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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

'Revenge Porn' Bill Would Outlaw Unauthorized Sharing Of Explicit Images

Ellie Hill Smith (D) HD-90, is the sponsor of House Bill 129.
Mike Albans
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Representative Ellie Hill Smith, a Missoula Democrat, says across the country more states are creating laws making it illegal to share explicit images or videos of a person without their consent:

"Non-consensual pornography transforms unwilling individuals into sexual entertainment for strangers," Hill Smith says. "Vengeful ex-partners or opportunistic hackers can upload an explicit image of a victim to a website where thousands of people can view it and hundreds of other websites can share it in a matter of minutes."

Hill Smith says more than 30 states have some kind law against "revenge porn."

During House Bill 129's first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, lawmakers debated how this bill could impact constitutional rights of free speech. Newspaper, entertainment and communication representatives asked lawmakers for amendments, testifying that as written now, the bill could make some of the work in their industry done in the public interest potentially illegal.

Sexual assault victim advocates also agreed that the bill should be amended.

Everyone who testified during the hearing, including the sponsor Representative Hill Smith, said they would support the legislation after clarifying amendments are made.

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