IP Bill will help gain convictions for domestic violence, stalking and other crimes
A primary objective of the IP Bill is to prevent and detect serious organised crime and terrorism. Digital-Trust campaigned to amend the Bill so it would also include other serious crimes such domestic abuse and stalking.
Stalkers and domestic abusers use technology against victims including tracking, listening devices, spyware, social media, illegally accessing accounts, identity theft, fraud abusive email and texts. A campaign by an abuser can ruin a reputation, get them fired, or cause them live in a state of constant fear and anxiety. It can drive victims to utter despair, and even suicide. It can increase an abuser’s obsession and sometimes that leads to murder.
If someone repeatedly threatened to rape or kill a woman at a pub, then the victim, and the public, would want the police to investigate and make every effort to identify the perpetrator. The police would evaluate to see if a crime had been committed but also if there was a low, medium or a high risk the person may carry out the threat. If that same crime happens online, then the police still need to identify, prove and evaluate the threat.
"Digital technology can be used to cause great harm against an individual. We are pleased that House of Lords recognised that online crimes against individual victims can be very serious and have included clause 58 in the IP Bill" said Jennifer Perry, CEO of the Digital-Trust
Hansards, House of Lords - 19 July 2016 http://goo.gl/bmgPFl
"These amendments therefore apply a threshold to the acquisition of internet connection records when the statutory purpose is for the prevention and detection of crime. This means that they will be able to be acquired only for offences that are sufficiently serious that an offender can be sentenced to at least six months’ imprisonment.
In implementing this threshold, however, it is important that internet connection records can continue to be used for certain offences which, for whatever reasons, carry a lower sentencing limit. I am sure that noble Lords will agree that internet connection records should be available for these offences.
These are: the investigation of any offence where the sending of a communication is an integral part of the offence:
for example, offences related to stalking, cyberbullying and harassment which can, if not investigated, quickly escalate to more serious offences;
offences relating to breach of a person’s privacy, such as stealing personal data, which recognises the importance of protecting privacy in the digital age and the need to fully investigate any suspected breaches;..."