Cyber terror bill clears first House committee

Cybercrimes and Corporate Espionage
The FBI estimates more than 500,000 online predators are active online every day.

A House panel OK’d a bill Thursday that would modernize cybersex crime laws and criminalize the theft of sexually explicit pictures.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee advanced the measure (HB 1453) unanimously without questions or debate. Williston Republican Rep. Joe Harding is the bill sponsor.

“This bill is going to create tougher penalties and ensure that in Florida, we’re not going to tolerate those activities,” Harding told committee members.

The bill contains several provisions. It would:

— Prohibit someone from spreading “deepfake” sexually explicit images — or altered sexual image and videos — without a person’s consent, making it a third-degree felony.

— Establish new standards for “revenge porn” by criminalizing the theft of sexually explicit images with the intent to distribute or benefit from them in some way.

— Increase existing civil damages up to $10,000 against cybersex crime predators.

— Rename the crime of “child pornography” to “child sexual abuse material.” Proponents of the change say the word “pornography” implies there was some sort of consent, which children cannot give.

— Increase penalties for possessing a child-like sex doll from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book is the companion bill sponsor (SB 1798). She’s previously described cybersex crimes as the “next frontier of intimate terror.”

According to KOAA News 5, the FBI estimates more than 500,000 predators are active online every day. The same news report also says nearly 50% of kids ages 12 to 15 are among those targeted.

“The conduct we’re specifically going after could happen to any of us. But we know that, disproportionately, women are a victim of this type of behavior,” Harding added.

Harding’s proposal will appear next before the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee and Judiciary Committee.

The companion bill, meanwhile, will appear before the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee as well as the Appropriations Committee. Both bills have yet to receive a down vote.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect October 1.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


2 comments

  • Ronald Stagger Lee Book's wrecked Lambo

    February 3, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    The only cyberterrorism here is Bimbo Book’s hideous choice of eyewear.

  • Kissing Cousin

    February 5, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    Her personal stalker is here I see.

Comments are closed.


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