1749 South Naperville Road, Suite 105 
Wheaton, IL 60189 
Map & Directions

Call To Schedule An Appointment
(630) 260-9647

Illinois Senate Approves “Revenge Porn” Bill

cyberbullying, computer crime, bad breakup, computer-related crime, felony offense, revenge porn, harassment, If you are feeling bitter about a recent breakup, you may want to think carefully before using the Internet to act on those feelings. A common breakup tactic known as “revenge porn” may soon be considered a computer crime, and a form of harassment and cyberbullying.

According to The DePaulia, on Thursday, February 27, the Illinois State Senate unanimously approved a bill that would criminalize posting sexually explicit photos or videos of another person to the Internet without that person’s consent. The bill will now head to the House, and it is expected to be approved.

In addition to making revenge porn a felony offense, the bill also criminalizes charging fees in order to remove the images from a website. The maximum penalty for these offenses, under the bill as it is currently written, would be a $25,000 fine and up to three years in prison. Judges would have the discretion to set lesser penalties.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Illinois Senator Michael Hastings, this is intended to discourage one of the worst forms of cyberbullying that occurs among couples. A 2013 study conducted by McAffee found that one out of every 10 ex-partners have been threatened with having their intimate photos or videos posted online. And close to 60 percent of those threats were actually carried out.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is opposed to the bill and argues that banning revenge porn violates the First Amendment freedom of speech rights. However, it is a fine line, as there are privacy issues to consider. Harassment is criminalized in many cases, and Matt Fakhoury, an adjunct sociology professor at DePaul, feels this issue falls more in line with those cases. “When people break up, they lose the consent of their ex-partner. We criminalize harassment all the time, which includes cyber crimes,” stated Fakhoury.

If you or someone you know has been charged with harassment, cyberbullying, or another computer crime in Illinois, it is important that you have a qualified attorney at your side. Contact Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law today. He can help ensure that your side of the story is fairly represented in court, and help mitigate any punishments you may be facing.

This entry was posted in Computer Crimes, Cyberbullying, New Illinois Law and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.