• Hannah Phillips

New Laws to Prevent Image-Based Abuse

New laws to protect against technology-facilitated abuse are one step closer after the Government’s Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2018 passed the House of Representatives.

Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield said the legislation sends a strong message to the community that the sharing of intimate images without consent is not an acceptable practice.

“The Turnbull Government is acting to combat this violation of a person’s freedom and dignity,” he said.

“The new laws will actively discourage potential offenders through both civil and criminal penalties which complement existing state and territory laws.”

The legislation complements the online complaints portal pilot launched by the eSafety Office in October last year.

It gives the eSafety Commissioner additional powers to combat image-based abuse, including revenge porn, by issuing ‘removal notices’ to websites, content hosts and social media providers.

Individuals may be subject to civil penalties of up to $105,000 and corporations up to $525,000 if they do not comply with a request from the eSafety Commissioner to remove an intimate image.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 imposed serious penalties for offenders, reflecting the seriousness of the offence.

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