SINGAPORE: A new Bill aimed at giving better protection to victims of cyber-bullying and stalking was tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The Protection from Harassment Bill will make harassment an offence in both the physical and online world.
It makes clear that as long as an act is threatening, abusive, insulting and causes distress to victims, it is harassment, even if it is done online.
Under the new Bill, stalking, including loitering near a victim's home, or messaging the victim everyday, will be criminalised.
The laws will also apply to acts committed outside of Singapore, as long as certain conditions are met -- for example, when an offender who is overseas stalks a victim in Singapore, and knows that the victim was going to be in Singapore at the time of the offence.
Penalties will be enhanced to include fines of up to S$5,000, and jail terms. There will also be a wider range of remedies. For example, the court can issue take-down notices to websites which publish offending material deemed as harassment.
Websites could also be directed to issue alerts to their readers over falsehoods made against victims. There are also Protection Orders, which victims can apply for, and in urgent cases, they can ask for an Expedited Protection Order.