This week the UK Government is likely to hand Internet service providers a blank cheque to cover the costs of tracking down and handing over the details of users accused of “trolling”. While this may at first seem like a good thing, as nobody likes bullies, the reality is that this move is likely to be dangerous and exponentially expensive.
Internet trolls take many forms, in some cases no more than contrary opinions, in others, trolling has been known to lead to serious victimisation. The latter has been known to cause to serious problems, not least suicide.
Quite rightly, the government wants to put a stop to this but as is often the case, is attempting to do so by a means that is misinformed, costly and in this case could pose a serious threat.
Enforcing this policy would make those trolls that are intent on causing harm seek better methods (which are readily available by the way) to protect their identity. Naturally the increase in demand for such tech will lead to the technology becoming more available, making it more difficult and costly to pin down the perpetrators.
The other issue here is that the readiness of such tech lowers the barrier for anyone wishing to do serious harm who previously might not have known how to protect their identity.
Think about it, is that really in our best interest?