A new bill has been tabled by the ex minister for communications. Here it is in its glory : The
Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Bill 2015 [PMB] :
Lets look at it (remember, ex minister for communications
1. The Post Office (Amendment) Act 1951 is amended in section 13, as substituted by section 4 of and Schedule 1 to the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007, by the substitution of the following section:
“Offences in connection with public electronic communications networks
13. (1) A person who—
(a) sends or causes to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or is indecent, obscene or menacing, or
(b) for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another—
(i) sends or causes to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that the sender knows to be false, or
(ii) persistently and without reasonable cause makes use of a public electronic communications network, is guilty of an offence.
And the penalty is death a fine of €75,000 and/or 5 years in prison. Oh, and Ireland will seize the internet. All of it. Everywhere. All of your fiber optics are belong to US!
On convicting a person for an offence under subsection (1), the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed for the offence, order any apparatus, equipment or other thing used in the course of committing the offence to be forfeited to the State.”
So. Spam – off to the slammer, coz its annoying ; reminders about forthcoming social events (causing needless anxiety) – pay up; ebooks containing fiction – its lockup ; relentless checking of facebook through boredom – you’ll be sloppign out in the Joy….
This is truly Orwellian. Or maybe Kafkaesque…no, scratch that, its Surrealism. . A single person feeling “annoyed” by a tweet, an email, a post on facebook can result in 5 years in jail. And what on earth is ‘reasonable cause’ to use t’interweb? Who decides? How often do you have to check your email to be a ‘persistent’ user and a criminal? It would be good if people could , in the comments, give me some more examples of soon to be criminalised actions.
This is a bill that should really be titled “Don’t Speak Ill of or Critique Politicians on Social Media or ELSE”. Its a thin skinned reaction to the emergence of a new mode of interaction and proposes a restriction on social media that makes would make the gerontocrats of the People’s Republic or the hypersensitive Prez Erdogan take a moment to consider if they were going too far.
Im off now to persistently send fiction to people for the purpose of annoying them. Or ‘blogging’ as its known.