Child pornography to get a wider definition under amended law

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Efforts to strengthen the Electronic Crimes Act, to protect children, adults and personal information are to be advanced in parliament this Friday.
This is being done through proposed amendments to the Electronic Crimes Act which is scheduled to be debated in the Senate on that day.
The Bill was passed in the Lower House last week and the attorney general, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin was the one who laid it on the table.
He pointed to the Explanatory Memorandum to explain the new scope the law will take and why the specific amendments are being proposed.
The memorandum states, “The objective of this legislation is to update the Electronic Crimes Act 2013, No. 14 of 2013, to give effect to the decision of Her Ladyship Justice Clare Henry and to give greater clarity to the offences under the Act.”
According to Benjamin, the judge had ruled in a case, not yet known to OBSERVER media, that the law was too vague or wide and “left open the possibility of a violation of the enjoyment of freedom of expression which is protected in the constitution.”
One of the changes therefore is to the definition of the term “child pornography.”
The definition used in the principal Act for “child pornography” referred only to images and representations of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 
However, by this amendment, the definition has been widened; and in addition to images and representations of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the term will also now refer to images and representations that – “(ii) for a sexual purpose, shows parts of a child’s body, whether natural or computer generated, pasted to images or visual representation of an adult’s body and vice versa; or  (iii) exploits a child for sexual stimulation.”
  Section 8 of the principal Act is also to be repealed entirely as it relates to the crime of Violation of Privacy.
The proposed change, which is more specific than what currently exists, states, “A person commits an offence if that person intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification captures, publishes or transmits the image of the private area of another person without his or her consent, or captures, publishes or transmits the image, whether whole or partial, of another person in a vulnerable position under circumstances violating the privacy of that person.”
And, under this section, the punishment from a magistrate will be a fine up to $100,000 or two years in jail; or to both such fine and imprisonment.
If the conviction is in the High Court, the maximum fine of $250,000 can be imposed or a jail sentence of up to five years. An individual can also be sentenced to prison and still be fined.
Meanwhile, section 18 of the Electronic Crimes Act will also be amended. The amendment will make it mandatory for a police officer to obtain an order from a Magistrate or a Judge to obtain private information on any electronic system.
The attorney general said the amendments aim to protect the freedom of expression and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary search and seizure of these systems.
Under the Act, a person can be charged for sending offensive messages through communication services; violating someone’s privacy by photographing their private parts and further sharing those images; and for electronic fraud and electronic forgery, among other things. (Martina Johnson)

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