The internet comes of age and enters the "real world" with a rapid Twitter Troll arrest

The agreement of Twitter to streamline its routines for reporting abuse for fear of a messy twitterwar on August 4th and the surprisingly rapid arrest of one of the trolls who abused the leader of the campaign to put Jane Austen on banknotes, may indicate that major ISPs may finally be about to take the e-commerce directive, including “innocent carrier” status seriously.

I wonder what the effect would be were Twitter to announce that abuse could be retweeted to a set of addresses (dependent on subject etc.) where it can be automatically collated for screening, with the relevanet trolls auto-informed informed that they have been referred and given, say 48 hours, to apologise before their access is removed pending adjudication by a human …

The process might well be mainly bluff but I suspect it would be both popular and effective. The effect could be spectacular in “educating” many of the naive and unsophisticated trolls who think they are truly anonymous and do not appreciate that they are left alone only because no-one who could identify them cares enough. Similar routines might also be put on any major website which suffers from impersonators. Thus HMRC would have an address to which offers of on-line refund services can be forwarded and collated – and those who sent the originals sources informed that their details had been passed to the National Crime Agency. With current priorities for anti-terrorism they might then sit on file until manana. But if they were to be collated with the data reported by the banks under a reformed SARS regime and the NCA were to be permitted to retain xx% of the sums recovered after tracking and tracing the miscreants and their flows of funds, we might see the NCA (and the relevant support operations at GCHQ) run at a profit: at least until the the current burgeoning frauds are brought under control..  

The reason for not doing so appears to be that “making it less impossible to report abuse” increases expectations that somebody, somewhere, might actually take action to track, trace, identify and “remove” the perpetrator. It also undermines the claim of innocent carrier status on the part of those who fail to take action and/or fail to help others to take action.

It is nearly four years since I began blogging on the need for those in the Internet addressing supply chain to take action help resolve the dialogue of the deaf  between those who say something must be done and those who persist in trying to preserve a Californian hippy image of the Internet that never was. I did not know whether to cry or cheer when I read John Naughton’s article on the death of the Internet as we know it The time has come for those who want us to trust the on-line to work together to help rebuild confidence that we can indeed trust them and it.  Hence the competition for the thought leaders of the future on which I have so much effort over the past year. The PRISM controversy, and John Naughton’s article show why it is now so timely. The pilot is being run as a Gold Stream Stream within the Cyber Security Challenge with a deadline for entries on 30th August.

If you wish to take part, including supporting entrants or putting up prizes please let me know or use the link on the website. Simlarly let me know if you would like to help build on the ideas that result and/or take part in the scaled up exercise already being planned for next year.   

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