A war is raging in Cyberspace. We have tried to document the action on this blog, but the nature of this online conflict is without precedent. No ceasefire is in sight, and indeed, over the years, both sides of the battle have only escalated their tactics, each one desperately trying to stay a step ahead of the other. On one side, hackers and thieves try to exploit the Internet’s near-anonymous landscape to steal identities and embezzle funds and credit. On the other side, law enforcement agencies must study their online adversaries and implement strategies to locate and prosecute these criminals. But as usual, it is the average American consumer who is stuck in the crossfire.
The implications of this competition are dire, and the end results will dictate how we live and conduct business as a society. Already, our lives have been dramatically affected by the volleys between these two adversaries, and we have learned to accept the unpredictability of peoples’ behavior on the World Wide Web and the relative lack of security in keeping our private information to ourselves.
But with this in mind, I recognize that we currently have little choice in the matter. As long as we embrace the Internet as a tool for business and recreation, we must constantly be aware of the more uncontrollable elements of Cyberspace. Two articles from the Washington Post are helpful in navigating this Internet quagmire.
The first article from the Post examines how the government will employ a private contractor to head an “interagency group that will coordinate the government’s efforts to protect its computer networks from organized cyberattacks.” Then, a second Post article describes how thousands of law enforcement agencies are collaborating to create the largest online “national dragnet” to date.
These are just two more examples of how technology is being used in the fight to take back Cyberspace from con artists and criminals. It would be beneficial for every American to keep an eye on related news, and understand both what criminals are doing online as well as how law enforcement agencies are combating these problems.