Legislation to criminalise revenge porn must now be introduced as a matter of urgency

Today, I welcomed new proposals from the Law Reform Commission, which would see the posting of naked images online, and the taking of intimate photos without consent, made criminal offences in Ireland.

This is an issue I have raised on several occasions. Having spoken to many in the legal profession about this, it’s clear that currently the investigation of revenge porn is very poorly provided for under Irish law. This is wrong and leaves Gardaí with limited scope to act.

Irish legislation is currently weak when it comes to protecting adults who have been seriously victimised on social media or online, including being depicted in intimate private photographs and videos.

I’m very pleased to read the Law Reform Commission’s new report ‘Harmful Communications and Digital Safety. It recommends the enactment of two new criminal offences: one which forbids the posting online of intimate images without consent, the other which will prevent secretly filming or photographing private areas of a person.

The report also recommends that a statutory Digital Safety Commissioner should be appointed, to promote digital safety, including an important educational role to promote positive digital citizenship among children and young people, in conjunction with the Ombudsman for Children and other education departments.

I am now urging the Minister for Justice to introduce legislation in this area as a matter of urgency.

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