Fifteen year old Amanda Todd died a few days ago in a suspected suicide after being tormented by cyber-bullies. Out of desperation and despair, she went so far as to create a video that is obviously a cry for help (see below). Watching this video broke my heart and I wish I’d seen it before she killed herself so I could try to contact her and talk to her. Maybe a friendly presence would have been helpful?
It’s rather sad that individuals from a hacking organization called ‘Anonymous’ are the ones who seem to have unearthed the true identity of the main cyber-bully, a 32 year old British Columbia man who is known to post to child pornography sites as well.
Unfortunately, internet users who are using the internet to bully can effectively hide behind the right to free speech at present. Under this right, law enforcement must rely on the ‘goodwill’ of IP service providers to access information about their clients and online usage and activities. At present, if the provider is not inclined to cooperate, they also can hide behind this right to free speech and refuse.
I’m not a lawyer, but I believe there needs to be a summit or global meeting with politicians and law-makers from all nations to draft laws allowing law enforcement the right to access all necessary information for their investigations. It seems to me that if someone is using the internet for legal purposes, there is no need to refuse that access.