technology

Cyberbullying, revenge porn and sextortion on the rise in Australia, as new laws promise jail time

Cyberbullying, revenge porn and sextortion on the rise in Australia, as new laws promise jail time

SEXTORTION, revenge porn, and cyberbullying are on the rise, Australia’s online safety agency says, and social networks and parents need to act now.

CYBERBULLYING, revenge porn, and sextortion are on the rise and the government agency tasked with fighting the scourge said social networks, parents, and teachers need to do more to stop their spread.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner today told a Senate Estimates Committee cyberbullying cases soared by 60 per cent over the past year, and warned Australia was “about 10 years behind in terms of education”.

Image-based abuse, including revenge porn and sextortion cases, had also risen so rapidly in Australia that the agency planned to drop the word “children” from its title and would invest $4.8 million in an “image-based” reporting tool due to launch later this year.

2

The agency charged with maintaining Australians’ online safety responded to a series of questions in the Senate on Wednesday, including inquiries about whether it had adequate resources to deal with its growing scope and rising number of complaints.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the Office received more than 400 cyberbullying complaints from children and their parents who had reported inappropriate material to social media sites but received no action.

“We’ve seen a 60 per cent increase in cyberbullying cases over the past year,” Ms Grant Inman said.

“Our own research shows us one in five young Australians have been cyberbullied over time.”

Despite the growing number of cases, Ms Grant Inman said the Office has used “the carrot” rather than “take-down notice” powers to convince social networks to remove the offending posts and images, explaining to the networks why the material was harmful.

3

But Ms Grant Inman said the Office also needed to do more to prevent cyberbullying, and introduce educational tools for parents and teachers.

“Sexting is becoming a normalised courtship ritual and we are engaging in more research around that,” she said.

“I personally believe we’re about 10 years behind in terms of education. We know that the birds and the bees conversation now needs to come with a technical manual.”

But the Office has also expanded its scope to investigate cases of adult revenge porn and other image-based abuse, including an increasing number of sextortion cases where a person threatens to share intimate photographs unless they receive favours or money.

Ms Inman Grant said the Office was trialling preventive measures, including warning potential perpetrators that they no longer had permission to hold intimate images and they should delete them or the evidence could be used in a civil or criminal trial.

She said the Office also planned to release a new “image-based abuse national tool” that would co-ordinate the removal of images from social networks and other websites, and give victims a central place to report offences.

“What happens currently if an image is on Instagram or Twitter, a victim would have to report to each platform and you talk about re-traumatisation,” she said.

“We would like to see some sort of fast track.”

Only South Australia and Victoria have specific anti-revenge porn laws currently, though New South Wales was expected to introduce a similar bill into its parliament this week that would include penalties for up to three years in jail and $11,000 fines.

Online Source: news.com.au

technology

More in technology

Internet overuse may lead to neuropsychiatric dysfunctions’, new research says

Internet overuse may lead to neuropsychiatric dysfunctions’, new research says

The Indian TelegraphAugust 19, 2017
Google adds voice search for eight Indian languages: Here’s how it will work

Google adds voice search for eight Indian languages: Here’s how it will work

The Indian TelegraphAugust 14, 2017
Port Augusta solar thermal plant to power South Australian government

Port Augusta solar thermal plant to power South Australian government

The Indian TelegraphAugust 14, 2017
This retro typewriter keyboard is the most hipster product in years

This retro typewriter keyboard is the most hipster product in years

The Indian TelegraphAugust 12, 2017
Facebook secures more profit per employee than Microsoft, Google: Study

Facebook secures more profit per employee than Microsoft, Google: Study

The Indian TelegraphAugust 7, 2017
Facebook testing new tool to boost subscriptions for publishers

Facebook testing new tool to boost subscriptions for publishers

The Indian TelegraphJuly 22, 2017
Inside the darknet: where Australians buy and sell illegal goods

Inside the darknet: where Australians buy and sell illegal goods

The Indian TelegraphJuly 6, 2017
Facebook launches amber alerts in Australia — a feature it hopes no one will have to use

Facebook launches amber alerts in Australia — a feature it hopes no one will have to use

The Indian TelegraphJune 22, 2017
Facebook wants to spy on you via your phone camera to read your emotions

Facebook wants to spy on you via your phone camera to read your emotions

The Indian TelegraphJune 7, 2017
Apple ‘error 53’ sting operation caught staff misleading customers, court documents allege

Apple ‘error 53’ sting operation caught staff misleading customers, court documents allege

The Indian TelegraphJune 5, 2017
Here is why your car key can unlock somebody else’s vehicle

Here is why your car key can unlock somebody else’s vehicle

The Indian TelegraphMay 29, 2017
Norway to boost climate change defences of ‘doomsday’ seed vault

Norway to boost climate change defences of ‘doomsday’ seed vault

The Indian TelegraphMay 21, 2017
Single man Shed Simove’s one-man dating app Shinder upsets Tinder

Single man Shed Simove’s one-man dating app Shinder upsets Tinder

The Indian TelegraphMay 17, 2017
A look at the digital currency bitcoin used by hackers in ransomware attacks

A look at the digital currency bitcoin used by hackers in ransomware attacks

The Indian TelegraphMay 15, 2017
Origin Energy scam hits tens of thousands of Australian email accounts

Origin Energy scam hits tens of thousands of Australian email accounts

The Indian TelegraphMay 11, 2017
Apple tipped to launch Siri home speaker in coming months

Apple tipped to launch Siri home speaker in coming months

The Indian TelegraphMay 8, 2017
Microsoft Surface revealed — and it’s got a bizarre feature that could get very grubby

Microsoft Surface revealed — and it’s got a bizarre feature that could get very grubby

The Indian TelegraphMay 4, 2017
If you’re a smartphone junkie, this iPhone case rations your screen time

If you’re a smartphone junkie, this iPhone case rations your screen time

The Indian TelegraphMay 1, 2017
Apple iPhone 8 concept video shows bezel-less display, no physical home button

Apple iPhone 8 concept video shows bezel-less display, no physical home button

The Indian TelegraphApril 27, 2017
Digital wallets slow to take off in Australia but more big banks are adopting the technology

Digital wallets slow to take off in Australia but more big banks are adopting the technology

The Indian TelegraphApril 24, 2017
Google eyes ad-blocker for its Chrome browser

Google eyes ad-blocker for its Chrome browser

The Indian TelegraphApril 20, 2017