UK government wants to accurately identify law-breaking web users

Gigaom

The U.K. government is set to announce measures to force internet service providers to maintain records of which customers use which IP addresses, so as to make online anonymity more difficult.

The details of how this is to be achieved are yet to be announced, but reports on Sunday noted that the measures will form part of a wider anti-terrorism bill that’s due to be introduced on Wednesday. The IP addresses that ISPs assign to their customers are often shared and also sometimes reset when they turn equipment off and on again. In theory, this move would make it easier to link an IP address known to have been used in a specific communication to a specific device.

Terrorists aside, the Home Office wants IP matching to help identify and prosecute online bullies, hackers and so on, and identify children who have “threatened over social media to commit suicide.”

Nonetheless…

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