Cyber bullying and Criminal Law
What is cyber bullying?
Cyberbullying, at its most basic elements, is a type of bullying. In other words, cyberbullying involves a person or group of people taking advantage of an imbalance of power to hurt or disadvantage a specific person or group. The main characteristic of cyber bullying is that it happens online, particularly through social media. This makes cyber bullying especially serious, as information put on the internet is notoriously difficult to remove, and can be easily distributed beyond the control or intentions of the content’s creator.
Are there criminal consequences to cyber bullying?
As of 2015, there are now criminal consequences that can result from an accusation of cyberbullying. The new legislation is called the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, and focuses on making amendments to the Criminal Code to include acts related to the online publication or distribution of potentially damaging personal information. This includes, for example, distributing intimate photographs without the subject’s consent.
Critics of the new legislation have voiced their concerns about other provisions in the Act, namely the ones governing the police’s power of investigation. The Act created a variety of new warrants that allow acts such as installing surveillance software on cell phones – powers that critics of the Act say are too broad and invasive, and put the public’s privacy rights at risk.
Aside from provisions in the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, other criminal offences can apply to an individual accused of cyberbullying. These offences include harassment and uttering threats.
The lawyers at Smordin Law understand that an accusation of cyberbullying, or possible criminal conviction stemming from cyberbullying, can seriously and permanently impact the life of the accused. If you have been charged with a criminal offence in relation to bullying or cyberbullying, contact Smordin Law. Smordin Law offers the unique advantage of focusing solely on criminal defence matters, and thus can provide the most comprehensive, effective, and efficient service needed to best fight your charges.