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Hate Crime: Internet

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL16425, tabled on 17 June 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made, further to the Law Commission’s Scoping Report on Abusive and Offensive Online Communications published on 1 November 2018, to improve the current criminal law concerning abusive and offensive online communications, in order to tackle online abuse more effectively.

Answered on

28 June 2019

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport and the Ministry of Justice have engaged the Law Commission on a second phase of their review of abusive and offensive online communications. This will begin in July 2019 and will build on the analysis undertaken for the Scoping Report.

In Phase 2, the Law Commission will review existing communications offences to establish whether the law is fit for purpose, and make specific recommendations about options for reform in this area. This will include considering whether co-ordinated harassment by groups of people online could be more effectively dealt with by the criminal law.

The Law Commission will also look at the criminal law around the non-consensual taking and sharing of intimate images. The review will look at existing offences and identify whether there are any gaps in the scope of the protection already offered to victims, making recommendations to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection against the creation and sharing of intimate images without consent.