Attorney-General written question – answered on 21st November 2012.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask the Attorney-General what assessment he has made of the level of public understanding of the legal framework applicable to the internet.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald The Solicitor-General

The legal framework applicable to the internet is, in essence, the same as that which applies beyond the internet. An offence committed on the internet remains an offence. It is my belief that public awareness and understanding of this has been raised by a number of high profile cases and court proceedings over recent months. These have resulted in both fines and imprisonment for the offenders and have been widely reported.

The Law Commission is currently reviewing the law of contempt and will look at the issue of contempt and the internet. A public consultation will shortly commence. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) also intends to issue guidance to prosecutors on how offences involving social media and the internet should be prosecuted. As part of that process, the DPP has embarked on a series of roundtable discussions with interested parties.

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