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22nd Feb 2018

Experts Involved In ‘Slane Girl’ Controversy Say Ireland Needs An Internet Minister


Experts who looked at the ‘Slane Girl’ controversy in a Government-commissioned online safety study have advised that Ireland needs an Internet Minister, the Irish Independent reports.

Barrister Ronan Lupton, who suggested creating the new minister post at the Oireachtas Committee on Children was a member of the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group.

The group was set up to examine online safety in Ireland after a number of incidents occurred, including the ‘Slane Girl’ incident in which images of a 17-year-old girl went viral after she was photographed performing a sex act at Slane concert in 2013.

Communications Minister Denis Naughten, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone and Education Minister Richard Bruton all attended yesterday’s committee meeting.

The prospect of increasing the digital age of consent for providing personal to details to social media companies, which currently stands at 13, was brought up but Mr Flanagan said there would be “real difficulties” enforcing a higher age.

When asked if social media companies could be made responsible for enforcing the digital age of consent via legislation, Mr Flanagan said: “I think we can do more in that area and I believe we should explore it.”

The committee also recommended the creation of a Digital Safety Commissioner.