The need for global cooperation on cyber security

When the Internet was in its teens, it was hard to imagine it evolving as far as it has. Yesterday I was chuckling over an article from 1995 in which the author adamantly claims that the Internet is a nice enough pastime, but it will never gain the kind of influence it has since then acquired over “real-life”.

“The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works,” he wrote. While I might agree with the second assertion and point out that videoconferencing solved that problem, the other two have already been disproved.

It’s a fact that only a small minority of visionaries could have predicted that so much of our lives would be tied to the cyber world. Over the years, we have been able to reap the benefits of this state of affairs, but there are some foul things afoot that threaten it. Yes, we are talking about online criminals.

As events have proved, one of the major issues tied to online crime is that of the prosecution of guilty parties. The fact that there are no borders in the cyber world has lengthened considerably their reach. Another thing that allowed them to prosper is the fact that many countries are still years from establishing laws that would criminalize these exploits and from gaining the ability to understand them and gather enough evidence to prosecute them.

Datuk Mohammed Noor Amin, chairman of the U.N.-affiliated International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats, says that rich countries should help poorer ones find a solution for this problem and clamp down on cyber criminals operating from within their borders.

Reuters reports that there are a lot of people out there who would like to witness the rise of a international organization that would regulate cyberspace, because cyber crime is booming and yearly losses can be counted in billions of dollars.

Most countries still tend to look at the issue at the national level and seemingly fail to realize that the escalating growth of cyber crime is reaching levels that will sabotage the trust needed for economies to develop and grow.

“Nations take for granted the Internet is going to be ‘on’ for the rest of our lives. It may not necessarily be so,” says cyber law expert Pavan Duggal. A disruption in service that would last days or weeks would create havoc with online businesses. “People have realize the Internet is an integral part of every country, politically, socially and business-wise,” he says, and because of this it’s important not to ignore the issue of cyber security.