Chapter 12. Taking Action

The focus of this final chapter goes beyond the technology of Internet forensics to discuss the social, political, and legal environment in which it is used. Those involved in Internet fraud are beginning to feel pressure from law enforcement and industry groups. I survey those efforts and suggest how you can play a role in taking back our Internet.

What Is Being Done to Tackle Internet Fraud?

Everyone realizes that Internet fraud is a serious problem that is not going to go away by itself. Politicians, law enforcement, and industry groups are approaching the problem from different perspectives, with varying degrees of success.

Legislation

The speed with which the Internet has developed has led to many instances of state and federal laws being out of step with technology. Slowly but surely lawmakers are learning about the new threats and are crafting and passing laws that target certain of these. But these have yet to really prove their worth, either by lowering the incidence of the crime or by securing a significant number of convictions.

In the case of Internet fraud, prosecutors often avoid the new laws, preferring to use tried and tested legislation against fraud in general. The courts are familiar with these, and prosecutors can avoid potential pitfalls as they present their cases. This is a Catch-22 situation. Unless the new laws are properly exercised in the courts, they will never become the deterrent that they were intended to be. Some of the laws that ...

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