The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit is a taxpayer funded security force for private companies who want to protect their content without having to spend too much.
According to PIPCU head Andy Fyfe, despite some successes, more state interference may be needed to stop internet anarchy.
The unit uses a wide range of strategies, from writing to domain registrars and threatening them, to working with advertisers in order to cut off revenues from ‘pirate’ sites.
But Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the internet, to stop people from breaking the law.
He said he was interested in having a debate in the media about how much policing of the internet people want. At the moment, he does not see any regulation and or policing of the internet.
PIPCU’s chief believes that the public has to be protected from criminals including pirate site operators who take advantage of their trust.
He thinks that if things go wrong, the Internet becomes completely ungovernable, no one will dare operate on it at all.
“So should there be a certain level of … state inference in the interest of protecting consumers? I’m very keen to raise that as a debate,” Fyfe notes.
Tighter rules may be needed to prevent people from breaking the law in the future. This could mean that not everyone is allowed to launch a website, but that a license would be required, for example.
Fyfe predicts that eventually the government will decide that it has had enough and it’s not getting enough help from those main companies that control the way we use the internet. Then it will imposing regulations, imposing a code of conduct about the way people may be allowed to operated on the internet.