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Telecommunications Offences

With technology ever-changing and the increasing use of the internet and mobile devices, legislation surrounding telecommunications offences is constantly evolving. Many offences have been introduced in the last few years to address the misuse of the internet. These include child pornography offences, revenge porn and online stalking and trolling.

If you’ve been charged with a telecommunications offence under the Criminal Code 2002 you could be facing a fine or a prison sentence. You could also be facing the possibility of a criminal record for serious offences, which may affect your future in numerous ways.

Using A Carriage Service to Harass

Under federal legislation, it is an offence to use a carriage service to menace, harass or offend. This offence covers activities such as the distribution of X-rated videos and/or images without the consent of the person/s in them (also known as revenge porn). This is a serious offence that can attract a penalty of imprisonment.

Online Stalking Or Trolling

Due to the rise in social media use, many people are subjected to intimidation, harassment and/or stalking, commonly referred to in the media as trolling. Trolling is a slang term for seeking to offend and upset someone on the internet.

In recent years, there have been some high-profile cases of trolling. Since these events, telecommunications offences such as cyberbullying has been in the spotlight, with the Commonwealth government legislating against the use of the internet or other technology (such as mobile phones) to post offensive comments on social media, send unwanted text messages or make phone calls to harass or menace an individual.

If a person engages in such activities they may be subject to a sentence of imprisonment.

Child Pornography

Child pornography refers to pornography involving a minor and the penalties for such offences are severe. It is an offence to produce, distribute or possess child pornography. The penalties depend on the seriousness of the offence – for example if the material shows a child posing sexually or a violent act involving a child this is more serious than an image that shows only a naked child.

Although some adult pornography is legal, someone seeking legal pornography on the internet could accidentally stumble across content that is illegal and if these images are not immediately deleted, could subsequently be charged with an offence.

If convicted of a child pornography offence, in addition to receiving a penalty of a fine of up to 1200 penalty units and/or 12 years imprisonment, the offender will also go on the Sexual Offender Register. The Sexual Offender Register is a database containing the details of anyone convicted of certain types of sex offences. Being placed on the register means that the person will be subject to conditions on the types of employment they can undertake, where they can live, and in some cases they’ll be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please call Armstrong Legal.

Andrew Fraser - Managing Associate - Canberra

This article was written by Andrew Fraser - Managing Associate - Canberra

Andrew works in the areas of criminal law and traffic law, providing practical advice in all of his clients’ matters. Andrew has, over many years, developed positive working relationships with prosecutors, magistrates and judges. His no-nonsense approach means he has a reputation for putting forward the best case possible for clients. Andrew has won many matters for his clients, including...

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