Newstalk
Newstalk

17.27 25 Jan 2018


Share this article


The leader of the Labour Party has called for laws governing the sending of indecent images to be updated to take in modern technology.

Brendan Howlin has warned that the current legislation is hopelessly outdated.

He was speaking after a Dublin man was found guilty of using apps like Instagram and Snapchat to coerce young girls into sending him pornographic images.

The man - who is due to be sentenced on Friday - set up fake online profiles to target victims as young as nine-years-old.

Deputy Howlin said the internet and social media, "have brought people together" but warned they "clearly they have a dark side."

He said Irish laws need to be updated to reflect the changing technological landscape:

Howlin calls for change to "antiquated" laws governing online communication

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

"In the vacuum of no clear government policy where we had a minister of state make a ludicrous suggestion that social media accounts should be linked to Public Services Cards; the existing offences of sending messages which are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing should be updated to include new forms of communication," he said.

"As the law stands only phone [calls] and texts are covered."

Cases involving harmful digital communication are currently dealt with under the Post Office (Amendment) Act, 1951, and the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.

While the laws were previously updated to include text messages, Deputy Howlin has warned that they are unfit to deal with online communication.

He laws should be updated immediately and called for a new Digital Safety Commissioner to be put in place as quickly as possible.

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he shared Deputy Howlin's concerns "as a politician but also as a father of three girls who know how to use my mobile phone as well as I do, despite the fact that the oldest is aged just eight."

He said the Minister for Communications is currently "exploring and consulting on the need for, feasibility of and requirements relating to" the setting up of a new Digital Safety Commissioner post.

He said it was not yet clear what the position would look like or what it would cost to creat but said he expects that "we will have it very soon."


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on