Posting nude pictures of servicemen and women without consent is now a crime in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy following a nude photo sharing scandal.
“An interim revision to Navy regulations prohibits Navy and Marine Corps personnel from posting intimate photos ‘if the person making the distribution or broadcast does so without legal justification or excuse,'” reported the Navy Times on Wednesday. “The statute details three conditions that will be considered a violation of Navy regulations, including if images are broadcast or transmitted: ‘with the intent to realize personal gain; with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person; or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced,’ the regs read.”
The new rules, which were reportedly signed off by Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, are also set to begin immediately.
“It is characterized as interim until the next edition of Navy regulations is printed,” the Navy Times explained, adding that those who ignore the new regulations could be charged with “failure to obey a lawful order.”
“The addition of Article 1168 ‘Nonconsensual distribution or broadcasting of an image’ to Navy Regulations serves to underscore leadership’s commitment to eliminating degrading behaviors that erode trust and weaken the Navy and Marine Corps Team,” said Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler in a statement. “It provides commanders another tool to maintain good order and discipline by holding Sailors and Marines accountable for inappropriate conduct in the nonconsensual sharing of intimate imagery.
“This article adds the potential charge of Article 92 ‘Failure to obey [an] order or regulation’ to the possible charges that can be used against an alleged perpetrator,” he continued. “Each case of alleged misconduct will be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances.”
In March, it was reported that both the NCIS and the Pentagon had launched an investigation into the scandal, which saw the distribution of “explicit photos of current and former female Marines and other service members” through a Facebook group.
“A private Facebook group called ‘Marines United’ contained a link to a Google Drive folder, where the photos were being stored,” reported CNN last month. “Members on the site solicited others to submit photos of women without their knowledge. The cloud storage folder has been removed at the request of the military.”
“It was not clear to the Defense Department how many current and former Marines may be involved in potential wrongdoing,” they continued. “A former Marine originally brought the matter to the attention of the Marine Corps last month.”
Since the beginning of the scandal, the private images have spread across different parts of the internet and were even reportedly found up for sale on the dark web earlier this month.