The West

Labor proposes cyber-bully laws
Labor proposes cyber-bully laws

Students who bully others on Facebook would be prosecuted under a law proposed by the Opposition.

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said yesterday if Labor was elected next year he would introduce legislation to stamp out cyber bullying by making it an offence to use an electronic device to harass, menace or threaten another person.

The penalty would be up to three years jail or a $3000 fine.

Mr Quigley said the only legal avenue now was under a Commonwealth telecommunications law.

But he said it was difficult for people to contact or get a response from Australian Federal Police, who concentrated their resources on major offences, and a State law would be more accessible.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin said no State had a specific cyber-bullying offence, but there were general laws dealing with threatening or stalking behaviour that appeared adequate for most bullying cases.

The Commonwealth's jurisdiction in the area of misuse of telecommunication services could also render any State laws invalid.

Mr Mischin said he was waiting for a Federal Government White Paper on cyber bullying.

"It would be appropriate to await this report so there can be co-operative Commonwealth-State action if it were necessary for such offences to be introduced," he said.

The West Australian

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