Japan's lower house passes bill banning 'revenge porn'

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Tokyo, Nov 18: Japan's lower house today passed a bill criminalising "revenge porn", as it seeks a legal remedy to a growing problem of the Internet age.

The bill, which cleared the house unanimously, will be sent to the upper house and likely enacted tomorrow, in what could be one of the last duties of this parliament before an expected election next month.

Porn

Under the bill, people who distribute revenge porn -- compromising pictures or videos of former partners face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to USD 4,300.

The legislation was crafted following a high-profile stalking-murder case last year in Tokyo, in which a man harassed his former girlfriend by posting images of her online.

The bill allows Internet service providers to delete suspected revenge porn images without the uploader's consent, if the images are still there two days after a complaint is made. Police in the past have used laws against child prostitution and child pornography in cases where minors were victims of such images.

Last year police charged 318 people over instances of "revenge porn" in which victims aged 18 or under were involved, up 34 percent from the previous year, the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing sources from the National Police Agency.

A police agency official said the spread of smartphones played a part in the increased instances of the crime, the report said. Britain's government has proposed creating a new criminal offence of posting "revenge porn", punishable by a maximum jail term of two years.

AFP

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