I don’t remember when the legislation was debated, or even if it was debated, but I expect when the police asked for the powers to force website owners to reveal the identities of their subscribers it was done under the guise of identifying murderers, child abusers, drug traffickers, and terrorists.
But as always, once a government authority gets some power it wields it way beyond its original scope:
A transgender activist has won a High Court ruling ordering Mumsnet to reveal the identity of a user who allegedly abused her.
Stephanie Hayden tweeted an image of the court order, issued by Mr Justice William Davis, which requires the parenting website to name the anonymous user and provide their address, email and date of birth.
On the caption she wrote: ‘The days of defaming, abusing, and harassing transgender people on Mumsnet behind the cloak of anonymity are over.’
At the beginning it’s to thwart al-Qaeda’s plans to set off a nuke in the middle of London. Pretty soon it’s to prosecute people for upsetting transgenders online. Activist transgenders, that is:
Ms Hayden has been involved in several of online spats in recent years.
In 2018, she reported Father Ted creator Graham Linehan to the police for ‘transphobic harassment’ after he shared a tweet saying she was a ‘dangerous troll’.
Sitcom writer Mr Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after transgender activist Miss Hayden reported him for referring to her by her previous names and pronouns on Twitter.
Wait, there’s more:
And in February, a mother was arrested in front of her children and locked up for seven hours after referring to Ms Hayden as a man online.
Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing her at a police station about an argument with an Ms Hayden on Twitter over so-called ‘deadnaming’.
The 38-year-old, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken.
Mrs Scottow denied harassing or defaming Miss Hayden and said she holds a ‘genuine and reasonable belief’ that a human ‘cannot practically speaking change sex’.
As well as potential police action, she is facing a £25,000 civil lawsuit over alleged defamation, use of private information and ‘harassment’.
She has also agreed to been made the subject of an injunction that bans her from writing about Miss Hayden online.
I expect that Hayden targeted Mumsnet – a forum mainly for mothers, i.e. women – quite deliberately in order to goad someone into saying something she could go running to the police with.
There are two things happening here. Firstly, the transgender movement – which the gay and bi-movements have decided to hitch their wagon to – are engaged in seeing just how far they can push the public until they no longer need to invent claims of being persecuted out of existence. Because if stuff like this keeps happening, that’s what’s going to happen. Secondly, the police and judges are involving themselves in a similar experiment. Pendulums swing in both directions, and when this one returns it’s going to take on the size and force of a wrecking ball.