21 September 2008

UK - Government to ban suicide-promoting websites

(OUT-LAW News)
The Government will change the law to make it clear that promoting suicide on the internet is illegal. The Ministry of Justice said that it will rewrite the Suicide Act of 1961 which will make it easier for website hosts to remove offending material. The Government has conducted a review of the Suicide Act and said that it wants to make it clear that activity which is illegal offline is also illegal online. The Act currently says that it is an offence to "aid, abet, counsel or procure" a suicide, though courts have ruled in the past that the simple provision of information about committing suicide would not open a publisher to prosecution. Concerns have been widely expressed about the use of the internet to disseminate information on how to commit suicide and even to encourage people to do it.