Sharing “bra-down” images and pornographic “deep fakes” without consent will be made a crime under new legislation.
The government has confirmed the amendment Online Safety Act We will see police and prosecutors empowered to bring perpetrators to justice.
Individuals who share “deepfakes” could be jailed under new proposals.
The Justice Department will also create laws to address the installation of devices, including hidden cameras, that take or record images without the consent of others.
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This will include “downblousing,” where photos are taken from an individual’s top.
Attorney General Dominic Raab He said the amendment would allow prosecutors to “hit like a ton of bricks” at those who abuse or intimidate women and girls.
“Our message is very clear – we want girls, women to have faith in the law, and we want those who abuse, harass and intimidate them to feel the full power of the law,” he told the broadcaster.
Protecting women and children from ‘despicable abuse’
The deputy prime minister added in a statement: “We must do more to protect women and girls from those who take or manipulate intimate images to hunt down or humiliate them.
“Our reforms will give police and prosecutors the powers they need to bring these cowards to justice and protect women and girls from this despicable abuse.”
Culture Minister Michelle Donelan added: “With these latest additions to the Bill, our laws will go one step further to protect disproportionately affected women and children from this horrific abuse once and for all.”
Figures show that around 1 in 14 adults in England and Wales have experienced the threat of sharing intimate photos.
Between April 2015 and December 2021, police recorded more than 28,000 reports of the non-consensual disclosure of private sexual images.
Perpetrators will no longer escape justice
The Law Commission has called for change, saying criminal offenses have not kept pace with technology, failing to protect all victims and perpetrators evading justice.
Professor Penny Lewis, of the Law Council, said: “Taking or sharing intimate photographs of others without their consent can cause lasting harm.
“We are delighted that the government will take our recommendations to strengthen the law.
“A new set of offenses will cover a wider range of abuse, ensuring that more perpetrators of these gravely harmful acts face prosecution.”
Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs added: “I welcome these Government initiatives, which are aimed at making victims and survivors safer online, on the streets and at home.”