Criminal penalties for illegally sharing or creating explicit images

Those who distribute or generate pornographic photos without the owner's consent in England and Wales risk going to jail for their actions.

For those found guilty of spreading deepfake or revenge porn, the Online Safety Bill will be revised to include a mandatory prison penalty of six months. If it could be shown that the perpetrator intended to cause discomfort, alarm, or shame, or that they were seeking sexual enjoyment, then this penalty would be increased to two years.

Those who distribute a photograph for the purpose of gaining sexual enjoyment could potentially have their names put to the register of sexual offenders. A "revenge porn" image is one that is shared without consent. Deepfake porn entails the creation of an explicit image or video of a person that is not real.

The criminalization of revenge porn occurred in 2015, but prior to that, prosecutors were required to demonstrate an intent to cause humiliation or distress. Georgia Harrison, whose ex-boyfriend Stephen Bear was imprisoned earlier this year for posting intimate footage of her on his OnlyFans account, was among those who advocated for a change in the law.

The Love Island star expressed appreciation for the support she had received. She stated that the reforms to the law that were enacted will go down in history as an important turning point for future generations and will provide justice to future victims.

The government declared its intention to enact legislation last year, and the amendments are included in the Online Safety Bill, which will be voted on by MPs later this month before becoming law. Alex Chalk, the secretary of justice, stated, "We are cracking down on abusers who use or distribute intimate photographs to harass or humiliate women and girls."Our amendments will give police and prosecutors the authority to bring these criminals to justice, thereby protecting women and girls from such heinous abuse."

In the first eight months of 2021, a website containing nearly nude images of women will receive 38 million visits. One in seven women and one in nine men aged 18 to 34 have experienced threats to share intimate images, according to research.

Between April 2015 and December 2021, the police received over 28,000 reports of the disclosure of private sexual images without consent. The rewrite of intimate image law is a continuation of previous amendments.

A thorough evaluation by the Law Commission recommended reforming intimate image abuse protections. Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs applauded the news and stated that the modifications would "hold perpetrators accountable for this pervasive form of abuse."

She stated that the abuse of intimate images causes both victims and survivors substantial suffering and is frequently part of a larger pattern of offline abuse. Chief executive officer of the non-profit Refuge for victims of domestic assault, Ruth Davison, referred to the woefully low conviction rates for intimate image abuse. She explained that the amendments to the Online Safety Bill will make it easier to prosecute perpetrators of intimate image abuse, ensuring greater justice and safety for survivors.