New Law Bans Unsolicited Nude Photographs Via E-Mail or Social Media

Keep those sexy photos in your phone, because if you send it to somebody who hasn't asked for it, you could wind up in a place where 'sexy' has a whole different meaning, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

One of the new laws that takes effect on Sunday is HB 2789, which means the electronic transmission of sexually explicit material a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500.

The bill was backed by Bumble, a Texas-based online dating service, who says unsolicited pics like this are more common than you would like to believe.

"We surveyed our users, and one in three of them has them has received an unsolicited nude photo via text or e-mail or some other social network," said Bumble Chief of Staff Caroline Ellis Roche

Sponsors of the bill say indecent exposure is already a crime, and that crime should be extended to the Internet, where at the very least, receiving this material is an unwelcome annoyance to somebody who may be casually dating the sender, and, if the phone happens to be in the possession of a child at the time, it could turn into a serious problem.

"We have such stressed lives in the real world, and it doesn't make sense that those stressors have not translated to the on line world yet," Roche said.

But there are concerns about whether the new law will run into the same problems that the law banning so called 'upskirt' photos and other candid photography ran into when it was passed in 2013 in response to a rash of those items.

People who were charged successfully argued that the photographs were a method of self expression, and that banning them violates their First Amendment rights. There are also concerns about what happens if a person's account is hacked, or their phone is stolen or borrowed, and lewd photographs are sent from that phone to unwelcome recipients. It could be very difficult to convict a person who makes that claim.


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