The State Senate has approved legislation that would make cyber revenge a crime.
Cyber revenge is the distribution of sexually graphic images of an individual without their consent, as well as posting online images originally obtained with consent within the context of a private relationship.
The two-bill package would make it illegal in Michigan to post any sexually explicit image on the Internet without that person’s written permission.
One of the sponsors, Republican Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, says the legislation is primarily an attempt to stop the actions of a former lover to intimidate or harass their ex-partner or to damage their reputation.
The bills also apply to malicious hackers who steal images and upload them to websites or send them to a victim’s family, friends and co-workers.
First-time offenders would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $500 or both.
Subsequent violations could result in a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both. The bills now go to the House.