Invasive Image Distribution

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 15:15 :09 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for the Status of Women on the topic of invasive image distribution of Adelaide's women and girls.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: The Minister would be well aware that in recent weeks there has been media about a US website that has posted nude and illicit images of more than 400 South Australian women and girls. I note that in the other place it was advised to the House of Assembly by the Attorney that some of this activity may be covered by the Summary Offences (Filming Offences) Amendment Act, which was passed in 2013. The act of distributing an invasive image without the consent of the person in the image is, indeed, illegal in South Australia — the penalty being up to $10,000 in fines or two years' imprisonment. From the news reports, it does seem that these images would fall under the provisions of that Act.

I ask the Minister for the Status of Women: what advice has her department (or this Government) given to those women and girls who have found themselves able to have their images downloaded from this website either directly, or what advice has she given women and girls in general, about the actions that they may be able to take against these perpetrators?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 15:16 :37 ): I thank the honourable member for her most important question and her ongoing interest in this particular policy area. Indeed, although as information technology burgeons it creates all sorts of new and wonderful things for us and helps us improve the way we work and also the way we socialise. However, there are untoward impacts of this and most unfortunately we saw recently on 17 June an article that was published by The Advertiser which revealed that a US website was posting nude and revealing photos of more than 400 women from South Australia without their permission.

The moderators of the US website, I am advised, are refusing to take down the photos as they don't recognise South Australian laws regarding that matter, and victims' requests, I understand, to have the photos taken down have also been ignored, although I think there has been some movement, no doubt, because of public pressure.

I am advised that SAPOL's commercial and electronic crime branch and special crimes investigation branch are investigating the matter, having received some reports on the issue from members of the public—that's the police; I haven't, or to the best of my knowledge I haven't, not from individual members of the public involved in this, at least.

Police are attempting to identify further victims to provide them support and links to services and are working with authorities to close the site down. I am just advised that as there is an ongoing investigation, I obviously can't say a great deal but I would encourage women with complaints to contact SAPOL and to feed into that system of investigation that has been undertaken.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:18 :55 ): Supplementary: given the names of the women and girls on this website are listed on those downloadable files, have they been contacted by any authorities in South Australia?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 15:19 :08 ): Not that I'm aware of.

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