is just the latest in a long line of attacks on the internet in the UK article I’m not a big fan of using the internet to harass people.
However, it’s not just the UK that has gone the way of the dodo.
A new law passed this week makes it a criminal offence to harass or threaten another person online.
A previous bill in the US had been similarly broad, but it had been withdrawn due to concerns over online bullying.
This new law would also make it a crime to publish false or misleading information online.
The new legislation comes into effect on January 1st.
“The law will criminalise certain forms of online harassment, such as using the name of another person to threaten that person or to create a false threat or to make a false statement,” the UK’s new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, told reporters on Monday.
“I would say that that’s the law that is being brought forward, it is not being brought in to criminalise those who use the name or any other name to harass, threaten, or post content online.”
Rudd added that it would also apply to people who create or post false content.
“In some cases, it could be that a person has posted content that is untrue, misleading or false,” Rudd said.
Rudd said that the law would be applied to people using the same name or the same identity to post content, such people could be jailed for up to four years.
It also appears that Rudd may be trying to limit the reach of the new law.
“This is the first of its kind, and it is the culmination of a very robust consultation that we have had with the public,” Rudd told reporters.
Rudd’s move comes just two weeks after a similar bill was introduced in the House of Lords.
“People can now be charged with criminal harassment and defamation for using their own name, and they can also be fined, as well as having their social media accounts shut down,” said Caroline Smith, deputy director of the human rights charity Reporters Without Borders, on Monday, when the new bill was announced.
Smith said that it could have a chilling effect on people who wish to speak out against the legislation, and that it was unlikely to have a real impact on online harassment.
“As long as the law is so vague and the law can be applied in such a way that it can be used to punish people in a very narrow way, that will be a problem for people,” Smith told Al Jazeera.
“It’s not going to have much of an impact, because people are already so scared of being arrested.”
She added that the bill is “not going to change the behaviour of many people, it will simply make it easier for them to do that.”
Rudd has previously said that she wanted to make the law as broad as possible.
“If we were to make it to 100 per cent, we would see more people using Facebook and Twitter and all the other forms of communication,” she said in November.
“We would see a rise in harassment.
It would not be that much of a problem, but the problem is that we’ve been too focused on what we can do to tackle hate speech, rather than how we can help people in real life to be better citizens.”
Rudd, however, has also said that her aim was to make sure that online harassment could not be punished with jail time.
“What I’m really trying to get across is that this is not a punishment, it has to be a consequence of the crime,” she told reporters last year.
“But the offence that is made, and the consequence of that offence, is to protect the rights of others.”
The new bill will go into effect in three months.