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REVENGE PORN LAWS AND REGULATIONS

ABSTRACT

The concept of revenge porn a form of digital harassment which involves the non-consensual distribution of explicit or intimate content has become the most vital and distressing topic in the digital generation.

Basically, this research paper provides a comprehensive overview of revenge porn and understands the existing legal and regulatory framework aimed at describing this problem.

This research paper examines existing legal responses to revenge porn in various jurisdictions. Address the challenges lawmakers and law enforcement face in adapting traditional laws to address the nuances of this digital crime. This research paper also discusses a variety of legal approaches, ranging from criminalizing revenge porn as a specific offense to using existing laws such as harassment, privacy, and piracy.

Additionally, this research paper examines the role of technology companies and social media platforms in combating revenge porn. also understands the importance of proactive measures such as content moderation policies, reporting mechanisms, and cooperation with law enforcement like how to prevent the spread of explicit content without their consent. The paper also discusses the balance between protecting victims' rights and ensuring freedom of expression. and recognize the challenge of formulating regulations that effectively combat revenge porn while protecting fundamental rights and avoiding potential censorship.


KEYWORDS: Revenge, Porn, Digital, Crime


INTRODUCTION

“REVENGE PORN” means when a person uploads or distributes non-consensual explicit or intimate images or videos on the internet, typically by a former sexual partner without the consent of that person of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment or humiliate them.

In the digitalized generation, where technology plays a vital role in our day-to-day life. The frequency of revenge porn has become the worst part of reality. As we discussed above the meaning of revenge porn which is also refers to the non-consensual sharing or distribution of intimate and explicit images or videos online, typically with the intent to humiliate, harm, or seek revenge against the individuals depicted.

The victims of this malicious conduct may suffer serious emotional, psychological, and even professional repercussions. It also violates their right to privacy. Several nations have passed rules and regulations pertaining to revenge porn in order to combat this problem and safeguard people from internet exploitation. This research paper examines the significance of these legal restrictions and how they affect the fight against retaliation porn.


LEGAL PROHIBITION

In India, there have no specific laws on revenge porn or online sexual harassment but there are certain legal remedies against these offenses which are given under the Indian penal code,1860, and the information technology Act, 2000 which provides punishments to the offenders who commit such offenses.


ACCORDING TO INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860[1]

  • SECTION 292 which deals with the distribution or circulation of obscene materials, the accused shall be punished on the first conviction with imprisonment up to 2 years and with a fine up to Rs. 2000, in the event of 2nd conviction imprisonment, may extend to 5 years and fine up to Rs. 5000.

  • SECTION 354 which states the assault or criminal force on women with intent to outrage her modesty. The offense is punishable with imprisonment up to 2 years or a fine or both.

  • SECTION 354A which defines sexual harassment. A man who initiates unwanted sexual contact requests sexual favours, shows pornography against a woman's consent or makes sexually colored remarks, then he will be guilty of sexual harassment and will be punished with rigorous imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine or both.

  • SECTION 354C states that any man who observes or films a woman performing a private act while she is not aware that he is doing so and does not anticipate being observed by the person who distributes the image or video will be punished with imprisonment, not less than 1 year which can extend up to 3 years along with fine. On a second conviction, imprisonment for 3 years along with a fine.

  • SECTION 406 states that a criminal breach of trust carries a sentence of up to three years of imprisonment, a fine, or both.

  • SECTION 499 defined defamation as an act committed with the intent to hurt or with the knowledge that doing so will harm a person's reputation or character. Shall be punished with simple imprisonment up to 2 years or fine or both.

  • SECTION 506 States punishment for criminal intimidation includes up to two years in jail, a fine, or both. If the accused threatens the victim with death, or serious injury, or implies she is not chaste, they might face up to 7 years in prison, a fine, or both.

  • SECTION 509 Anyone who violates a woman's privacy or insults her modesty by speaking, gesturing, or displaying an object with the intent that the woman will hear it, see the gesture, or see the object, shall be subject to a fine of up to one year, a term of imprisonment, or both.


ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, OF 2000[2]

  • SECTION 66E punishment for violation of privacy- Whoever violates another person's privacy by purposefully or knowingly taking, disseminating, or transmitting an image of a private area of that person without that person's consent is subject to a fine of up to two lakh rupees, up to three years in prison, or both.

  • SECTION 67 For posting or sending pornographic or sexually explicit content via electronic means. If found guilty, the accused might face up to three years in prison or a fine of 5 lakh rupees, and if they were found guilty a second time, they could face up to five years in prison and a fine of 10 lakh rupees.

  • SECTION 67A states that any obscene or sexually explicit information that is published or transmitted via electronic means is punishable under this section. In the event of a second conviction, the accused will face a punishment of seven years in imprisonment and a fine that might total ten lakh rupees. The accused will also be punished with five years in prison and a fine that could total ten lakh rupees.

  • SECTION 67B of this section specifies the penalties for those who disseminate pornographic and sexually explicit material depicting children. The accused may receive a sentence of up to 5 years in jail and a fine of 10 lakhs.

  • SECTION 72 states that a violation of confidence or privacy is punishable by up to two years in jail, a fine of up to one lakh dollars, or both.


