Internet: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Guest writer Paul E. Lubic, Jr. takes a close up look at the Internet, and considers the impact of this potent tool in its totality. Or, as Paul puts it; the good; the bad; and the ugly side of  this world changer. See if you agree.

image The Internet is a phenomenon that has changed our world in many ways.  We communicate, conduct commerce, and obtain information globally…all good things.  However, it also has it’s dark side that we contend with too.

The Good

The use of the Internet has globalized our communication and information gathering by allowing us to email, blog, and message text with people and business partners in almost every country in the world. This has increased our productivity, and everyone’s ability to compete in the global economy.

Our schools are able to compare teaching techniques and strategy with schools in other countries, and help each other increase effectiveness.

Our businesses, large and small, have the ability to buy and sell products in countries previously not possible because of logistical restrictions.

Consumers have the ability to shop the world for goods and services previously not possible because of geographic boundaries.

Considering all the good things mentioned above, we tend to ask ourselves what we ever did without the Internet.  However, considering the “dark side” of the Internet, we wonder how long we’ll be able to  continue to use it.

The Bad

When discussing the Internets list of warts, the proliferation of pornography comes to mind first.  Despite the efforts of law enforcement around the world; you can access any genre of porn in photographs and video very easily.

Spam and Junk mail are next on my list of objectionable features on the Internet.  Most of it a nuisance, some of which is an insult to our sensibilities.  And we are inundated with a huge volume of malicious email that has doubled in the past year.

The Ugly

Another wart on the list is criminal activity in cyber space.  There are organized crime groups in many countries whose sole objective is to use the Internet to steal our money.

The cast of characters is constantly changing.  It started with the Russian Mafia, then they were joined by groups from Romania and other eastern block countries.  Next came the Koreans, Chinese and India.  And now I’m seeing a lot of activity… though on a smaller scale (they can only afford to buy some of the older, cheaper malware).

This proliferation of crime is fueled by the malware-for-sale market where a criminal can buy revenue-producing malware and rent part or all of a bot-net to run it on.

Finally, the proliferation of destructive viruses that harm our computers and cause us to lose our ability to use them until we remove the offenders.

These malicious programs are created by two categories of criminals: the hacker; a programmer who wants recognition among the growing herd of hackers…there are conventions where they meet to brag on their accomplishments and obtain new skills; and the other group is the criminal faction mentioned above.

All in all, I’d say that in spite of the list of dark side attributes, there is far more positive value we derive from the Internet.  However, the lesson we must take from this phenomenon is that we need to educate ourselves on the downside problems of the Internet so that we are able to enjoy the positive attributes safely and securely.

All in all, I’d say that in spite of the list of dark side attributes, there is far more positive value we derive from the Internet.  However, the lesson we must take from this phenomenon is that we need to educate ourselves on the downside problems of the Internet so that we are able to enjoy the positive attributes safely and securely. (All Rights Reserved.  Paul E. Lubic, Jr.)

Guest writer Paul E. Lubic, Jr. is a long time IT professional who’s held the positions of programmer, IT Security Manager and Chief Information Officer.  His interests lie in the IT security area, but he writes on all categories of technology.  Paul has a blog that caters to home computing.  Check him out at his Blog – Paul’s Home Computing.

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8 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Personal Perspective, Windows Tips and Tools

8 responses to “Internet: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

  1. Bill,

    I will be checking Paul’s blog out and will add him to my Launch Pad at What’s On My PC…

    Rick

  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Paul/Bill.

    You’ve given me a lot to think about – great article.

    Thanks

    Liam

    • Bill Mullins

      Good to see you visit Liam.

      Paul will be pleased to see that you found his article useful.

      Bill

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  5. I came across an article today on the Romanian Mafia and thought it’d be a interesting update to my article where I mentioned the Romanian Mafia as being a player in cyber-criminal activity on the Internet. Here’s a summary and link to the original article.
    May 10, The H Security – Police apprehend Romanian phishing gang. Romanian police investigators have exposed a gang of criminals who fraudulently gained online access to bank accounts and for months, continued to draw money from these accounts. The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) in Bucharest said that after conducting nationwide searches May 9, Romanian police questioned 28 suspects. Since October 2009, the gang is said to have obtained sensitive data, such as online banking and credit card user names and passwords, particularly of Bank of America customers, via phishing attacks. The criminals then transferred money from these accounts via the Western Union financial service and withdrew the money in Vienna, Munich, Prague and Romania. According to the DIICOT, the damages incurred amount to approximately $1 million (£665,000). Most of the suspects come from the Romanian city of Constanta on the Black Sea coast. The gang is said to have had 70 members in total. Romanian authorities collaborated with U.S. agencies in investigating the case. Source: http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Police-apprehend-Romanian-phishing-gang-997151.html
    Paul