Canada's top court allows victim to remain anonymous
OTTAWA - Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong is applauding a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allows a Nova Scotia cyber-bullying victim to anonymously continue court action against her attacker.
"This is a precedent-setting case that will allow young people to come forward without fear and face their cyber-bullies," Armstrong said in a release.
A strong opponent of cyber-bullying, Armstrong is a former education and has first-hand experience with the damage the activity can have on young victims.
"The Internet remains an area of communication where our legal system has not adjusted to the new paradigm that it opens up. This is a good, first step, holding those who are bullying those online accountable for their actions," Armstrong said.
In August, Armstrong hosted federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews at a round table in Truro.
The minister said the growth of the Internet has made bullying much worse because it's no longer a problem young people face on the playground.
He said cyber-bullying raises the question of what the responsibility of Internet service providers is and he suggested parents to take a more active role in their children's online activities.
In a 7-0 decision last week, the court ruled the teenage girl can sue for the identity of her attacker.
The case stems from a 2010 incident in which the fake profile of a 15-year-old girl appeared on the popular social media website Facebook. The profile included a photo of the girl with sexually explicit reference and insulting comments about her appearance.
The girl's father launched legal action on behalf of his daughter to force Eastlink to hand over the IP address of the person who created the profile. The girl's lawyer requested a publication ban on her name and the contents of the Facebook page.
A Halifax newspaper fought the ban saying it would breach the open court principle. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court agreed, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision.