Canadian precedent emerging for teen sexting
A 16-year-old boy from Newfoundland received a sentence of 18-month probation for sharing naked photos of his 15-year-old girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and avoided the more serious charge of distribution. In Canada, he could have faced the same charge even if he had not shared the images. It is illegal to possess naked images of a person under the age of 18 even if they have consented to having the images taken. There are some special circumstances, like if both parties are under the age of 18, within two years of the same age, were present and consenting when the images were taken, and never shared the images. This is the second sentence of 18-months probation for sharing naked photos in Canada.
U.K. passes intrusive surveillance bill
The bill was passed because proponents claim it gives the government the power it needs to combat terrorism’s increasingly digital threat. It requires that communications companies retain records of every website, application, and messaging service that a user accesses for a period of one year. This includes those accessed through smartphones. Civil rights and technology companies are calling the bill overly intrusive and oppressive. The information that the government can access is supposedly related only to your metadata: who you contact, when, how often, and the pages you visit; and not to the content of your online interactions. However, metadata can reveal a lot of personal information and often leads to escalated measures of surveillance.
Newfoundland and Labrador finance minister breaks the silence about online harassment
In order to show the public that online harassment is not acceptable, Cathy Bennet shared some of the abusive emails and social media communications that she has received since being in office. By going public, she is combating her own online harassment and empowering other women to do the same: “This is how it starts, because we excuse it, we don’t call it out, we push it under the rug. I want all women to stand together, to be braver, and not be bystanders as others are abused … I want to put an end to cyber attacks that demoralize, humiliate and escalate.” Her decision also coincides with the final day of the U.N.’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign.