Friday, July 19, 2013

Federal/provincial report on cyberbullying and non-consensual distribution of intimate images released

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial task force on Cyberbullying and the Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images has today released its report.

There have been some fears that this would be an opportunity to revive "lawful access" and some of the issues are touched upon in recommendation 4:

Recommendation 4

The Working Group recommends that the investigative powers contained in the Criminal Code be modernized. Specifically, the Working Group recommends that an approach consistent with recent proposed amendments on this subject to better facilitate the investigation of criminal activity, including activity that is conducted via telecommunication be introduced and implemented as part of any legislative package responding to cyberbullying. These amendments should include, among others:

  • Data preservation demands and orders;
  • New production orders to trace a specified communication;
  • New warrants and production orders for transmission data;
  • Improving judicial oversight while enhancing efficiencies in relation to authorizations, warrants and orders;
  • Other amendments to existing offences and investigative powers that will assist in the investigation of cyberbullying and other crimes that implicate electronic evidence.

The report also calls for the creation of a new criminal offence related to the non-consensual distribution of intimate images and the discussion on the topic is refreshingly nuanced.

The report itself is here and here's the release:

Canada News Centre - Minister MacKay Welcomes Joint Federal–Provincial–Territorial Report on Cyberbullying and the Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images

OTTAWA, July 19, 2013 – The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement today:

“Following the tragic suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons in April, the federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed unanimously to expedite a review of our laws surrounding cyberbullying.

“Today I am pleased to announce that I have received the report by federal, provincial and territorial officials on cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

“The report recommends creating a new law against non-consensual distribution of intimate images and enhancing current criminal law responses to bullying, including cyberbullying.

“In addition, the report recommends modernizing – subject to appropriate judicial oversight – investigative powers in the Criminal Code to facilitate the investigation of criminal activity involving electronic communications.

“The report also recommends that all levels of government continue to build on initiatives to address the issue of cyberbullying in a comprehensive manner, including prevention, education, and awareness-raising activities.

“For my part, I will consider the report and its recommendations, which will help guide the way forward to ensuring our children are safe from online exploitation.

“The Government of Canada has taken significant steps toward cracking down on violent crimes, preventing victimization, and addressing the harmful behaviours associated with bullying and cyberbullying.

“For example, under the National Crime Prevention Strategy, in the fall of 2012, the Government of Canada committed up to $10 million toward new crime prevention projects, including the prevention of school-based bullying, focused on children and youth.

“GetCyberSafe, the Government of Canada’s public awareness campaign on online safety, has information about cyberbullying that includes how to talk to youth about it and how to respond to this type of incident.

“And is a new resource designed to help youth who have made the mistake of sending sexual images of themselves to peers, which can lead to cyberbullying. The site offers youth tips on removing content, strategies for addressing peers and moving forward, as well as information on possible related Criminal Code violations.

“I sincerely thank federal, provincial and territorial officials for having collaborated on this vital report. I look forward to working together with the provinces and territories as we make improvements to our justice system to prevent such tragic circumstances from happening again.”

An online version of the report can be found at

No comments: