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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71035
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I run an internet discussion forum. I have had a request from

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I run an internet discussion forum. I have had a request from the police for IP addresses for a particular user following a complaint.
While I am happy to comply in the interests of the law, I am concerned about the privacy implications, i.e. am I breaching that users privacy and could that later come back to bite me.
Am I obligated to help at this stage? or should a court order(?) be made before I release such info?

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this. What is the nature of the complaint?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It hasn't been specified. At a guess, something was posted recently that had to be removed by moderators that was hateful towards a section of society, not I believe an individual.
Well, that is a complete waste of time. Perhaps they should try attending at burglaries instead of investigating this nonsense.
However, this is a police investigation and they can always seize the information if they want it. You don't need to panic about privacy laws as they don't obstruct proper law enforcement.
If you refuse it might be the end of the matter or they might just seize the information. It is not really worth the fight if you are not affected personally.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Indeed! So with regard 'You don't need to panic about privacy laws as they don't obstruct proper law enforcement' just to double check you mean I am free to pass on IP address / (email?) without concern of breaching his/her privacy?If I did ignore the email address and they were interested in pursuing what would their likely next step be? The same request in writing? or court/seizure? (in which case how would that occur? would they turn up with a warrant to my hosting company and take my server).
In this instance you are because it is law enforcement.
However, if it is just an email from the police then I wouldn't disclose. That could be anybody.
Just email back saying you are happy to disclose but want to see evidence they are police officers.
I'm just going offline but I will be back in about an hour if that is OK?
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you.