A unique law passed in Nova Scotia, Canada in August of 2013 is now being used for the first time to reach beyond Canada’s borders to determine the identity of a cyberbully.
The passage of the law gave many rights to the victims of cyberbulling, including the ability to sue cyberbullies and get court-ordered protection in Nova Scotia. In the case of a lawsuit, the parents of cyberbullies could be held liable for damages if the aggressor is a minor.
However, it is the first time where the act is being used to demand records from companies in relation to cyberbullying. Yesterday, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge issued an order demanding information from tech giants and social networking sites such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. The court order aimed to seek records including home addresses, email addresses, user names, given names, account names and IP addresses which could potentially allow the Nova Scotia’s Cyberscan Unit to identify the alleged cyberbully.
Roger Merrick, Nova Scotia’s director of public safety, commented that the case involves a young woman in Halifax who has allegedly received threatening and harassing messages from an unknown person or persons accused of hacking her social media accounts. “I can’t give you too much information for fear of jeopardizing the investigation,” said Merrick, adding that police are also investigating.