Thursday, 17 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages
I thank the Minister of State and Deputy Howlin for all their work on this Bill.
I, like many others, have spoken with Safe Ireland, the Rape Crisis Network and all the other groups involved in helping us refine and develop this legislation brought forward by Deputy Howlin. He really pushed it through and I congratulate him on it.
I hope the Minister of State will be able to accept one of these amendments regarding deepfaking. It is wonderful to have such cross-party support on this. Deputy Michael Collins is right that today's image in a newspaper will be tomorrow's fish and chips wrapper. The trouble and risk with Internet-based images is that they never go away. Seeing oneself in that situation, even if it is taken down at a later stage, can be deeply traumatising. This is new technology that is going to continue to evolve. The deepfaking issue is a real one. It would be wonderful if the Minister of State was able to accept one of these amendments.