#CyberFLASH: Manitoba to allow victims to sue for intimate photos distributed without consent

manitoba-nude-picture-sharing-lawManitoba has introduced a law that would allow victims who had intimate images distributed without their consent to claim damages and recoup any profits from the crime.

Attorney General Gord Mackintosh said the law would be the first in Canada to make it easy for victims to sue for everything from an injunction to punitive damages.

The province would also partner with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to boost funding for its tipline, which helps remove intimate images from the Internet and links victims with support.

Social media has made it easier to harass and shame a person with an intimate image, Mackintosh said Tuesday.

“Cyberbullying, based on these intimate images, is even worse than traditional notions of bullying. The impact is instant,” he said. “It’s more devastating psychologically than physical bullying.”

Experts have said they are seeing an alarming increase in the number of teens who share sexual images of themselves through live web chats and are then extorted for money. The proposed law would apply to “revenge porn” and “sexting coercion,” Mackintosh said.

It would apply when a person was “identifiable and nude or engaged in sexual activity” and did not consent to the image being shared, he said. It would also apply if someone acquired an intimate image and shared it without consent, Mackintosh added.

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