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Paris-based media organisation calls on Governor General to veto bill

PARIS, CMC – The Paris-based media group, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has written to Governor General Dame Cécile La Grenade urging her to veto the Electronic Crimes Act that critics say would punish the sending of “offensive” electronic communication with up to one year in prison.
“We do not dispute the principle of this law or some of its provisions. The Internet should not escape the authority of the law altogether and we believe that it is perfectly legitimate to sanction such crimes and offences as the theft of documents or data, online identity theft or, even more serious, child pornography,” RWB general secretary Christophe Deloire wrote in the letter.
“However, we regard some of the clauses in this law as extremely damaging to the free flow of news and information and to public debate. For example section 6 (1.a) of Part II says: “A person shall not knowingly or without lawful excuse or justification send by means of an electronic system or an electronic device (…) information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character.”

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