Jun 122012
 
 June 12, 2012  Laws, Non-U.S., Online

James Black reports from the U.K.:

Cowardly internet ‘trolls’ who post vile abuse on Facebook and Twitter will be identified to their victims under laws unveiled today.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke wants to strip away the cloak of anonymity which shields website users who peddle lies and vicious smears.
Internet companies will be expected to agree to rules over how to deal with libellous comments posted on their sites.

They will be told that – provided they agree to hand over the identity of the abuser to their victim – the internet company itself will be protected from legal action by the victim of abuse.

If they refuse, however, they could be hauled before the courts and fined thousands of pounds for the hateful comments, even though they were made by a visitor to their website.

Read more on The Daily Mail.

They haven’t actually called this the “Anti-CDA §230 Law,” but they may as well, as it would make online platforms and publishers liable for comments.

So what would happen if a U.K. citizen went to Twitter and demanded the info on a tweeter under any such new law? Twitter would have to provide it or face liability there? What if it the info was on a U.S. citizen?  Twitter has generally taken a firm pro-privacy position on such matters.  What would they do now?

U.S. privacy advocates will want to watch this proposal as it unfolds.

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