DRI Welcomes the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill
DRI welcomes the new Oireachtas law criminalising the sharing of intimate images without consent. The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill introduces a new offense, “Distributing, publishing or sending threatening or grossly offensive communication” to address the ongoing crisis of online bullying and harassment. It also introduces two new offences that deal with the non-consensual distribution of intimate images:
- The taking, distribution, publication or threat to distribute intimate images without consent;
- The taking, distribution or publication of intimate images without consent.
Crucially, the second of these does not intend that the person intended to cause harm to the victim — it recognises that the act of sharing someone’s images without their consent is inherently harmful. The penalties are an unlimited fine and/or up to seven years imprisonment.