DATAWO contributed to a comparative analysis in South-East Europe about revenge pornography

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The University of Lausanne, in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences for Public Service in Bavaria, Trilateral Research, the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), and Software Imagination & Vision (SIMAVI), conducted a research project, as part of the wider CC-Driver (“Combating Cyber Criminality by Understanding Human and Technical Drivers”) research programme in collaboration with the SHARE Foundation. This project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

For this research, they were looking for Civil Society Organisation (CSO) to participate in an interview-based study. In particular, they were looking for people who have worked directly or indirectly with cybercrime and cybersecurity issues (including cyber-stalking and online harassment issues). DATAWO participated and contributed to this research project in April 2022.

However, on 23 June 2022, the legislative Act no. 4947 was voted, in Article 38 of which the crime of revenge porn is regulated, which introduces accordingly the new Article 346 in the Greek Penal code, which states that:

”Article 346 on Revenge porn

Anyone who without right discloses to a third person or posts in public view, a real, altered, or designed image or any visual or audio-visual material, in which the public act of another concerning their sexual life is captured, shall be punished by imprisonment of at least three (3) years and a fine.

Anyone who threatens another to commit the acts of par. 1 shall be punished by a prison sentence of at least one (1) year. If the person guilty of the act of the previous paragraph forces another into an act or omission or tolerance for which they have no obligation, they shall be punished with a prison sentence of at least two (2) years.

Up to eight (8) years, imprisonment and a fine shall be punished for the act of par. 1 if it is committed: a) by posting on the internet or on social media with an indefinite number of recipients, b) by an adult and it concerns a minor, c) at the expense of the current or former spouse or partner of the culprit or at the expense of a person who lives with them or has a work or service relationship with them or is under their custody or protection or cannot defend themselves, d) with the aim of helping the culpable to themselves or to another pecuniary benefit.

If any of the acts of the previous paragraphs led the victim to attempt suicide, imprisonment and a fine are imposed. If the act of the previous paragraph led to death, a minimum of ten (10) years imprisonment and a fine are imposed.”

Some thoughts we shared in the article we published on 31 July 2022 here regarding the addition of Article 346 to the Greek Penal Code..

”In summary, Article 346 of the Penal Code was added to deal with incidents of gender-based violence in the digital age, especially incidents of image-based sexual abuse. However, the use of the term “revenge porn” is incorrect. As was explained in detail before, using this conceptualisation of ‘’revenge pornography’’ overlooks the more common, everyday forms of image-based sexual abuse, while the term “revenge pornography” refers to specific cases where this material has been distributed/communicated for revenge purposes, leaving out of the scope the cases where this offense has been committed for personal or financial reasons.

Also, the use of the term “without right” is incorrect and not at all inclusive, as an explicit reference should be made to the term “consent”. Finally, the restrictive reference to the term “non-public act”, leaves out cases of online voyeurism (creepshots and upskirting), where people are videotaped/photographed without their knowledge in a public place, while the camera is aimed at genital areas. Also, performing sexual acts in a public place does not give any person the right to videotape/take photos, nor to further distribute/publicise this material.

In conclusion, the legislation must be enriched and developed according to current issues and the most modern development/use of technology and the internet. It must provide mechanisms for immediate action to repair the damage (for example, removing this material from cyberspace), cooperation between the prosecuting authorities of Greece and those abroad, creation of psychological and social support mechanisms for survivors of gender-based violence in the digital age with appropriately trained personnel, and facilitating the administration of justice with the use of digital material, without the secondary victimisation of survivors.”

*the use of them/their/themselves is used in order to include all individuals independent of their gender.