REASONS FOR REVENGE PORN

· The primary reason that personal pictures of people are made public is to exact revenge on others for ending relationships[3]. Men and women can both be victims, but women are disproportionately becoming the targets. The majority of the time, women fall into a self-defeating trap by consensually sharing their intimate photos and videos with the person they are in love with. As it turns out, this ultimately has a very fatal outcome since, after the girl has been discarded, the individual publishes those files without her permission. The major goal, in this case, is to humiliate and slander the woman[4]. Hatred towards the person who uploaded it includes the desire for revenge.

· Hatred towards the person who uploaded it includes the desire for revenge. A concerned individual believes he has punished ex-lover for ending their relationship. It also involves doxing, in which the victims' names and contact details are disseminated together with graphic photographs of them as a whole.

· This is a peculiar situation when someone shares his girlfriend's private photos and videos on social media merely to show off to others. Although it may seem strange, one of the most common motivations for revenge porn in social media these days is this. Here, a man either with or without the girl's consent records his explicit movies. He then posts it online or shares it with others to get their attention. He finds joy in doing so since he thinks he is clever for thinking of such things. Therefore, this is done to, in some ways, impress and attract people; those that do this may be described as narcissists.

· Such films may even be used by someone to demand payment from the victim or official or sexual favors. It used to be an issue that largely impacted celebrities, but nowadays it also threatens the lives of many ordinary women. In this instance, personal photos of women are frequently obtained without their permission and sometimes even undergo sexual morphing. The perpetrator then brutally threatens the victim with these photographs, and she is expected to comply with all of his requests to stop him from sharing them.


IMPACT OF REVENGE PORNOGRAPHY ON THE INTERNET

· Social media can spread news and information in both good and bad ways. It functions as a platform for information exchange and sharing in addition to being a tool for communication. Social media is thus the first place where revenge porn becomes viral. If social media is managed properly, the issue of revenge porn will be much lessened. Cyberbullying sets off revenge porn. As his next action, the bully will immediately share it on social media. There are many social media channels accessible nowadays. Facebook was the sole major mass media platform in the early 2000s.

· Throughout the situation, Twitter deleted every one of these profiles. When no other social media offered assistance, only Facebook and Twitter were able to lessen the effect of the problem. A limitation by age was created by YouTube. Adult material videos on YouTube are not accessible to anybody under the age of 18. Only a limited number of adult-oriented videos were also permitted. If the material is too sensitive, steps will be made about their channels.



DATA OF THE REVENGE PORN[5]

· Due to the lack of special law provisions for such cases, there are no such official statistics on revenge pornography crime in India.

· Nevertheless, the National Crime Record Bureau recorded a hike of 104% in the matters of online sharing obscenity and nudity content cases during 2012-2014.

· The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in its research during the time of the pandemic and the lockdown, noted that one in seven women are facing issues of revenge pornography and are threatened that their intimate photos and videos could be shared online without consent.


PREVENTIVE AND COUNTERMEASURES DESCRIBE BELOW:[6]

· Never show anybody, not even your lovers, your private images and movies. Alternatively, if they have, ask them to remove it right away and make sure they do. Never publish a private image online.

· Never blindly believe someone since it is the foundation of revenge porn. In the majority of instances of revenge pornography, women voluntarily provide their private photographs to the offenders out of a sense of confidence, and as a result, the offenders simply utilize the material to get retribution for their disdain.

· Avoid snapping pictures of anything obscene since modern electronics are all hackable and unsafe. Your private images can get into the wrong hands. Change your photographs to conceal your identity.

· If something similar occurs to you, talk to your family, and don't be afraid to express your concerns.

· You must record the evidence and retain several copies of it. This proof must include screenshots of all the websites and URLs where your image or video has been posted, as well as recordings of threatening calls and texts.

· Report the image or video to the website and its organization as soon as it appears on social media. The majority of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and Snapchat, include tools for removing revenge pornographic images. Additionally, you may learn how to delete these posts online by visiting the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative Comprehensive.

· You can request that search engines take the images down from various websites. For instance, adhere to the guidelines on the page titled Remove unwanted & explicit personal photographs from Google.

· Send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification to the website asking them to take the image down and inform them that their copyright has been violated.

· You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against a website and its parent company if they placed an image on their site without your permission and would not take it off.

· The most important thing to do is to report the obscene content to the Cybercrime Branch since doing so will stop it from spreading quickly. Additionally, if the culprit is unknown, it will help to identify them.


Laws and regulations pertaining to revenge porn are essential in defending people against the nefarious and damaging practice of non-consensual pornography. These legislative measures convey a clear message that such behaviour is undesirable by making revenge porn illegal, creating reporting procedures, and enforcing fines on offenders.


REFERENCES [1] The Indian penal code, Act No. 45 of 1860 [2] THE INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY Act, no. 21 of 2000 [3] JPH v. XYZ & Ors [2015] EWHC 2871 (Oct. 21, 2015) [4] YouTube singer Chrissy Chambers wins revenge porn case, BBC NEWS (Jan. 17, 2018), https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42720869. [5] https://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/revenge-porn-laws-across-the-world [6] https://www.indialawoffices.com/legal-articles/revenge-porn-or-non-consensual-pornography#:~:text=Indian%20Penal%20Code%2C%201860,-Section%2D%20292%20of&text=Section%2D354%20defines%20the%20Assault,Section%20354A%20defines%20sexual%20harassment.

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