Sunday 11 December 2016

A digital safety czar and new laws could tackle 'revenge porn' and online stalking

Raymond Byrne

Published 27/09/2016 | 02:30

'The digital media revolution has brought enormous communications benefits and has expanded the capacity for freedom of expression. But this freedom has also brought negative aspects' (stock photo)
'The digital media revolution has brought enormous communications benefits and has expanded the capacity for freedom of expression. But this freedom has also brought negative aspects' (stock photo)

In our report being published today, the Law Reform Commission has made 32 recommendations for reform of the law on harmful communications and digital safety. Our report aims to encourage education and empowerment about positive and safe digital citizenship, while also recognising that the digital media revolution has brought negative aspects such as cyberbullying, harassment and stalking.

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This report is the culmination of an extensive consultation process including workshops with young people, and consultation with representatives from Government, the social media sector, legal practitioners, law enforcement and academia. We also looked to how other countries - including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK - have tackled this area.

The digital media revolution has brought enormous communications benefits and has expanded the capacity for freedom of expression. But this freedom has also brought negative aspects, including some users engaging in communications that cause harm to others, including by posting intimate images online without consent, which involves gross breaches of the right to privacy.

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