Cyber attacks are on the rise and everyone who connects to the internet needs to educate themselves in possible attacks and be diligent in keeping them at bay. The International Telcommunications Union, a UN agency, believes that the only way to do this is to require a type of driver’s license for anyone who wishes to connect to the internet.
ITU Secretary General, Hamadoun Toure, believes that countries should engage themselves in signing treaties, promising not to attack each other in cyberspace. The problem, however, is that such a treaty would only affect countries. Individuals, organized crime, and malicious hackers would not be part of any treaty. While it appears that China played a part in the recent attacks on google, rogue individuals and groups will continue to ply their trade, mostly undetected by the UN officials hired to police the Internet.
This situation would be made worse should a treaty be signed by countries. It would give a false sense of security to everyone, allowing them to believe they were protected.
“If someone bombed the electric grid in our country and we saw the bombers coming in it would clearly be an act of war.
“If that same country uses sophisticated computers to knock out our electricity grid, I definitely think we are getting closer to saying it is an act of war,” Collins said.
Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, said “there are at least 10 countries in the world whose internet capability is sophisticated enough to carry out cyber attacks … and they can make it appear to come from anywhere.”
This is precisely why treaties between countries would be useless. If you cannot pinpoint the location of the attack, then it could come from anywhere, including a country you may have signed a treaty with.
Mundie and other experts have said there is a growing need to police the internet to clampdown on fraud, espionage and the spread of viruses.
“People don’t understand the scale of criminal activity on the internet. Whether criminal, individual or nation states, the community is growing more sophisticated,” the Microsoft executive said.
This is, indeed, something we should worry about, however, by restricting end users, you are merely placing a band-aid on a gaping hole. It is the criminals law enforcement should be tracking, not grandma.
“If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.”
This is a bad analogy. Driving a car takes practice and skill. If not done correctly, you can kill a person. Using the internet does not cause death if you make a mistake. The vast majority of people on the internet are not there for malicious reasons.
By forcing individuals to have driver’s licenses online, you are, in effect, participating in a police state where your identity is known at all times. Anyone that would be considered subversive to the current regime would easily be tracked and removed from the internet and/or possibly arrested. The result will be that, not only criminals, but ordinary citizens, will begin faking their online credentials in an effort to not be tracked.
The free internet as we know it is slowly disappearing. The FOX News Channel has shown us how effective propaganda is, leading those in power to despise their lack of control over the internet more each day. In order to maintain control over thoughts and ideas, they feel they need to control the message. The problem, for them, is that they currently don’t have the control they want, as thoughts and ideas freely flow around the world, through the internet.
No matter how much governments try to control the flow of information, there will always be a workaround. The “undernet” already exists. It would just continue to grow.
Before you think a driver’s license is a good thing just because, “there are a lot of morons on the internet,” think about how it will affect you. You will not be able to communicate via email, IM, SMS/texting, blogs, or comment any websites without the permission to do so. Your access to newspapers, journals, and social networking must be pre-approved.
Right now, we benefit from the people who think of such inane proposals. They have no idea how the internet works, the good that hackers could do, nor the backlash this would create. If they do not hire people who know what to do, this will fail and become the disaster we all predict it will be.
Half-assed, script-kiddies will also have a field day if highly qualified people are not put in charge of such a system. If governments hire the lowest bidders, this is what you will get. Like the “war” on drugs, forcing users to obtain licenses will be a futile effort. It will cost billions of dollars while never achieving its goals.
Andre Kudelski, chairman of Kudelski Group, said that a new internet might have to be created forcing people to have two computers that cannot connect and pass on viruses. “One internet for secure operations and one internet for freedom.”
This is what people who value the free exchange of thoughts and ideas will be forced to do. If driver’s licenses for the internet become mandatory, there will be a computer the government authorizes and controls and a second computer where all the real information will flow, unfiltered and uncensored. If that happens, you know which part of the ‘net you’ll find me.