Government Moves to Make Text and Online Abuse a Criminal Offence
Sending abusive text messages and engaging in online bullying are set to become criminal offences in Ireland, according to new measures announced by the Government today.
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte published the Report of the Internet Content Governance Advisory (ICGA) Group earlier this morning, which includes 30 recommendations. These recommendations are now to be followed up by a team from 5 Government Departments.
Speaking today, Mr. Rabbitte said he had asked the expert group to consider a number of issues arising for society, and in particular for children and young people, from the dramatic growth in internet use over the last decade, and particularly since the advent of affordable internet connected mobile devices. They were asked to deal with the issues of bullying and harassment online and issues around age inappropriate viewing of content.
The Minister also announced the formation of an implementation group chaired by his Department and comprising representatives of the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs, Education and Skills, Justice and Equality, and Health, who will agree on and oversee the implementation of the ICGA Group recommendations.
The Minister said: “I am encouraged by the response of my Cabinet colleagues to the proposals contained within this report, and I am confident that we will have comprehensive set of actions agreed on this very soon.”
It is anticipated that this implementation group will conclude their work within 4 months.
A copy of the ICGA group report can be downloaded here.