Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Science and Technology James Lawless TD has welcomed the announcement at Cabinet of legislation which will outlaw revenge porn and other image-based offences but warned that the Fine Gael led government is still behind the times when it comes to legislating in the digital age.

Deputy Lawless commented, “While today’s move to outlaw these hurtful actions is very welcome it is another example of Fine Gael’s snail pace response to the technology challenges.

“The Bill is based on a Law Reform Commission report from 2015. Action is only being taken now. Four years on and a lifetime in the digital age. I made a submission to that same report in 2015 yet the government only announce the decision to take action today.

“Whilst this legislation is needed it should not take away from Ireland’s deficit in legislation to deal with the digital age. FG have stood still. There are other Bills before the Houses. My Bill to deal with fake news and bot accounts, a Bill regarding the need for a Digital Safety Commissioner. There are other issues which need regulating online and they have just been ignored.

“My fear is that this announcement is as much about creating fanfare around an offsite cabinet meeting as anything else.  If Fine Gael is serious about the country’s laws being fit for the times we are in, they must move ahead with the increasing backlog of legislation that is sitting waiting for progress,” concluded Deputy Lawless.