Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has welcomed the passing of the country’s first ever Cybercrime legislation, saying it will protect the rights of people around the nation, and strengthen public debate.
The Prime Minister said he was hearing positive comments that since the passing of the legislation last Thursday, there had been a shift in attitudes for a number of people on social media.
“The internet offers such a new world of opportunity for our people,” the Prime Minister said.
“Through the internet, our families in remote areas have access to information on healthcare and our farmers have access to information on weather and crop pests.
“The internet also opens up many new opportunities to expand free speech and democratic debate.
“We have seen the extensive use of Facebook and other platforms so that people from around the nation can discuss matters of local and national importance,” he said.
While applauding the internet and social media for connecting people across the country, the Prime Minister also said the internet must be a place where human rights are respected, and cowards cannot misuse technology to hurt people, and incite violence.
“It is only people who break laws, incite violence, and who bully or slander who have to be concerned that their actions will see them become the subject of a criminal investigation.
“I dismiss the claims raised by individuals who hide behind fake online names by night, but by day, pretend to be neutral in their jobs,” said Mr O’Neill.
He said it’s time for people using fake social media names to use their real names and stand behind their views on public issues.