When we talk about freedom of expression and internet anonymity, without a doubt we all think about the great advantages that these two rights represent for us, but without a doubt, there are always users trying to find some loopholes in these for their own benefit, such as the so-called trolls and some users dedicated to cyberbullying.
And it is that although there are currently laws to try to identify and condemn the practices of cyberattacks, this other simple principle remains unresolved. However, it seems that Australia now has an idea on how to try to stop this type of harassment practices, yes, again at a quite remarkable cost.
As they have shared from Reuters, Scott morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia has revealed his government’s plans for the introduction of new legislation that, in some cases, could force social networks to reveal the identities of certain users engaging in spreading false news and other defamatory comments towards others.
As the first part of this mechanism, the first thing to note is that it would require online platforms to remove these hostile publications once they are reported, although in the event that these or the user do not do so, the judicial system could order that these platforms provide them with the personal details given by the offending user for identification.
As Morrison detailed, today’s Internet «It could be compared today to the Wild West where anonymous attackers could harm people. If that can’t happen in real life, there’s no case for it to happen online«.
However, this defense mechanism would imply the renunciation of one of the basic qualities of the Internet, the conditions of use and privacy of social networks and other platforms, and even some rights of the users themselves. Also, without examples of the legislation, it is not clear what would constitute a serious enough crime as to justify the disclosure of an identity.
Thus, these proposed laws come just weeks after the Australian High Court ruled that channel owners within these social media could be held liable for comments on posts, on platforms such as Facebook.
Or what is the same, if a user other than us harasses another within a channel of our property, we will be responsible. A situation that is practically unavoidable, since even the moderation of these comments requires their first publication.
In fact, these new measures have already caused some organizations such as CNN have started to limit access to their Facebook pages from Australia, for fear of possible reprisals for this allocation of responsibilities.