Feeds

British trolls to face 'tougher penalties' over online abuse

Tories want to make cyber-bullying 'just a bit harder'

The Tory-led government is supporting calls for more stringent legislation to tackle trolls who hurl abuse at others online in England and Wales.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling backed Conservative MP Angie Bray's demands for changes to the law on Monday.

"Just tabled amendment to Criminal Justice Bill to make life just a bit harder for cyber-bullies and sex pests using texts to harass victims," the politico said on her Twitter account.

According to the Evening Standard, Grayling agreed that the legislation needed to be tightened to protect victims from malicious comments being directed at them on free content ad networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

It comes in light of some high profile cases over the past year involving celebrities and others in the public eye who complained to the police, after being verbally attacked online with death threats and abusive messages.

Perhaps the most notorious example was the one involving feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez. Two people were later found guilty of sending menacing communications after Criado-Perez made a formal statement to police in July 2013 about being harassed online.

But the accused ended up only with short stays behind bars.

Offences under the Malicious Communications Act currently only carry prison sentences that are no longer than six months, because such cases are heard at magistrates' courts.

The proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, which will be discussed in Parliament on Thursday, could change that.

"We've got rules in place to stop people being harassed or distressed by any particular means of communication," Grayling told the Standard.

"Now we're just making sure that those rules are as robust as possible."

He said:

Part of the purpose of this Bill is to toughen up some of the penalties that offenders face when they break the law - and this particular amendment that Angie has proposed will help achieve that.

®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.