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Controlling the Internet - Essay Example

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The Internet as part of the Information Technology which plays a significant role in the development of our society has become an essential element of our lives, government, education, research, and across diverse sectors of our society. As it is already a part of our daily living, there has been considerable increase in the occurrence of more advanced online activities everywhere such as information search and retrieval, huge file downloads and uploads, e-learning, online conferencing, e-commerce, online banking and gaming, and more…
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Controlling the Internet
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"Controlling the Internet"

Download file to see previous pages However, with the free and unlimited power of the Internet comes great responsibility not only for our leaders but to each and everyone. Since the Internet has also become the haven for offensive and detestable content and gateway for malicious and destructive activities, there have been calls to control and police the use of the Internet in the name of protecting the members of our community predominantly the innocent children. "For success in any field of human activity leads to crime that needs mechanism to control it" (Singh, 2005, p.1) and "technology is a human activity" (Williams, 1997, p.39).
With the advent of Internet, crime is no longer confined to certain area, time, and types of individuals because it is rapidly creating moral and social transgressions worldwide (Singh, 2005). It is the new face of intrusion (Williams, 1997, p.72). It has opened new doors for criminal acts and unlimited ways to convey malicious deeds. According the compliance advice of the UK's Data Protection Act of 1998, the "Internet is not secure" (CSU, 2000, p.1) and therefore risky and somebody somewhere might be intercepting the information provided over it. These criminal acts to name a few are unauthorized access to a computer or to a computer network (Hacking), destroying files and data (Viruses), computer sabotage (DoS etc.), interception of communications (Key-logging etc.), and espionage (Spyware) (Singh, 2005, p.2).
The danger is real, the European Union (EU) on a dialogue for 2006 "Strategies for Secure Information Society" draft a directive for the Critical Infrastructure Protection (where the Internet is specifically mentioned as part of it) and firmly announced that the security and economy of EU and its citizens are relying upon a specific infrastructure and services that if ruined will result in loss of lives and properties. The EU's announcement is not referring to simple hacking activities of bored teens or second grade cyber criminals but serious international terrorist activities intended to immobilize strategic government installations such as power plants, transport, financial institutions, and other important facilities in Europe (Edwards, 2007, p.3).
In relation to EU's concern, Edwards (2007) added that due to the increasing sophistication of cyber crimes, threats like DoS, Viruses, Spam, Key-Loggers, Click and ID fraud etc. are no longer orchestrated by individuals but by networks of "zombies"1 or "bot computers" that are controlled remotely by criminal elements thru IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Astonishingly, the UK was reported to have the highest number of "zombie" population "per capita" (p.3). Adding more to the anxiety of the UK citizens (which 50%2 of the population already express profound mistrust in the Internet due to security issues and concerns)
1 a "zombie" is a computer always connected to the Internet that has been invaded by a virus to do
harmful attacks under remote direction. They are primarily used to send spam and to perform click frauds.
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