New cyberbullying unit seeks Facebook, Google data to identify suspect

Nova Scotia's unique law intended to crack down on cyberbullying will be tested in a Halifax courtroom for the first time later today. Mike Fuentes/Getty Images

HALIFAX – A unique Nova Scotia law aimed at squelching online harassment is being used for the first time to reach beyond Canada’s borders to determine the identity of a cyberbully.

A spokesman for the province’s CyberScan unit says a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has issued an order under the province’s new Cyber-safety Act demanding information from Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

Roger Merrick, the province’s director of public safety, says the order is seeking records that could identify an alleged cyberbully, including home addresses, email addresses, user names, given names, account names and IP addresses.

READ MORE: First-in-Canada law allows N.S. cyberbullying victims to sue, seek protection

Merrick says the order is the first of its kind in Canada as Nova Scotia is the only province with cyberbullying legislation.

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He says the case involves a young woman in Halifax who has allegedly received threatening and harassing messages from an unknown person or persons accused of hacking her social media accounts.

Merrick says he can’t reveal more information because an investigation is underway and he’s concerned the accused might start deleting data.

READ MORE: Who the new cyberbullying law will help and hurt

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