Leah Parsons pushes for new law on posting intimate images, but is it necessary?

If Leah Parsons gets her way, will they call it Rehtaeh's law or Amanda's law?

Canadians are about to have a discussion about the need for new sanctions against firing nude pictures of someone off into cyberspace without their permission.

Is a new law really necessary? Isn't illegal already, especially when the subjects like Rahtaeh are underage?

Parsons, the mother of Rehtaeh Parsons, who killed herself after a photo of her alleged sexual assault was distributed, will be meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to talk about just such a law.

"The meeting is specifically revolving around one aspect. It's revolving around changes to the Criminal Code," Parsons told The Canadian Press.

Parsons told CP she and her boyfriend Jason Barnes were invited to meet with Harper. Her 17-year-old daughter died earlier this month, three days after she hanged herself in her bathroom.

[ Related: Internet ‘trolls’ use cloak of anonymity to torment Amanda Todd in death ]

The young Halifax woman said she had been sexually assaulted in 2011, when she was 15, by four boys at a home where they had been drinking. A photo showing the attack was then circulated, compounding her shame and sending her into a spiral of depression and drug use.

Police dropped their investigation of both the assault and distribution of the photo, claiming there was not enough evidence to prosecute successfully. In the wake of the uproar following Rehtaeh's death, the case has been reopened after police said new evidence came to light.

Leah Parsons' demand will be bolstered by Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, who said he will also meet Harper on Tuesday.

“These kinds of changes are needed as a result of changes in technology,” Dexter said, according to CP. “The simple fact is the laws we have are not keeping pace.”

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry said other provinces are offering support for the measure.

The proposal is likely to get a sympathetic hearing from Harper and his fellow Conservatives, who like nothing better than to be seen helping victims of crime and dealing harshly with wrongdoers.

The stories of Rehtaeh Parsons and B.C. teen Amanda Todd, who killed herself after being tormented for months when a cyberstalker lured her into flashing her breasts online, have outraged Canadians.

But at least one expert questions the need for another law based on such high-profile cases.

"When you look at extreme examples you may create bad law, especially when there are laws in place that could have been used to protect this child," University of Ottawa criminologist Valerie Steeves told CP.

[ Related: Man sentenced over B.C. rave rape photos ]

When it comes to images of underage subjects like Todd and Parsons, existing child-porn laws would apply, regardless of whether they'd consented.

An 18-year-old B.C. man was sentenced to 18 months probation and community service earlier this year for posting photos on Facebook of a 16-year-old girl allegedly being sexually assaulted at a rave. The rape charges themselves fell apart for lack of evidence.

That leaves the unsanctioned distribution of intimate images of adults, which Steeves suggests would be better addressed in civil court.

Exploitation of vulnerable children and teens should always be dealt with criminally. But do we really need police resources expended pursuing adults who post nude shots of their exes after a bad breakup?