February 23rd, 2024

Eby invokes Taylor Swift as B.C. launches services to crack down on intimate images

By The Canadian Press on January 29, 2024.

B.C. Premier David Eby says the sharing of fake intimate images of pop star Taylor Swift proves nobody is immune from such "attacks," as the province launches new services to get images taken down and go after perpetrators for damages. Eby, right, holds a photograph of late 12-year-old Carson Cleland, who killed himself last year after becoming a victim of online sextortion, as his parents Ryan Cleland and Nicola Smith speak about him during a news conference in Surrey, B.C., Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA – British Columbia Premier David Eby says the recent sharing of fake intimate images of pop star Taylor Swift proves no one is immune from such “attacks,” as the province launches new services to get images taken down and go after perpetrators for damages.

The launch of the services on Monday in conjunction with the Civil Resolution Tribunal comes on the same day the province’s Intimate Images Protection Act comes into force.

Eby said in a media availability while in Ottawa that the legislation will allow people to go to the tribunal to get intimate images taken down, regardless of whether they are real or fake.

The province says in a statement that individuals will be fined up to $500 per day and websites up to $5,000 a day if they don’t comply with orders to stop sharing images that are posted without consent.

B.C. has launched a website that offers support and resources to victims, as well as guidance on how to get intimate images taken down and how to seek damages through the tribunal.

Eby says the AI-generated images of Swift that went viral over the weekend represented a call to action for governments and tech companies.

“If Taylor Swift is not immune from this, certainly British Columbians are not,” Eby said.

“Our legislation (that) allows for everyday British Columbians to go to the Civil Resolution Tribunal and get takedown orders for images of them that are personal ““ whether they are fake or real ““ goes live today.”

Eby announced the new services last week, in an emotional news conference with the parents of Carson Cleland, a 12-year-old boy from Prince George, B.C., who police say killed himself after falling victim to sextortion.

Other measures announced last week include changes to restrict the use of cellphones in schools and plans for new legislation to allow B.C. to sue social media companies for costs relating to “population-level” harms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2024.

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