What are the most severe problems associated with the internet, and what solutions can you suggest?
It is an undeniable fact that the internet has revolutionised communication and information-sharing in the same way that the telegraph and the television did before it. However, societies have had to cope with unanticipated new problems, including crimes which traditional laws are powerless to prevent. This essay will address some of the illegal acts enabled by the internet and propose solutions.
To begin with, the global scale of the internet means that national laws are no longer adequate to control what happens online. Take restrictions on legal reporting, for example. In some countries, the media is prohibited from revealing details of a defendant’s past in case this prejudices a fair trial. However, such restrictions are no longer enforceable now that information may be freely published in other countries and accessed by all. The only solution here, it seems, is to adopt global standards. Since the internet traverses national borders, the flow of information can only be controlled if all nations agree on what can and cannot be shared.
Another problem concerns anonymity, as internet users can easily conceal their identity and even impersonate others. Many crimes such as identity theft and child abuse result from the ease with which criminals can operate anonymously online. Some have proposed a system of online identification, similar to a passport, which would allow all internet users to be verified and traced. I believe this idea should be explored further, though there are clearly concerns about the security of those who use the internet to protest against oppressive regimes.
In conclusion, the only long-term solution to the problem of internet crime is greater international cooperation. Since the problem is global in scale, the solution must also be global. There is a need for dedicated internet regulatory.