11th December 08:37 PM
New Online Safety Act to ensure our children are protected - Sayed-Khaiyum
By Vijay Narayan
Friday 18/05/2018
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Online Safety Commission is set up under the new Online Safety Act to ensure that the most vulnerable in the society like our children are protected and do not have to be dragged to the Police Station to file a complaint.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the commission’s role is very important and the same commission is set up in Australia and New Zealand.

Sayed-Khaiyum stresses that the Crimes Act is clear that people cannot distribute their sex videos online and says the opposition is completely missing the point by saying that the government is allowing immoral issues.

NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad maintains that the bill should have had more consultation.

The bill should have had more consultation - Biman Prasad

According to Prasad, many definitions in the bill are still not clear.

The Online Safety Act allows for parents, legal guardians, or representatives as well as school principals and head teachers to lodge complaints on behalf of the person who suffers from mental incapacity.

In the bill, a person who posts an electronic communication with the intention to cause harm to an individual; would cause harm to an ordinary reasonable individual in the position of the individual; or causes harm to the individual, commits an offence.

A person who commits this offence is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or a prison term not exceeding 5 years or both for an individual; and in the case of a body corporate, a fine not exceeding $100,000, and for a director, chief executive officer, manager or officer in charge for the time being, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to a term of prison not exceeding 7 years, or both.

 

In determining whether posting an electronic communication would cause harm, the court may take into account any factor it considers relevant, including the extremity of the language, images or videos used; the age and characteristics of the individual concerned; whether the electronic communication was anonymous; whether the communication was repeated; the extent of circulation of the electronic communication; whether the electronic communication is true or false; and the context in which the electronic communication appeared.

The bill states that a person must not post or threaten to post an intimate visual recording of an individual. Any person who commits this offence is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both for an individual; and in the case of a body corporate, a fine not exceeding $100,000 and for a director, chief executive officer, manager or officer in charge for the time being, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years, or both.

This does not apply if the individual, who is the subject of the electronic communication concerned, consents to the specific post of the intimate visual recording.

However consent must be voluntary, expressed and informed, and does not include the consent of a child.

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