2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
784.049 Sexual cyberharassment.—
(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) A person depicted in a sexually explicit image taken with the person’s consent may retain a reasonable expectation that the image will remain private despite sharing the image with another person, such as an intimate partner.
(b) It is becoming a common practice for persons to publish a sexually explicit image of another to Internet websites or to disseminate such an image through electronic means without the depicted person’s consent, contrary to the depicted person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person.
(c) When such images are published on Internet websites, the images are able to be viewed indefinitely by persons worldwide and are able to be easily reproduced and shared.
(d) The publication or dissemination of such images through the use of Internet websites or electronic means creates a permanent record of the depicted person’s private nudity or private sexually explicit conduct.
(e) The existence of such images on Internet websites or the dissemination of such images without the consent of all parties depicted in the images causes those depicted in such images significant psychological harm.
(f) Safeguarding the psychological well-being and privacy interests of persons depicted in such images is compelling.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Image” includes, but is not limited to, any photograph, picture, motion picture, film, video, or representation.
(b) “Personal identification information” means any information that identifies an individual, and includes, but is not limited to, any name, postal or electronic mail address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, or any unique physical representation.
(c) “Sexually cyberharass” means to publish to an Internet website or disseminate through electronic means to another person a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person without the depicted person’s consent, contrary to the depicted person’s reasonable expectation that the image would remain private, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person. Evidence that the depicted person sent a sexually explicit image to another person does not, on its own, remove his or her reasonable expectation of privacy for that image.
(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who willfully and maliciously sexually cyberharasses another person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4)(a) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that he or she has probable cause to believe has violated this section.
(b) Upon proper affidavits being made, a search warrant may be issued to further investigate violations of this section, including warrants issued to search a private dwelling.
(5) An aggrieved person may initiate a civil action against a person who violates this section to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation of this section, including the following:
(a) Injunctive relief.
(b) Monetary damages to include $5,000 or actual damages incurred as a result of a violation of this section, whichever is greater.
(c) Reasonable attorney fees and costs.
(6) The criminal and civil penalties of this section do not apply to:
(a) A provider of an interactive computer service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 230(f), information service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 153, or communications service as defined in s. 202.11, that provides the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others; other related telecommunications or commercial mobile radio service; or content provided by another person; or
(b) A law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10, or any local, state, federal, or military law enforcement agency, that publishes a sexually explicit image in connection with the performance of his or her duties as a law enforcement officer, or law enforcement agency.
(7) A violation of this section is committed within this state if any conduct that is an element of the offense, or any harm to the depicted person resulting from the offense, occurs within this state.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2015-24; s. 1, ch. 2019-53.