Taking ‘downblouse’ photos of women and doing deepfake porn will be criminalized in new online safety bill
- Amendment to Online Safety Bill will give more powers to police and prosecutors
- Changes to protect victims from sharing intimate photos without their consent
- Superimposing people’s faces on pornographic images could result in jail time
Taking photos of women’s tops and creating ‘deepfake’ pornographic images without consent must be made illegal.
An amendment to the Online Safety Bill announced yesterday will give police and prosecutors more power to bring abusers to justice.
The Justice Department said a series of changes to the law would better protect victims from having their intimate images shared without their consent.
This includes potential jail time for people who use editing software to create fake images of people to appear naked, known as “deepfakes”.
It will also criminalize so-called ‘downblousing’, in line with similar measures the government has taken to ban ‘upskirting’.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We must do more to protect women and girls from people who take or manipulate intimate photos in order to harass or humiliate them.”
“Our changes will give police and prosecutors the powers they need to bring these cowards to justice and protect women and girls from such despicable abuses.”
Taking pictures of women’s tops and creating ‘deepfake’ pornographic images without consent must be made illegal (stock image)
About one in 14 adults have been threatened for sharing intimate images of themselves.
Police have recorded more than 28,000 reports of people sending private sexual images without consent since 2015.
The Law Commission had called for the changes, saying criminal offenses had failed to keep pace with technology and had failed to protect all victims, while perpetrators escaped justice.
The government will implement the agency’s recommendations, including simplifying the law and making it easier to prosecute.
This includes a new basic offense of sharing an intimate image without consent and two more serious offenses based on intent to cause humiliation, alarm or distress and to obtain sexual gratification.
Police have recorded more than 28,000 reports of people sending private sexual images without consent since 2015 (stock image)
Two new specific offenses will be created for the threat of sharing and the installation of material allowing the taking of images.
Professor Penney Lewis, from the Law Commission, said: ‘Taking or sharing intimate images of someone without their consent can inflict lasting harm.
“We are pleased that the government is acting on our recommendations to strengthen the law.
“A new set of offenses will cover a wider range of abusive behavior, ensuring that more perpetrators of these deeply harmful acts are prosecuted.”