Proposed law changes to crack down on bullying are being welcomed by teachers, but world wide web groups state the Law Commission’s recommendations are impractical.
Following a review of the laws governing digital communications – including websites, social media, emails and text messages – the commission on Wednesday released a summary of its briefing paper to Justice Minister Judith Collins.
It recommends introducing a new criminal offence, which would apply to offenders as young as 14, targeting indecent, obscene or menacing comments on websites and social media, or in emails or text messages.
The commission also recommends creating an offence of inciting a person to commit suicide, along with new legal requirements for schools to combat bullying.
Robin Duff, president of the secondary teachers’ union PPTA, welcomes the proposals but states there is no way schools would be able to introduce new anti-bullying measures on their current funding.
“Legislation is fine but we also need the support that comes through various agencies and certainly the government. It takes time, it takes resources.”
He supports the recommendation to establish a new Communications Tribunal where complainants could seek redress – like takedowns and cease and desist orders – if they had suffered harm from digital communications, as schools struggle to combat bullying that takes place after-hours.
Tech Liberty spokesman and Council for Civil Liberties member Thomas Beagle welcomes the commission’s proposal to extend existing laws to cover digital communications, including publishing intimate pics online.
But he is concerned that other proposals are a step too far.
“I think they have tried to find a solution to what might be an unsolvable problem. Our existing laws cater to the NZ-only situations and I do not think there really is a solution for the other side of it.”
He states potentially expanding the government’s powers to control what people can state on-line is worrying and confusing.
“If I was to put up something very nasty about someone on a billboard in Auckland and many people saw it, that would not be illegal, but if I was then to take the exact same text and put it online, state in a forum, suddenly that would be a crime.”
- WIN: A Sony NEX-3N camera and 2013 Sony World Photography Awards workshop prize
- Gadget Review Site ‘ITStruck.Me’ Offers Cutting Edge News, Reviews & Guides
- Squash world No. 1 David extends haul of World Open titles
- iPhone 5: review of reviews from around the world
- Hardware Review: Linksys E4200 Wireless-N Router
- Gadget review – Logitech wireless solar keyboard K750
- iPad Game Review: World of Goo HD
- DoCoMo gives 3D an interactive touch dimension
- Video-game Review | Sequel promotes creation of levels
- VIDEO GAME REVIEW | ‘WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM’
Submited at Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 1:00 am on Uncategorized by madison
Comment RSS 2.0 - leave a comment - trackback