Watchdog groups urge Raimondo to veto ‘revenge porn’ bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Free speech watchdog groups are urging Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to veto a so-called “revenge porn” bill because of possible unintended consequences that could chill free speech and impede news media.

The New England First Amendment Coalition, the ACLU, and the Rhode Island Press Association said Thursday that while well-intentioned the bill passed by the state House and Senate is so “breathtakingly broad” in its reach that it criminalizes activity involving neither revenge nor porn, for example, legitimate news stories, and people viewing or sharing widely publicized nude images they didn’t create.

The bill if signed by the Democratic governor would prohibit the online posting of nude pictures without the subject’s permission. Such images are often posted by ex-spouses or partners seeking to embarrass, or by extortionists demanding ransoms.

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