Justice Minister Peter MacKay hints that working group could result in new legislation by Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Canada has formed an international working group with its Five Eyes intelligence allies in an attempt to combat the cross-border threats posed by cyberbullying, Justice Minister Peter MacKay revealed Monday.
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MacKay said Canada hosted a meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing community — which includes the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand — in the last two weeks.
The minister said a working group has been established that will produce a report on how to combat threats posed by international online predators who threaten young people.
"We just recently hosted, in the last 10 days, a meeting here in Ottawa specific to that question of how we do a better job of sharing our efforts, sharing our information," MacKay said.
"The working group is from the Five Eyes."
Canada's new cyberbully law went on the books late last year, giving police more online surveillance powers.
Canada studying UK model
MacKay said more needs to be done to deal with the fact that online predators can strike at young people from foreign countries.
One tragic example was a criminal case that came to an end last fall when a former Minnesota nurse was sentenced to three years in prison after using the Internet to persuade an 18-year-old Canadian woman and a 32-year-old English man to commit suicide.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 52, was convicted of attempting to assist suicide in the deaths of Nadia Kajouji, of Brampton, Ont.,and Mark Drybrough, of Coventry, England.
"The way in which we've crafted our laws, we've been very open about sharing that with other countries and some countries, similarly, have come back to us with their examples of how they're improving the tracking of online criminality," MacKay said.
He refused to give specifics, but he hinted broadly that the work of the Five Eyes working group might lead to further legislative changes to protect children.
"Great Britain, frankly, has one of the systems that we've been looking closely, and working closely with, to improve some future amendments we might take," he said.
"This working group is going to produce a report that they'll be sharing with all of the attorneys general and justice ministers involved," he said.
MacKay said Canada's representation on the Five Eyes working group includes several Justice department experts "who are very proficient in the area of online criminality" and who were integral in the drafting of the recent cyberbullying bill.