Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Federal cyberbullying legislation expected tomorrow

The CBC is reporting that the federal government plans to introduce its anti-cyberbullying bill in Parliament tomorrow.

The bill is expected to focus on the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, but keep a close eye out for an attempt to bring in new lawful access powers, as well.

Here's the CBC report: Cyberbullying legislation to be announced Wednesday - Nova Scotia - CBC News.

For my comments on the discussion paper that likely prompted this legislation: Throne speech calls for "new tools for law enforcement" against cyberbullying.

Update (2013-11-20) - Some details are beginning to emerge about the bill, which PostMedia is suggesting will be called the "Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act" (echoes of Bill C-30's "Protecting Children From Online Predators Act", maybe?)

From PostMedia News:

Federal government to table bill aimed at combating cyberbullying | canada.com

The federal government is poised to table new legislation Wednesday, aimed at modernizing the Criminal Code and combating cyberbullying, Postmedia News has learned.

The bill, dubbed the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, will, among other things, amend the Criminal Code and the Evidence Act.

While details of the bill have not been released, a key recommendation contained in a July report by federal, provincial and territorial justice and public safety ministers recommended making it a new Criminal Code offence to knowingly distribute sexually explicit photos of a person without their consent. It recommended the offence be punishable by as many as five years in prison.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay said at the time he would seriously consider the chief recommendation.

The report also called for new provisions that would allow judges to order intimate images removed from the Internet and the forfeiture of cellphones, computers and other equipment used in the commission of an offence.

It’s unlikely Wednesday’s bill will create new laws to specifically address bullying and cyberbullying as the report ultimately concluded “existing” Criminal Code offences like criminal harassment, uttering threats, intimidation, unauthorized use of a computer, extortion, defamatory libel and child pornography “generally cover most serious bullying behaviour.” ...

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