Do We Need Security Vigilantes?

from the ah,-the-wild-west dept

As governments get concerned about how to fight off online crime, a new study has come out saying that law enforcement needs better skills at fighting online crime, and not more money. Of course, the immediate response to that is exactly how are they supposed to get these skills without more money? Since everyone likes to compare the internet to the “wild west,” it certainly sounds like a situation where there are very few law enforcement officials out here in the “wild west of the internet” and one of the biggest things that could be done to help stop online crime is to get a few more out here. With that in mind, I guess it’s no surprise that we already see amateur sleuths banding together for vigilante justice online. And, of course, the latest such vigilante action that’s quickly making its way to internet legend status is the story of the p-p-p-powerbook.

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Comments on “Do We Need Security Vigilantes?”

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V. G. Lanty says:

Hired guns

A huge risk in freelance vigilantism is the likelyhood that the “strike back” attack will have larger impact on an innocent bystander (or a mostly innocent compromised host or network).

IMHO,the internet was like the wild west, but for the most part has been tamed. I remember back in the old days when I wouldn’t think twice about launching LAND or a fifty megabit SMURF against any spammer I caught abusing a customer’s open relay…

When law enforcement was unable to handle the criminal element in the wild west, corporations who suffered the predations of the “black hats” addressed the problem by hiring their own private law.

Following the analogy, that is the logical next step… not vigilante justice, but private justice, enforced by the online equivalent of hired guns and pinkerton men.

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