Cyberflashing should be new criminal offence, review suggests

Unsolicited sending of obscene images should be made illegal through the creation of a new offence of cyberflashing, a UK government-commissioned review recommended. T

he Law Commission said that while the Sexual Offences Act criminalised exposure of genitals it was not sufficiently clear whether that covered images or video recordings.

In a report, published on Wednesday, the commission said: “Cyberflashing can cause serious harm. It is often experienced as a form of sexual harassment, involving coercive sexual intrusion by men into women’s everyday lives.”

British Transport Police recorded 66 reports of unsolicited photographs sent – through means such as the filesharing service AirDrop – in 2019, up from three in 2016. The commission described this increase as dramatic but likely to represent the tip of the iceberg.

Proposing other new listed offences, including pile-on harassment, knowingly sending false communications, and encouragement or assistance of serious self-harm, the commission said that the existing legislation could be ineffective at criminalising genuinely harmful online behaviour. In other instances it could disproportionately interfere with freedom of expression.

Read the full story from The Guardian below:

Source: Cyberflashing should be new criminal offence, review suggests

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By / Published On: July 21st, 2021 / Tags: / Categories: News, Online Safety /

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