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Society

Tougher Penalties Coming in Greece for “Revenge Porn” Postings

December 17, 2021

ATHENS – After a popular TV show co-host was fired over allegations by a former partner that he posted sexually explicit photos in a case of “revenge porn,” Greece’s Justice Ministry is preparing legislation to make penalties tougher.

Putting such pictures or videos on pornographic sites is now only a misdemeanor but Kathimerini said the case has pushed the New Democracy government to introdue stricter measures for the unlawful sharing and distributing of sensitive personal information by any means.

The law also currently requires victims to press charges, not authorities to initiate them amid reports there were 13 other cases so far in 2021, five of them including minors.

Kathimerini said it had seen corresponding data from the police cybercrime unit, the Hellenic Center for Safer Internet Navigation (Safeline) and the Data Protection Authority which began tracking revenge porn only in 2020.

Sources not identified told the newspaper that penalties will be even tougher if it concerns an underage victim but there were no details on what they would be. The measures would be part of an umbrella framework aimed at protecting minors and socially vulnerable groups.

What set it off were the allegations against TV presenter Stathis Panagiotopoulos, whos partner sued him two years ago, the case only now coming to light and delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His three former colleagues on the popular TV show Radio Aryvla, that has been on the air for 14 years, have filed a lawsuit against him, the paper said, seeking “redress for moral and material damages” suffered by themselves and the show, as they faced criticism on social media too over his behavior.

Panagiotopoulos has been accused by his former girlfriend of posting nude photos and videos of hers at a porn site without her consent. A trial has been set for early next year.

The International Journal of Cyber ​​Criminology said revenge porn is when someone, usually an ex-partner, posts a photo or video depicting someone’s sex life without their consent, although it’s often difficult to track who did it.

The number of complaints in Greece about the practice jumped 66 percent in 2021 over the previous year with reports that about 30 percent of those who posted the material were blackmailing the victims too.

The Data Protection Authority is already conducting investigations into reported incidents and is reportedly targeting the case concerning Panagiotopoulos, the paper also said.

 

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