Business Law I
Should Internet Activity be Monitored?
There has been an ongoing debate over many years on whether or not internet activity should be legally monitored by Internet Service Providers or the government. Obviously there many pros and cons to both sides of this issue. There is not only a valid need for internet monitoring of private networks in addition to government systems, but there is also a valid concern for the privacy of our country’s citizens. Both sides of this issue will be addressed as well as my own analysis of this topic.
There is quite a bit of history regarding monitoring public internet communications. Some forms of electronic ...view middle of the document...
They include numerous types cyber crimes to include: fraud, such as: financial, computer, identity theft, debit/credit card…etc., child exploitation, online gambling, phishing scams, cyber stalking/bullying, and computer viruses, just to name a few. In 2004, Kenneth Flury was charged with bank fraud and conspiracy when he tried to steal debit card account numbers, pins and other personal information from Citibank. The US Secret Service got involved as part of Operation Firewall. He ended up getting over $380,000. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release and pay $300,000 in restitution to Citibank. In 2005, Jeanson Anceta used botnets to launch destructive spam and adware attacks. Most of his damage affected the computers used by the Federal Government for National Defense. He generated over $100,000 in proceeds. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison and has to undergo 3 years of supervised release which limits his internet and computer use. He also has to pay the Weapons Division of the United States Naval Air Warfare Center $15,000 in restitution and relinquish $58,000 of his profits from his illegal activities. In November 2008 a mother reported that a 20 yr old male was having sexual conversations with her 12 yr old son through Xbox live. She gave the tip line his first name, numerous screen names, and a possible location. The Exploited Children’s Division conducted internet searches using the screen names and found a discussion board posting and discovered an email address. After analyzing the information the analyst notified the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children task force. After further investigation, it was found that there were previous complaints against the suspect and due to the tip from the Cyber Tip Line authorities were able to tie up the lose ends of prior reports and arrest a 21-year old suspect for possession of Child Pornography and multiple counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. At this time it is believed that there are at least 10 child victims. In 1996, the FBI only investigated 113 cases involving child exploitation via the internet; in 2001 the FBI opened 1,559 cases. The Internet Crimes Against Children program was launched by Congress and the Department of Justice in 1998 and between then and 2001 these task forces have arrested over 900 predators. There are numerous cases on cyber crimes that may have been preventable if internet activity were being monitored. FBI Director Robert Mueller said “the idea balances on one hand, the privacy rights of the individual who are receiving the information, but on the other hand, given the technology, the necessity of having some omnibus search capability utilizing filter that would identify the illegal activity as it comes through and give us the ability to preempt that illegal activity where it comes through a choke point.”
The federal government is launching an expansive program called “The Perfect Citizen”...