LDP seeks law to ban ‘revenge porn’
9:50 pm, October 09, 2014
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday decided to submit a bill to the Diet to criminalize so-called revenge porn, the act of posting sexually explicit images of former partners online without their consent.
Tentatively called the revenge porn damage prevention bill, the legislation sets a maximum penalty of three years in prison for a perpetrator.
The LDP will seek support from other parties and aims to have the bill passed during the current extraordinary Diet session.
It is currently being prepared by the LDP’s special committee on revenge porn issues, chaired by House of Representatives member Katsuei Hirasawa.
According to an outline released Thursday, the bill defines the crime of “disclosure” as the act of showing sexually explicit images, such as a naked photo of a former partner, to an unspecified number of people by posting the image on the Internet without consent of the person in the photo and in a condition in which they can be identified.
Perpetrators would face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to ¥500,000.
The bill also defines the crime of “provision for disclosure” as the act of providing such photos to other people via the Internet for the purpose of disclosure.
Perpetrators would face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to ¥300,000.
A charge of defamation under the Penal Code can be applied to cases of revenge porn.
However, it is sometimes difficult to build a criminal case of revenge porn under this charge because it is necessary to prove that the act has harmed the social reputation of the individual in a posted photo.
The envisioned bill, which aims to protect sexual privacy, would therefore apply to revenge porn if it can be proven that a posted photo was originally taken on the premise that it would not be disclosed.
The bill also incorporates measures to help get such photos deleted quickly by website administrators, to limit their spread.
The existing Provider Liability Limitation Law stipulates that a website administrator who has been asked by a victim to remove such photos will not be charged with civil wrongdoing if the administrator removes the photos after contacting the poster and receiving no reply within seven days.
According to the outline of the envisioned bill, it will include an exception to this rule that shortens the required inquiry period to two days.