New British laws may force websites to hand over anonymous online identities

UK justice secretary Ken Clarke has proposed new laws that would compel websites to hand over the identities of cyberbullies and anonymous “trolls” to their victims, according to reports.

According to The Guardian, the proposed amendments to British defamation law would indemnify websites and internet service providers, so long as they handed over the real identities of cyberbullies to victims.

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has welcomed the proposal, but civil rights groups have urged caution on the grounds that the proposals may also endanger legitimate anonymous free speech.

If passed, the laws might have some impact on Australian SMEs operating in the UK.

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