Saturday, February 11, 2006

Will Cyber-Crime Lead to Economic Disaster

One of the greatest problems we face today is technology outpacing legislation (laws) to protect consumers. There can be no doubt that the Global Economy has spawned a Global Crime Wave, inspired in part by technologies used by businesses in the quest for profit.

For the first time in ten years, the Federal Trade Commission will host hearings this fall to take a look at this.

"Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras today announced that the agency will host hearings this fall to examine the next generation of consumer issues to emerge in the high-tech global marketplace. Speaking to the Anti-Spyware Coalition meeting sponsored by the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, DC, Majoras said the hearings would bring together experts from business, government, the technology sector, consumer advocates, academics, and law enforcement officials to explore the ways in which technology development and convergence and the continued globalization of commerce impact consumer protection issues."

For the full press release by the FTC:

FTC to Host Global Marketplace Hearings

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras made this announcement to the Anti-Spyware Coalition. In their own words, here is their primary goal:

"The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) is a group dedicated to building a consensus about definitions and best practices in the debate surrounding spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies."

A lot of groups, such as the Anti-Spyware Coalition are taking a stance on this problem. This is probably a response to the rapidly multiplying number of victims in the world today. In fact, the FTC itself says there are 9 million victims in the United States every year and if this is a world wide problem, I would hate to estimate the impact on a global basis.

Spyware is often confused with adware and to some, closely related to malware. I found another term recently (scumware), which is a good description of any software installed without the consumer's consent to market products, or steal their personal and financial information.

The problem is that there seems to be a fine line between legitimate business use and outright criminal applications of these technologies.

No wonder, we are facing a world wide identity theft crisis, where phishing no longer refers to a recreational activity.

I could go on and on about other potential problems, such as Terrorists getting in on the cyber-crime bandwagon, but the answer is clear. These issues need to be addressed and the longer we wait to address them could cause economic problems.

If the problem continues, it will continue to wear down on consumer confidence. The confidence of the consumer is a key economic indicator and shouldn't be taken lightly.

A lot of this links in this post are courtesy of Wikipedia. You can go to their page by clicking on the title of this post.

1 comment:

prying1 said...

Hey Ted, Is that place in the woods where Kaczynski, the unibomber lived still available? Not that I want to become a terrorist. I'm just wondering if hiding in the woods might be a viable alternative to all this crap.