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'Upskirting' And Revenge Porn To Be A Offence Under New Harassment Laws

'Upskirting' And Revenge Porn To Be A Offence Under New Harassment Laws

Government Ministers are meeting in Cork today to discuss proposed new harassment laws aimed at tackling the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. The Harassment, Harmful Communication and Related Offences Bill was originally put forward by the Labour Party in 2017. These proposed amendments to the Bill aim to modernise existing laws and bring the existing regulation up to date in Ireland. Under the current regulation, there is no legislation in place to address 'upskirting' and 'revenge porn'.

To address the issue of 'revenge porn', the proposed new law will make it a criminal offence to post online intimate images without consent and with the intention of causing harm or distress. The second proposed amendment to the Bill will prevent filming or photographing private areas of a person, also known as ‘upskirting’ and ‘down-blousing’.

Also seeking Government approval is the amendment to previous laws to expand the definition of 'communications' to reflect modern technology. This expanded definition of communications to include all communications tools like WhatsApp, Facebook Messanger and iMessage to name but a few.

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The maximum prison term for such offences is specified as seven years under these legislative proposals. Once these new laws and amendments are approved by the Government Ministers the next step is to begin drafting the provisions in order to bring the changes before the Dáil as soon as possible.

Also Read: More Reasons To Nap! Research Says It's Good For You

Deirdre Kelly

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