Congresswoman to introduce a bill making it illegal for troops to share nude photos without consent

California Congresswoman Jackie Speier will introduce a bill on Thursday that would make it illegal for military members to share nude photos of anyone without their consent, according to a press release.

The bill from Speier, a ranking Democratic member on the House Armed Services Committee, would close a “massive gap” in the uniform code of military justice, the release said.

The proposed bill, called the Servicemembers Intimate Privacy Protection Act (SIPPA) comes in the wake of the revelation that online groups, comprised mostly of male military members and veterans, were sharing thousands of nude photos of their female colleagues. Though the scandal initially ensnared just the Marine Corps, a report last week from Business Insider showed it was a problem throughout the military.

Speier plans to unveil the bill in a press conference on Thursday, joined by attorney Gloria Allred, and Erika Butner, a Marine Corps veteran who was victimized by members of the “Marines United” group who shared nude photos of her without her consent.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, was grilled on the topic during Tuesday testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He called such allegations “truly disturbing” and called on all Marines to “take a stand” against such behaviour.

On Wednesday, Neller travelled to the Camp Lejeune and New River Marine Corps bases in North Carolina to speak directly to Marines about the issue. According to a source familiar with the matter, Neller stressed the important of the Corps’ updated social media policy and called on “every Marine to help in the fight to end misogyny in the Corps.”

The Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force are coordinating on investigations, which are ongoing.

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