CBC News this morning, “Canadian Private Member’s Bill Targets Cyberbullying,” tells us this:
A Vancouver MP wants to amend the Criminal Code to target children and teenagers who use mobile phones and the internet to bully others. Currently, the code makes harassment, libel and spreading false messages criminal offences.
Do we need a law on harassment by electronic media, to go along with the general Criminal Code prohibition [s. 264]?
Do we need all our laws amended to say “by electronic means”? or a general statute that says “whatever the law prohibits, that prohibition applies as well to the activity by electronic means”? (The Uniform Electronic Commerce Act dealt largely with the opposite policy, i.e. whatever the law allows is allowed by electronic means as well – subject to a few purpose-directed guidelines.)
Or should we let our prosecutors and courts (continue to) figure this out for themselves?’
How useful is symbolic legislation?