Ð how real is it?
regularly assailed by media panic over fraud, copyright
issues, hacking, pornography and hate material. The essays
in Crime and the Internet, edited by law lecturer
Dr David Wall, look at each of these issues in depth,
and provide a clear voice of reason amid the more frenzied
essayists show the internet is neither a great panacea
nor the sum of all our fears. While there is crime and
disorder online, it is not quite the stateless, lawless
void often depicted. Law enforcement and governments still
struggle to keep pace with technology, but there are signs
of developing foresight into future criminal trends.
Wall himself writes: "The internet is one of the greatest
sensations of recent times. It has become a symbol of
our ingenuity and offers humankind an awesome array of
benefits. However, the thrill of these benefits has been
accompanied by public fears about the potential scale
of criminal opportunities that can arise... Yet, our practical
experience of the internet is that few of these fears
have actually been realised."
essay focuses on hackers and 'hacktivism' a loose
term coined to describe computer hacking for ethical or
political means. It shows how groups loosely held together
by their solidarity to hacker ethics in the 1970s and
1980s have fragmented into three distinct strands. First,
the traditional hacker/cracker who attacks computer systems
as an intellectual exercise or to assert their own technical
prowess. Then the 'microserfs' the former anti-establishment
hackers whose knowledge gained them employment with major
corporations. Finally, the hacktivist who targets and
attacks key systems as a means of political protest.
tools employed by the hacktivist range from email 'bombs'
crashing mailboxes through to viruses and denial of service
attacks. The vulnerabilities of major organisations are
highlighted in a non-alarmist way, showing how cyber-terrorism
may pose genuine socio-economic dangers. The chapter is
particularly compelling in the light of recent world events,
proving that it is not merely conventional forms of terrorism
against which we must be vigilant.
excellent essays examine telecommunication fraud, real
as opposed to perceived risks in cyberspace,
and the complexities of balancing child protection with
education and freedom of speech.
and the Internet, edited by David Wall, is published
by University web designer Richard Ashby.)