Existing laws apply against cyberbullying too: DPM Teo

Current laws do not specifically target cyberbullying, but existing laws can be applied against cyberbullying and may amount to criminal intimidation under the Penal Code, an offence which carries a penalty of imprisonment and/or a fine.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Mr Teo Chee Hean explained that offences such as extortion or insulting a woman's modesty could apply to cyberbullying as well.

In cases involving serious threats, such as threats to cause death or grievous hurt, the penalty is more severe, with a longer term of imprisonment.

A victim of cyberbullying may also obtain a civil injunction from the court to restrain the perpetrator.

Mr Teo was responding to a question in Parliament on Tuesday about whether laws would be tightened against cyberbullying.

He added that the Ministry for Home Affairs, Ministry of Law and MICA are working together to consider whether cyberbullying needs to be targeting more explicitly.

Other criminal legislation enacted before the Internet age is also being reviewed to ensure that undesirable acts perpetrated via electronic means can similarly be punishable as criminal offences.

hteoh@sph.com.sg

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