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Web anonymity questioned after British MP’s death

Politico: “British ministers are facing growing calls to clamp down on online anonymity after the shocking killing of an MP. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. In the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of Tory MP David Amess last Friday as he met constituents, there’s been a renewed push from some of his colleagues to bring an end to abusive account holders keeping their identity a secret.”

“It comes amid a wider call for civility in politics. People inside government, however, say the issue’s far from settled. Facebook and Twitter chiefs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey should be ‘dragged’ to the bar of the House of Commons – ‘if necessary kicking and screaming so they can look us all in the eye and account for their actions or rather their inactions that make them even richer than they already are,’ Conservative MP Mark Francois said in an emotional House of Commons speech Monday. The former minister called for the Online Safety Bill – currently in draft form and aimed at policing harmful content – to be toughened up ‘to ensure that our colleague didn’t die in vain.’ While some argue there does not appear to be a direct link between online abuse and the murder of Amess, whose suspected killer is currently being investigated on terrorism charges, others want to use the MP’s death as an opportunity for wider change. Damian Collins, chairing one of the parliamentary committees looking at the new law, told the Telegraph he believes there’s a ‘strong case’ for technology firms to be required to have enough personal information so an online abuser can be identified as part of any investigation into them.”

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