The Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, has confirmed that plans to appoint a Digital Safety Commissioner for Ireland (DSC) will go ahead in 2018. The DSC will act as an ‘Internet regulator’, with powers of enforcement and responsibility for a ‘notice and takedown’ regime, to ensure the online safety of Internet users.
The conference on Modernising Copyright, jointly organised by the Irish Centre for European Law and the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, brought together a number of interesting academics, practitioners and commentators, for a lively discussion concerning various aspects of the future of copyright law in Europe. Among the issues addressed were the development of a Digital Single Market (DSM) in Europe, the nature of copyright exceptions and limitations, and the position of online service providers and intermediaries vís-a-vís copyright infringement.
A Private Members Bill – the Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Bill 2015 –
The law has consistently prohibited the improper use of the postal and telephone systems, however a legal loophole exists in respect of electronic communications or social media. The new legislation proposes amending section 13 of the Post Office (Amendment) Act 1951, as substituted by section 4 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Communications regulation (Amendment) Act 2007.
The Law Reform Commission (LRC) has launched a consultation process reviewing Irish law on cyber-crime affecting personal safety, privacy and reputation, including cyber-bullying. It addresses harassment conducted through cyber-technology, and other harmful communications through the use of internet enable devices such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.
The Issues Paper, published by the LRC today, reviews the legal safeguards currently in place and considers where they might be strengthened. The LRC seeks the views of interested parties on five issues, including:-
"(1) Whether the harassment offence in section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 should be amended to incorporate a specific reference to cyber-harassment, including indirect cyber-harassment.
(2) Whether there should be an offence that involves a single interference, through cyber technology, with another person’s privacy.
(3) Whether current law on hate crime adequately addresses activity that uses cyber technology and social media.
(4) Whether current penalties for offences which can apply to cyber-harassment and related behaviour are adequate.
(5) The adequacy of civil law remedies to protect against cyber-harassment and to safeguard the right to privacy".
Contributors are requested to make their submissions/comments before close of business on Monday 19 January 2015.
The full text of the Issues Paper can be found here.
As the world still tries to come to grasps with the Ebola crisis in Africa, it is thought that the greatest risk of contracting the deadly virus in Europe is for healthcare workers. An Irish tech start-up company called Medical eGuides has launched an app which will provide medical staff with critical information on how to effectively and competently treat Ebola-infected patients in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.