California bans paparazzi drones, tightens protection against 'revenge porn'

A drone is seen next to a television antenna above the family home of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff in Pinecrest, Florida on Sept 2, 2014. California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent the paparazzi from using drones to take photos of
A drone is seen next to a television antenna above the family home of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff in Pinecrest, Florida on Sept 2, 2014. California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent the paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of people's privacy. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of privacy.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a string of legislative bills which also include an expansion of an existing law against so-called "revenge porn," when former lovers share nude photos of their exes online.

The drone ban bill, which is aimed at shoring up privacy for the general public but will work equally well for celebrities, was authored by lawmaker Ed Chau.

"As technology continues to advance and new robotic-like devices become more affordable for the general public, the possibility of an individual's privacy being invaded substantially increases," he said.

"I applaud the governor for signing (the law) because it will ensure that our state's invasion of privacy statute remains relevant even as technology continues to evolve," he added on his website.

California passed a "revenge porn" law last year, making it illegal to post naked pictures of an ex-partner online and setting a jail term of up to six months for anyone convicted.

The new law signed on Tuesday allows victims of revenge porn to seek damages in civil court, and also to seek a restraining order to get the offending photos taken down from the Internet. The bill also expands the ban to include "selfie" photos.

"Rather than having to argue in court on the grounds of invasion of privacy... lawyers can now pursue relief by directly showing the images were sent without the consent of the victim," said the bill's author Bob Wieckowski.