The Member of Parliament for Provencher says a new law to help prevent cyberbullying is now in effect. Ted Falk says a key part of the legislation involves photos that are posted on the internet. He explains the law makes it an offence to share an intimate image without the consent of the person in the image. Falk notes this includes when the photo is taken without the person in the photo even realizing it, or, if it is taken unwillingly.
"With the rapid advancement in technology and, with more and more kids having access to the internet through their mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, it's becoming a problem. And, for whatever reason, children are especially susceptible to it. They take some indiscriminate pictures of themselves and sometimes of other people and forward them on without that person's consent. We've made it a crime to do that, as a way to protect people from cyberbullying."
Falk says, while the government is doing its part to protect against cyberbullying, parents also have a role to play.
"Parent oversight is so very important. I think it's absolutely essential that parents are engaged with their children, that they're monitoring the social media that their children are using, whether it's Facebook or Twitter or internet or texting, I think it's a very good idea for parents to make sure that their children are using these devices appropriately."
The new law also empowers the courts to remove an intimate image from the Internet, and order forfeiture of the device used to commit the offence. And Falk says the law also takes a strong stand for victims, including provisions for them to be reimbursed for the costs of going to court to have items removed from the internet.