State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) announced today that he has introduced SB 676, legislation enabling law enforcement to more easily prosecute those who engage in cyber exploitation and revenge porn. The bill is part of a bipartisan effort with Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) who has introduced AB 1310, a companion bill. Both are supported by California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Together the bills:
- Expand criminal jurisdiction so that actions involving the same offender with multiple victims may be combined into one court case, streamlining the process.
- Permit the seizure of revenge porn images as grounds for issuance of a search warrant.
- Provide that revenge porn images are subject to forfeiture to law enforcement for destruction.
- Clarify that it is unlawful for a person to, without the consent of the photographed individual, attach personal identifying information to an existing revenge porn image.
"Several years ago, it was brought to my attention that countless lives were being destroyed because another person they trusted distributed compromising photos of them online. As a result, I created legislation that makes this activity illegal," said Cannella. "I quickly realized, however, there was much more to be done. As technology evolves, unfortunately, so does the rate of these cyber-crimes – increasing the number of victims impacted. And while I wish these types of crimes didn’t exist, SB 676 and AB 1310 will provide even more protection to victims."
“AB 1310 will make it more difficult for criminals to escape prosecution by allowing district attorneys and law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who exploit their victims across multiple jurisdictions,” said Gatto.
SB 676 and AB 1310 follow two years of effort by Cannella to clamp down on those who exploit intimacy and trust for revenge and personal gain. SB 255 (2013) was the first law in the nation to specifically criminalize revenge porn. SB 1255 (2014) extended those protections to include images that a person takes of him or herself, commonly known as selfies. Last December, a Los Angeles man was the first person was convicted under this legislation.
“Cyber exploitation is a heinous crime that humiliates and degrades victims, while creating devastating effects on their personal and professional lives,” said Harris. “This legislation will provide law enforcement with additional tools to prosecute these crimes and provide critical support to victims suffering from the debilitating impacts.”
The bills will be eligible to be heard in their respective policy committees after 30 days of being in print.