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Online criminals must be held accountable

By: Blake Richards

  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am

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As the year 2013 nears an end, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the successes achieved and the work ahead of us.

One issue that continues to concern me is our societyís struggle to properly address bullying.

I recognize this is a complex issue. Parents, schools, governments, media, and most importantly our youth are taking action.

For instance, our government funds numerous awareness and educational initiatives, and has taken steps to ensure victims are respected.

Our government supports the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, which operates Cybertip.ca and NeedHelpNow.ca, websites that Canadians can use to report online sexual exploitation of children.

We are also helping ensure that Canadians have access to information they need to protect themselves and their families against online threats through the GetCyberSafe.gc.ca campaign.

In addition, we have taken many steps to strengthen Canadaís laws dealing with violent crime.

Yet, we are still losing young people to the most heinous forms of bullying, often maliciously conducted online, where tormentors seek to escape accountability for their crimes.

This must end.

Our government recently introduced Bill C-13, The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, to ensure that our children are safe from online exploitation.

If approved, Bill C-13 would make it a crime to distribute intimate images of any person without that personís consent.

It would give a court the power to remove such images from the Internet, as well as seize any device used to perpetrate the offence.

It would also modernize the Criminal Code, giving investigators the tools they need to address these crimes, subject to appropriate judicial oversight.

As the advancement of technology continues, our laws must keep pace.

We know that this issue can never be fully resolved so long as aggressors have free reign to operate online.


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