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Where Are The Internet Police?
Do we need internet police? You bet! The internet is still the wild west, and the sheriff hasn't yet come to town. Scams are everywhere, and there is little to stop the criminals. For example, I estimate that my online articles have been used in violation of my copyright at least 2000 times. Two thousand times - this is not an exaggeration.
Is there anything I can do about it? Yes, when someone in another country steals my article and puts their own name on it, I can find it online using search engines. At that point, the most I can really do is send a threatening email mentioning a lawyer that I can't actually afford to hire for each of these many violations.
In these cases the thieves usually remove the article, but they will almost always keep stealing other articles. They know that it is too much trouble and expense for anyone to pursue a legal case against them.
Of course there are larger crimes. I get "scam" emails almost daily, looking like they came from my PayPal account or my bank. You have probably seen the same. They try to get the information necessary to empty our accounts.
The Internet Police To The Rescue
There are few police qualified to fight crime online, and no political will to allocate money for training. My solution is to encourage someone or some company start their own for-profit internet police department. It would be a company that charges for protecting our rights.
They would know all the tricks necessary to go after the criminals. They would have technical knowledge needed to shut down web sites of criminals, for example. They could go after web hosts or others that repeatedly did business with known criminals. They could punish the wrong-doers.
To finance these operations, they could charge for each enforcement action, or sell a basic security package that might even include virus protection and such. Many, including myself, would pay for this protection, particularly if they could truly punish and deter criminals.
This would essentially be a "vigilante" operation. I am okay with this, because it is clear that the legal authorities are so far defaulting on their responsibilities in this area. Of course the company would have to develop a reputation for true integrity.
How would this work in action? Suppose I found an article of mine that was stolen. I would contact the Internet Police.com (or whatever their name was). They would then verify that I have used their service without problems before (to be sure I am not making bogus claims against others). Then they would look at documentation I sent them. I might have a service contract with them, or I would pay a set fee.
They would contact the owner of the website where my stolen article is, telling them to cease and desist in their copyright violation. If this site or person had a record of such violations, punitive action would be taken, which could include notification of all who do business with them that they are stealing articles. It might also mean being listed on the internet police "most wanted" list, a site the public could visit.
If this didn't convince the offenders to change their ways, other actions could be taken. Web hosts might be convinced to close their accounts. Volunteers might be used to overload their server with non-stop visits.
Criminals who engage in scams like trying to access people's bank accounts, could be "tricked" into divulging information. Criminals are always susceptible to being fooled, because they are always hoping for unearned power and money. Information thus obtained would be used to punish them, or could be forwarded to the appropriate authorities near them.
There are many ways internet criminals could be legally punished by the internet police, especially in conjunction with internet users who want to help clean up the web. Eventually, after a few good stories of this "vigilante justice" get into the press, fewer people would choose to engage in internet crime.
About the Author: Copyright Steve Gillman. For inventions, new product ideas, business ideas, story ideas, political and economic theories, deep thoughts, and a free course on How To Have New Ideas, visit : http://www.999ideas.com