Thursday, December 28, 2006

Federal Trade Commission will fight Internet Crime across Borders

Internet crime of often "elusive" because it crosses borders with "a click of a mouse." To fight this a new law has just been signed by President Bush, which gives the Federal Trade Commission a license to go after the problem at it's source.

In their recommendations to Congress, the FTC wrote:

Using Internet and long-distance telephone technology, unscrupulous businesses can strike quickly on a global scale, victimize thousands of consumers, and disappear nearly without a trace, along with their ill-gotten gains. For example, deceptive spammers can easily hide their identities, forge the electronic path of their email messages, and send messages from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world. Fraudulent overseas telemarketers can also victimize American consumers and hide their ill-gotten gains in offshore bank accounts.

The US Safe Web Act contains the following provisions:

Broadening Reciprocal Information Sharing and International Investigative Cooperation.

The FTC can now share confidential information in consumer protection cases with foreign law enforcers. The Act further allows the FTC and foreign law enforcement agencies to obtain investigative assistance from one another, while exempting information from foreign agencies from public disclosure laws. This provision addresses the concern expressed by some foreign government agencies that materials they share with the FTC might be publicly disclosed in response to an inquiry under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This concern is reflected in certain foreign laws where the foreign consumer protection agency is not permitted to share information with the FTC unless the information is kept confidential. For example, Canada's Competition Act and the European Unions enforcement cooperation regulation contain such confidentiality requirements.

Enhancing Confidentiality of FTC Investigations.

Prevents notifying subjects of investigations if they may be likely to destroy evidence or move assets offshore.

Protecting Certain Entities Reporting Suspected Fraud and Deception Violations.

The Act protects a limited category of entities from liability for voluntary disclosures to the FTC relating to suspected fraud and deception. This provision is similar to longstanding protections for financial intuitions making disclosures to the FTC and is necessary to encourage reporting of suspected violations to federal agencies.

Allowing Information Sharing with Federal Financial and Market Regulators.

This provision assists the FTC in tracking proceeds of fraud and deception sent through U.S. banks to foreign jurisdictions so they can be returned to victims.

Enhancing Cooperation between FTC and DOJ in Foreign Litigation.

Permits the FTC to work with DOJ to increase the resources relating to FTC-related foreign litigation, such as freezing foreign assets and enforcing U.S. court judgments abroad.

Clarifying FTC Authority to Make Criminal Referrals.

Authorizes the FTC to share information with criminal authorities, which will improve information sharing with foreign agencies that treat consumer fraud and deception as a criminal law enforcement issue.

Report to Congress.

The Act requires the FTC to report to Congress within three years from the date of enactment, describing the use of the FTC's expanded authority and activities under the Act.

US Safe Web Act FTC document, here.

Although this law has just been enacted, it takes away a lot of the barriers to effectively going after individuals and organizations (businesses) that enable the growing problem of cybercrime.

Recently, I've written that technology will never solve Internet crime. It might stop it, or slow it down - but in the end "technology defeats technology."

Holding individuals and organizations accountable is likely to be a lot more effective. This new law breaks down a lot of the barriers that have prevented law enforcement agencies from doing so.

This (in my opinion) is a start in the right direction.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft has taken a similar approach - taking legal action worldwide. Here is a previous post, I wrote about this approach:

Does Microsoft's Approach to Addressing Counterfeiting Make More Sense?


Anonymous said...

Maybe its too obvious, but wouldn't it make sense to have an email address that we (the public) could forward all dubious sounding emails to--so that computer geeks could trace them back to the computer and location they came from? With that knowledge police could swoop down on the offenders, and arrest them.

Anonymous said...

I sent this item to several majors who are hellbent on implementing an Internet police force legal system... Something needs be done to stop them, or we all pay the price for their meddling... And it could happen very soon, if we don't stand up for our rights...


All this Media noise about Internet Crime is getting to the point that
something must be done to curb the big mouths of the almighty mindless ones...

An Internet Police Force seems like it will be good thing... BUT!.. there is more in it than the noise makers see and realize... It runs along the same lines as "humanity messing with nature"... It's like how mankind imported certain biologicals to deal with specific other biological pests in various parts of the world.. then the imports became a greater problem than the original pest...

You IT people, and others like you, who are proclaiming that there should be strict regulations governing the Internet, are pushing the system to create and install a full blown Internet policing system, incorporated into the whole rigmarole legal system...

Who will pay for the policing and legals of this new Internet policing..? Air?.. Water?.. Your mummies?..
Hell!.. We all will pay for it in the form of "pay per email"... You GD meddling christian imbeciles are pushing the system to make it so we all must pay per email... And when that happens, you fools will all say, "How and Why did this happen to us?"...

It's same as a year ago when the American media was hellbent on slandering China for its internet policies... Americans blabbering about China's misuse and abuses... till I sent a letter to the majors, detailing how their assenine christian-yapping would quickly push China into creating their own Internet for that half of the world, "ChiNet".. and America would thereby lose out on all the Money and control... Then suddenly all America's noise about China's misuse of the Internet ceased...

It's time you idiots STOPPED pushing for the system to force us all to pay per email.. which would make it so blogs and forums cost a hundred bucks to join...

Get The HELL OUT OF OUR LIVES, IT!.. Crawl back into your holes!..
Instead why not work on saving the owls.. or the whales.. or the sea cucumber..?


Add your voice to quell that insane activity which could result in all of us paying for Internet crime by paying for emails like we pay for postage stamps... because then the parasitic scammer politicians would thereby attach themselves to the money flow, like a lamprey attaches itself to a victim fish... Once established, "pay per email" could not be removed.. like a cancer that you just can't get rid of.. like a lost limb, that you can't regrow.. like democracy's take on the ancient Roman slavery system, maintaining us in herds, with only enough power and energy to be strong slaves, but not enough to escape their parasitic system... When we make too much noise to be ignored, they simply toss us a big cookie, to silence us for yet another month...

The question remain: Do you want to pay for emails, or not?..