Joy-O’Sullivan: Gardai Need To Receive Training About New Laws Governing Online Behaviour Such As Coco’s Law

That’s according to second year UCC law student Alicia Joy-O’Sullivan whose online identity was stolen and used to create a fake Instagram account under her name.

She says that she did not initially receive the support she needed from authorities when she initially reported the crime because Gardaí were not up to date with the then newly introduced Coco’s Law.

The Skibbereen woman went to the police in April when a fake Instagram account was set up under her name, using real photos from her actual account; but then also included photos and videos of a naked girl without showing her face, to give the illusion that these were her own images.

The fake Instagram also tried to sell pornographic content by linking to another website.

Speaking to RedFM News, Alicia Joy-O’Sullivan says both the public and the Gardaí need to know the protections offered under Coco’s Law:

“Firstly, they told me that what happened to me wasn’t illegal, when in fact it absolutely is. This is covered under Coco’s Law; it probably wouldn’t be as widely known as revenge porn. Someone actually pretending to be you, or putting your face on someone else’s nude photos is equally as illegal as what we would know falls under Coco’s Law. The thing that we’ve been asking for, in terms of an Garda Síochána, is that there’s training and public awareness around Coco’s Law. It’s a new law; it’s only been brought in since February 2021 and really people need to know their rights.”



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