U.S. Judge Blocks Enforcement of Ariz. 'Revenge Porn' Law

PHOENIX — A federal judge on Wednesday blocked from enforcement Arizona's new "revenge porn" law, which threatens criminal prosecution for posting and reposting content online without explicit consent and has been described as "vastly overbroad in its reach" by its opponents.

The order from U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton was part of an agreement between the Arizona attorney general's office and the groups that sued, including the American Civil Liberties Union, several book stores and alternative weeklies. 

Bolton's order blocks enforcement of the law to allow the Legislature time to work on changes to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-1425, which was passed into law in April.

The preliminary injunction is in effect until the governor signs a new version of the bill, or until the Legislature adjourns in late spring.

The ACLU sued in September, claiming the law violates the 1st Amendment and is so broadly written it makes anyone distributing or displaying a nude image without explicit permission guilty of a felony.

"It is not limited to disclosures motivated by revenge; in fact, the motive of the person making the disclosure is irrelevant under the law," the ACLU said in is original complaint. "Nor is the law limited to pornography or obscene images.

The ACLU also said that the Arizona law also creates criminal liability for negligent speech.

"A person who displays a restricted image risks criminal prosecution based on an allegation that he or she 'should have known' that there was no consent," the ACLU said. "Thus, a person who finds and reposts a restricted image online could be prosecuted on the grounds that the person 'should have known' that the depicted person did not consent; the 're-poster' would have the same criminal liability as a knowing privacy invader who posted the original image without consent."

Adult entertainment industry attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ on Friday that Bolton's order is consistent with what he predicted "when these first knee-jerk laws were first passed."

"Some lawmakers get worked up about a problem that requires surgical constitutional precision to address but end up using a jackhammer, instead, by imposing broad criminal penalties for engaging in expressive activity," Walters said. "Revenge porn is a problem that needs a nuanced legislative approach. Often the posters of these images have no idea that they were first created or published without the consent of the person depicted. Appropriate First Amendment protections need to be built into these statutes, or they will end up in the dust bin, like this Arizona statute.  

"I'm not convinced this activity warrants new criminal prohibitions in the first place. Laws that impose significant civil liability such as statutory damages and attorneys fees may be sufficient to motivate trial lawyers to take on the bulk of the enforcement burden" 

ACLU's

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Child Protection, Civil Liberties Groups File Amicus Briefs in Support of FSC Court Petition

Several child protection and civil liberties groups have filed amicus briefs in support of the Free Speech Coalition's (FSC) petition to the Supreme Court.

Woodhull Urges the Supreme Court to Find Texas AV Law Unconstitutional

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted a brief to the United States Supreme Court on Thursday, urging the justices to rule against Texas’ age verification law.

AEBN Publishes Popular Searches for March and April

AEBN has released the top search terms for the months of  March and April from its straight and gay theaters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

2024 XBIZ Creator Awards Winners Announced

Winners of the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards were revealed Wednesday evening during a live ceremony at E11EVEN Nightclub in Miami, Florida. The event, presented by Fansly, was hosted by Siri Dahl and Little Puck.

'90s Japanese Performer Sues to Remove Titles from Streaming Site

Former Japanese performer Miyuki Ariga is suing the Fanza adult streaming site at the Tokyo District Court to remove four titles in which she appeared in 1994.

Free Speech Coalition Asks Court to Block Montana AV Law

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has asked the US District Court of Montana to block the state's new age verification law.

Segpay Launches Virtual 'Segcard' Creator Payout Solution

Segpay has updated its Segcard creator payout option by offering a new, virtual version.

Leading Conservative Think Tank Slams 5th Circuit for Upholding Texas Age Verification Law

Leading conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute has published an opinion piece penned by one of its senior fellows criticizing the 5th Circuit endorsement of Texas’ controversial age verification law.

OpenAI Shuts Down AI-Generated Porn Rumors

A spokesperson for OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has shut down online chatter about how a rumored relaxation of the company’s stance against AI-generated NSFW content may result in a lifting of its porn ban.

9th Circuit Upholds Verdict Against Oregon College for Discriminating Against Former Adult Performer

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a 2022 Oregon jury’s verdict in favor of Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.

Show More