Websites will soon be forced to identify people who have posted defamatory messages online.
Quite apart from the obvious responses from the privacy advocates – with whom I agree – there is another obvious retort and that is; have these cretins no grasp whatsoever about how the interweb works? None at all, it would seem.
Not so long ago, several pro-liberty sites including this one were plagued by a troll calling himself Dickie Doubleday. I was able to trace his originating IP by using a WordPress plugin that bypassed his proxy IPs. I was then able to deal directly with his ISP. I do not know what action they took, although it does seem to have cramped his behaviour somewhat as although he is out and about, he is much more muted and after a brief attempt to leave comments at mine, he has since gone quiet. So, problem solved as far as I am concerned. However, despite all of this, I still have no idea who he is – that information is not available to me. Had I been using Blogger or WordPress.com as opposed to a self hosted WordPress site, I would have had even less information and even less ability to manage the situation.
So, this cack about websites identifying trolls is just that; cack. We cannot. The only people who can do that are the ISPs – and they can already do that if a court order is issued – and quite right, too as it is a safeguard against malicious identification of genuine anonymous or pseudonymous commenters.
New government proposals say victims have a right to know who is behind malicious messages without the need for costly legal battles.
Don’t need ’em. It can be managed perfectly well using existing tools and not a legal battle to be seen. If we are talking about stalkers, then that is another matter and the police will need to be involved anyway.
The powers will be balanced by measures to prevent false claims in order to get material removed.
Yeah, right, that will work well, won’t it? Not an unintended consequence to be seen at all – oh, you mean the usual suspects won’t use it to try and close down robust, politically incorrect (offensive) comment? You do surprise me…