Ireland gets tough on trolls

19:04 Apr 20 2015 Dublin, Ireland

Under the Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Bill 2015, judges could soon have the power to impose stiff fines and prison sentences on people found to have sent “harmful” electronic communications to others.

These include messages that incite hatred or encourage people to commit suicide.

Under the proposed legislation it will also be an offence to send “explicit” content to another person online.

The bill, which amends section 13 of the Post Office (Amendment) Act 1951, will target offences that involve the use of electronic communications networks – from SMS to Twitter or Facebook – to send messages that are indecent, obscene or false, which are calculated to cause anxiety.

The move echoes similar moves in the UK, where harsher sentences were introduced in October by the UK’s justice secretary Chris Grayling. For example, internet users found guilty of revenge porn could be hit with sentences of up to 14 years.
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