In a contribution to the website ‘sociale vraagstukken’ (social questions) W. Stol, in short, proposes to assist citizens to enable themselves in combating cyber crime through recognition (tools) and for police not to digitalized enforcement too much and focus on catching crooks in real time cases. Read all here. (You will need a translation program).
I do not agree for a few reasons. E.g.
1. There are sufficient law officers in 2011 who have chosen for a career in digital forensics. They are qualified and motivated to investigate and arrest cyber criminals.
2. Cyber criminality is a fast growing form of crime that allegedly makes so much money that criminals can become major forces in weaker states. Perhaps even to grand to fight successfully.
3. At present cyber crime is already to easy to get away with. E.g. a domain name in a favourable jurisdiction may already frustrate an investigation completely.
4. Citizens need to feel protected to have trust in the Internet. That protection also has to come through enforcement.
5. It may well be that the smaller forms of cyber crime is what most end users feel as the biggest nuisance. And that they are the ones locally based, so easiest to get rid off.
Of course it goes without saying that tools that enable citizens to recognize digital threats more easily are a way forward. If this makes the Internet safer, these tools should be dispensed to the end user straight away, but only in addition to good old, digital, police, anti-spam and malware investigations, cyber crime and spam laws, filtering and other measures industry can take, better secured IP resources, etc. All together these measures may make the cyber future look more positive.
Wout de Natris
Leiderdorp, 7 February 2011