We have all seen or heard of people whose nudes were leaked soon after relationships die. Malicious ex-partners threaten to and or leak pictures shared with them in utmost confidentiality.
What many people don’t know is that this is illegal. Revenge porn which a quick search on Google shows is the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their permission often causes victims a lot of damage, there have been reports all over the world of such cases leading to emotional distress, depression and possibly even suicide by victims.
While there are no specific laws set aside to deal with revenge porn in the country, there are several provisions of the law that may be applied, case in focus is the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act, 2018.
The Act makes it a punishable offence to post nude images on the Internet without the consent of the owner in an intent to cause emotional distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
The Act under section 37 which creates the offence provides to wit;
A person who transfers, publishes, or disseminates, including making a digital depiction available for distribution or downloading through a telecommunications network or through any other means of transferring data to a computer, the intimate or obscene image of another person commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.
A victim may in addition sue for defamation. A defamation suit is basically to protect the reputation of an individual. Article 33(3) of the Constitution provides that in the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights and reputation of others, revenge porn violates this law.
The victim can also sue for breach of privacy. Article 31 of the Constitution provides –
“Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have—
(c) information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or
(d) the privacy of their communications infringed.”
Revenge porn exposes private affairs, the victim can argue in a court of law that their private affairs have been unnecessarily revealed or the privacy of their communications has been infringed.