person uncovered or engaged in a sexual act without that person’s consent. SB 1255 or the “Revenge Porn 2.0” bill expands upon Cannella’s SB 255, signed last year by Governor Brown, to include what are commonly known on the Internet as “selfies,” images that people take of themselves.

“Once SB 255 was signed into law, I became aware there were many victims of revenge porn who took photos of themselves, sent them to a person they trusted, and that person, unbeknownst to the victim, distributed the images,” said Cannella. “With the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative estimating more than half of revenge porn cases involve selfies, I wanted to expand the existing law. SB 1255 protects a greater number of Californians and makes it a crime for anyone to distribute revenge porn, regardless of who took the photo.”

SB 1255 also simplifies the existing law, removing the threshold to cause “serious emotional distress,” and instead, makes the law apply to anyone who distributes revenge porn without the depicted person’s consent.

“I am deeply grateful to Senator Cannella for delivering on his promise and creating Revenge Porn 2.0 legislation,” said Dr. Charlotte Laws, a nationally recognized victims’ rights advocate whose daughter was directly affected by revenge porn. “Revenge porn preys on trusting individuals in their most vulnerable state and can leave a lifetime of emotional scars. Senator Cannella continues to prove himself as a leader in ending this despicable act.”