It looks as if website trolls are going to get their comeuppance from the Government.
The Government has revealed changes to the laws that will prevent Trolls from hiding under anonymity.
If the trolls defame someone the person can demand that the website hands over their IP address so that they can trace the person.
The Government also wants to protect websites and freedom of speech too and as long as the website hands over the details then the website is protected.
Another court case recently protected website owners from prosecution.
The judge said that if someone put graffiti onto a wall the owner cannot be held responsible.
Only the person spraying it would be responsible. He said it would be the same for internet websites.
They won’t change the defamation laws.
They will stay the same but people cannot now hide under the banner of anonymous.
What more websites might do, in future, is to publish the IP address of the poster along with the comments.
Spoofing IP Addreses
Of course, it will be harder to catch those that spoof their IP addresses, in the same way as Wikileaks.
However, one would think that the Government would put responsibility back onto those sites that let people hide their IP addresses.
Let’s look at the case where the website will supply the IP address of the person who is doing the defaming, but that turns out to be unidentifiable because it is spoofed.
Then the responsibility to provide the information about who is using the IP address is likely to be pushed back to the host. That’s the people who provide the IP addresses.
Website trolls have been a pain in the neck since the dawn of the internet.
Now it looks as if those they troll will have a comeback on them now.
It will be interesting to see a few cases come up.
We first published this article 4 years ago but I’m sure many contractors are not aware of the legislation.