Jim Gamble told the News Letter that the individual responsible is a “cowardly jerk” who must be brought to court no matter what.
Mr Gamble was the founding chief of Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP), a large UK police division established in 2006 to track down caregivers and accumulate indecent images.
The former RUC man led it for four years. Today, he is CEO of Ineqe Safeguarding Group, a web security consulting firm.
He has now added his voice to the chorus of disgust over the Dodds trolling case.
Fury erupted after longtime DUP figure Diane Dodds posted a light message online to ring in the New Year.
Hours later, an anonymous Twitter account sent out a response – completely out of the blue – mocking the family about the death of their disabled eight-year-old son Andrew in 1998 (the News Letter does not repeat the remark) .
The account has since been deleted and police have opened an investigation.
Mr Gamble told the News Letter: “Harm on the Internet is seldom just about the technology itself.
“They are mostly about people who use the anonymity provided by technology to do and say things they would never say in person.”
This case was “particularly cruel,” he said, adding: “It doesn’t get much worse.
“In my experience, when such people are identified, they tend to be sad and hateful people with complex lives.
“For these people, it’s always funny, until they get caught and face the consequences.
“The police must do everything in their power to identify, locate and hold them to account – no excuse for the distance and complexity or the requirement of a subpoena should suffice.
“It can be done, therefore it must be done.”
Under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, a person can be sentenced to six months in prison if they “send by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other material that is extremely offensive or wrongly sent. ‘an indecent, obscene or threatening character’.
Specifically, Mr. Gamble believes that a criminal harassment charge could stand, as well as a violation of the Malicious Communications (NI) Ordinance of 1988.
“A lot of people are pinning their hopes on the next online security law,” he said.
“I have news for them; it won’t change much.
“People slow down when they pass a sign indicating that speed cameras are ahead because the consequences are real.
“So until the police are able to hold these anonymous cowardly morons to account, little will change.
“Young people, the vulnerable, prominent figures and the preferred target of misogynists, women, will continue to suffer. “
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