DPM Teo: Government considering need for tougher cyberbullying laws
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean says the Government is considering whether cyber bullying needs to be targeted more explicitly.
He said his ministry is working with the Law Ministry as well as the Information, Communications and the Arts Ministry to review other criminal legislation enacted before the Internet age to ensure that undesirable acts perpetrated via electronic means can similarly be punishable as criminal offences.
Giving a written reply to a parliamentary question, Mr Teo said given the viral speed at which offensive material can spread on the Internet, the government is also exploring whether to legislatively provide for a wider range of judicial injunctions to offer victims relief prior to the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
In addition to criminal sanctions, a victim of cyberbullying may also obtain a civil injunction from the Court to restrain the perpetrator.
MHA and the Ministry of Law are also reviewing whether the existing civil remedies need to be enhanced to address acts of cyberbullying.
While, current laws do not target cyberbullying specifically Mr Teo said there are existing laws that can apply against cyberbullying.
For example, cyberbullying may amount to criminal intimidation under the Penal Code.
In cases involving serious threats, such as threats to cause death or grievous hurt, the penalty is more severe, with a longer term of imprisonment.
Other offences, such as extortion or insulting the modesty of a woman, can also apply.
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