While we strongly support the intent of this legislation, we oppose adoption of S. 9019-A / A.11188-A because of its excessively broad private right of action provisions.
We support the bill’s overall intent, to provide criminal and civil penalties for disseminating intimate images of a person without their consent.
The bill does provide an exemption from criminal penalties for “providers of an interactive computer service for images provided by another person.”
However, it also authorizes a private right of action against website and internet services providers that “hosts or transmits” such images, where the service provider had no control over the content, thereby subjecting ISPs to civil penalties for the criminal acts of unrelated individuals.
The Business Council does not support this misplaced civil penalty provision.
There are other proposals before the state legislature that address this issue. For example, S.2725-A (Griffo) / A.1641-A (Braunstein) provides significant penalties for intentional violations, without subjecting non-negligent ISPs to open-ended civil liabilities. We support and urge adoption of that legislation as an alternative to the current bill.
However, for the specific reason discussed above, we oppose adoption of S.9019-A / A.11188-A.