Digital IDs should be introduced to end online anonymity and stop internet ‘mob rule’ says security minister
- Digital IDs should be introduced to stop mob rule online, Ben Wallace has said
- The security minister added abuse online can be cut off by verifying identity
- At the G7 summit this week, Theresa May highlighted the growth of cyber bullying and threats of violence against women online
Ben Wallace, pictured arriving at Downing Street, said digital IDs could help stop mob rule on the internet
Digital IDs should be introduced to stop mob rule and end anonymity online, the security minister has said.
Ben Wallace, the MP for Wyre and Preston North and Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime, said bullying and grooming takes place on social media because people believe they can’t be identified.
He added that websites should be able to identify people online in the same way that banks do.
‘It is mob rule on the internet. You shouldn’t be able to hide behind anonymity as much as you can now… If we’re going to make the internet safer, and cut out the abuse, we’re going to have to do something more about some form of digital identification’ the former soldier told the Times.
His comments come as the number of online child sex abuse cases referred to the Met have increased by 700 percent in the last four years.
At the G7 summit this week, Theresa May highlighted the growth of cyber bullying and threats of violence against women online.
Speaking in Quebec, the Prime Minister said: ‘We know that technology plays a crucial part in advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls, but these benefits are being undermined by vile forms of online violence, abuse and harassment.
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‘What is illegal offline is illegal online and I am calling on world leaders to take serious action to deal with this, just like we are doing in the UK with our commitment to legislate on online harms such as cyber-stalking and harassment.’
The system may be based on existing Verify systems the government use or on the age-verification procedure that will soon be needed to access online pornography.
However, the latter had been delayed over concerns of how it will work.
On the HMRC website users have to take identity documents such as a passport or driver’s license to the Post Office or another partner organisation to verify their identity.
The number of online child sex abuse cases referred to the Met have increased by 700 percent in the last four years (stock image)
Experts are divided on the use of forced-IDs online.
Alan Woodward, of the University, of Surrey, told the Times: ‘I don’t think it’s technically workable. For those who persist in the vilest online behaviour, there are so many ways to mask their real identities.’
Anthony Glees, of the University of Buckingham, said: ‘This is do-able and it should be done. Anonymity on the web is a threat to our national security of the first order. Legal compulsion will be necessary and we should go for it.’
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