Police tackle cyber bullying, social media defamation

<p>At the same time the ministry is increasing awareness about offences and penalties in cybercrime law through its Cyber Safety Programme.</p>

<p>Police Spokesperson Su’a Le Mamea Tiumalu told Loop Samoa that many perpetrators and victims of cybercrimes are unaware of the law.</p>

<p>“The Cyber Safety Act 2013 clearly states that any use of an electronic device to defame, hurt, attack or even impersonate another person is against the law and they each have their own respective punishments,” said Su’a.</p>

<p>He made the comment in light of the increase in reports of cybercrimes like cyber bullying.</p>

<p>“Attacking someone on social media with words or videos and even pictures is a violation of their rights and the punishment is no longer than 5 years jail time. As for impersonating a person on line or defaming a person online, not more than seven years in prison,” said Su’a.</p>

<p>Police have linked recent brawls in downtown Apia to the irresponsible use of social media and they have warned the public especially youth that they won’t hesitate to apply the law where necessary.</p>

<p>“The law is the law and if a young boy or girl decides to throw around insulting comments or defaming someone using any electronic device whether through social media or even in direct texting or calling, they can be charged for an offense,” Su’a said.</p>

<p>“There are certain parts of the law that decide the suitable punishment if the perpetrator is below 17 years old,” he said.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, Minister for Communications Information Technology’s Afamasaga Rico Tupai has indicated plans to ban pornographic websites in Samoa.</p>

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