Ivana Bacik TD
27 September 2016

Senator Ivana Bacik today welcomed the recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission in their Report on Harmful Communications and Digital Safety.

“In recent years the growing recognition of online abuse has highlighted the legislative gap in this area. Reports from Women’s Aid here in Ireland and by international experts point to an increased problem in this area. The Law Reform Commission has addressed this problem by recommending the introduction of two new criminal offences to deal with posting online of intimate images without consent, as well as calling for reform of existing offences of harassment and the sending of threatening messages. These recommendations are very timely and if enacted would bring Ireland into line with other jurisdictions, which have enacted criminal offences specifically to tackle new developments such as the phenomenon of ‘revenge porn’.

“The Commission has also recommended the establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner office. This office would have an important role in promoting digital safety in general, while also acting on individual cases of harmful online communication, by overseeing an efficient and much-needed takedown procedure. This Commissioner could also play a crucial part in increasing awareness around digital safety for young people, which would help to tackle the incidence of online abuse and cyberbullying. I greatly welcome these recommendations and the Labour Party will be bringing its own proposals based on this report, as a priorty.

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