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'Revenge Porn' Could Soon Become A Criminal Offence In Ireland

By Shirleydonlon

January 31, 2018 at 4:57pm

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The Labour Party today will propose a Bill in the Dáil to tackle harassment, stalking, cyber-bullying and 'revenge porn'. 

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017 aims to update Ireland's existing harassment laws to cover modern technology and social media.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin said: "Our Bill seeks to bring existing regulation up to date by broadening the legal definition of communication, so it covers all electronic, written and spoken word, including for example, an iMessage, Whatsapp or Facebook message, and a tweet or social media post."

He added: "It seeks to protect against online harassment by covering against the persistent communication about someone as well as directly to that person, which is often the case when it comes to cyber-bullying."

The Bill also aims to tackle 'revenge-porn', which typically involves sexually explicit images or videos of a person being posted online, often by a former partner, without the consent of the subject.

It aims to prevent this by making it an offence to distribute an intimate image without consent.

Mr Howlin said: "This has proven effective in countries like the UK where such legislation already exists."

"Importantly, the Bill makes it clear that it is not to be interpreted as altering the law so as to prohibit or unduly restrict the exercise of the rights of peaceable assembly or peaceful picketing, or any other constitutional right."

He added: "Free speech should remain just that. But harassment, stalking, and aggravated online bullying are not expressions of freedom - they are attacks on it."

READ MORE: REVEALED: The Jobs Sector With Most Vacancies For Graduates In Ireland Right Now

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