Feeds

Flirty texting could land Scots in jail for 10 years

Go too far and you're nicked

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Scots face up to 10 years in jail for sending text messages or emails with sexual content. Scotland's just-published Sexual Offences Bill contains stiff penalties for any sexual messages whose intent is to humiliate the recipient.

The Bill is a radical revision of sex crime law in Scotland and broadly follows last December's recommendations of the Law Commission of Scotland. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill described it as a "once in a generation" opportunity to create a clear legal framework for sex crimes.

The Bill, though, could result in the jailing of people who send text and picture messages with sexual content for up to 10 years. The Bill opens the door to convictions for people whose flirting is ill-judged or goes too far.

The Bill creates a new offence of communicating indecently.

The offence will be committed if someone sends an unsolicited text message to someone else which a court finds was designed to give the sender sexual gratification or to humiliate, distress or alarm the receiver.

Causing a person to see or hear an indecent communication is also an offence. It can be committed by reading "a passage in a book or magazine" or by communicating the sounds of actual or simulated sexual activity or by communicating in sign language.

It will be up to prosecutors and courts to decide which communications are serious enough to warrant the heavy jail terms, but ill-advised flirting or joke messages could come under those definitions and expose senders to the long jail terms.

The Bill also bans the sending of images of a person or an "imaginary person" engaging in sexual activity without the receiver's permission. Again if the court finds that the message was designed to give the sender sexual gratification or humiliate, distress or alarm the recipient then the sender could be jailed for up to 10 years.

That person could be found guilty of another new offence, that of coercing a person into looking at an image of a sexual activity.

The Scottish Law Commission's Colin Tyre told The Scotsman newspaper that the new offences were designed to address a growing problem.

"We wanted to make sure all forms of communication were covered by a single law. Sending offensive e-mails in the workplace has become more common, as have text messages," he said.

Copyright © 2008, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.