Peers call for clarity over laws on ‘revenge porn’

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CLARIFICATION IS needed on the law around “revenge porn” and when it could lead to a prosecution, a committee of peers has said.

The online trend involves people posting sexually explicit pictures and videos of former partners on websites and social networks once they have split up.

Last week Justice Minister Lord Faulks admitted that revenge pornography was a growing problem and said the Government was urgently considering the possibility of new laws to tackle it.

Now the House of Lords Communications Committee, in a review of the laws on social media crime, has called on the Director of Public Prosecutions to clarify when the practice becomes a criminal offence.

In the inquiry report they said: “We would welcome clarification from the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the circumstances in which an indecent communication could and should be subject to prosecution under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 or Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.”

The peers said that current laws, most of which pre-dated social media, were “generally appropriate” and prosecutions could be brought under the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act.