Nicta talks defamation


PEOPLE making defamatory comments on social media, particularly on Facebook, may be sued under the provisions of the cybercrime legislation, the National Information Communication and Technology Authority says.
Chief executive officer Charles Punaha said like any crime, one has to make a formal complaint to the police with evidence.
He was commenting about recent defamatory posts by candidates against rivals on Facebook.
“Provisions of the cybercrime legislation may be used,” he said.
“Aggrieved persons have to register the complaint with the police who would investigate and prosecute the matter in court.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill earlier told The National that he welcomed debates and public scrutiny on issues posted on social media.
But he stressed that it was not healthy when the users sent out fake news, especially on matters of public interest.
“I don’t believe in controlling social media,” O’Neill said.
“But users of social media need to be educated.
“Just because you have a Facebook account doesn’t give you the right to make statements which are not true.
“There are a lot of defamatory statements out there.
“I’m probably called many names, it does not affect me. These are unfortunate statements that need to be tested in courts.
“I’m certain that once dust has settled (after election), we will be looking at these statements.
“We are seeking legal advice on some defamatory statements that have been made by some candidates and individuals.
“We will utilise the full force of the law to try to correct that, we are not trying to prosecute anyone.”

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