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‘Revenge Porn’ One Step Closer To Being Illegal In Colorado

Retaliating against an ex-lover by posting lewd photographs or videos of them online moved one step closer to becoming illegal in Colorado, after the state House passed a bill outlawing so-called “revenge porn.”

The bill would make it a class 1 misdemeanor to post videos, photos or any image “containing the intimate parts of an identified or identifiable person 18 years of age or older, without the depicted person’s consent” and which cause “serious emotional distress.”

Those convicted will face up to a $10,000 fine.

Revenge porn also encompasses photos that have been stolen from hacked accounts by strangers, the allegations of which led to an FBI investigation into the most notorious of revenge porn sites, the now-shuttered Is Anybody Up?, run by Hunter Moore of Sacramento.

Moore was ultimately indicted on 15 counts, including conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and other charges.

But a Colorado site, Is Anybody Down?, took its place as an online repository for people to post often humiliating pictures of ex spouses and girlfriends. Though the site was taken down a year ago, it — and others like it from around the country — inspired the bill.

“It isn’t a rare occurrence — you find this story happening over and over and over again,” cosponsor Republican Rep. Amy Stephens, is quoted as saying in the Denver Post.

According to statistics from the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative — cited in an article by Charlotte Laws, who turned Moore over to the FBI in 2012 when a picture of her daughter, stolen from her hacked email account, appeared on his site — 47 percent of revenge porn victims contemplate suicide. At least two women have taken their lives.

But the Post also noted that lawmakers struggled to define revenge porn and against whom to press charges.

“Some members wondered whether the person who provided the photograph would be the one subject to punishment or the Internet provider that posted it,” the Post reported.

If the bill becomes law, Colorado will join just six other states that criminalize the unauthorized posting of lewd imagery.

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