Decry Use of Internet to Shame and Humiliate – Senator Falconer

Story Highlights

  • A call has been made for the society to decry the use of the Internet for the posting of personal and private information, including photos, which cause humiliation, and damage the reputation of innocent persons, particularly children.
  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, who made the call during her contribution to the debate on the Cyber Crimes Act in the Senate on Friday (November 27), said that a “culture of humiliation” is permeating cyber space and it must stop.
  • The Cyber Crimes Act was passed with 17 amendments, after it was given passage in the House of Representatives on October 13.

A call has been made for the society to decry the use of the Internet for the posting of personal and private information, including photos, which cause humiliation, and damage the reputation of innocent persons, particularly children.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, who made the call during her contribution to the debate on the Cyber Crimes Act in the Senate on Friday (November 27), said that a “culture of humiliation” is permeating cyber space and it must stop.

She noted that victims are devalued, when persons engage in malicious posting, with the sole intention to “hurt, defame and abuse people.”

“The cost to the dignity of affected individuals cannot be measured… which too many have unfortunately paid,” the Minister said.

She noted that equally disturbing “is the growing audience, and the ease with which individuals can be recruited to engage in cyber stalking, and cyber harassment.”

“That is why I am so pleased that this Bill will afford more protection to a teenage girl, who is naïve and trusting, and shared more than she should, and ends up facing the type of humiliation that can destroy her,” the Minister told the Upper House.

Stressing that public shaming must end, she said that “together, we must shape a better future that leverages the power of the Internet, to create, collaborate, innovate, and resolve the challenges of our time in a positive and uplifting way.”

“There can be no place in a civilized society for the digital space of citizens to be invaded, to be used to harass and to spread violent messages. There is no place for private information and photographs of an explicit and sexual nature to be publicly exposed as an act of revenge, or to inflict wanton abuse,” Senator Falconer argued.

The Cyber Crimes Act was passed with 17 amendments, after it was given passage in the House of Representatives on October 13.

The legislation includes provisions to deal with computer-related fraud, malicious transmission of information, as well as disclosure of unauthorised information.

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