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September 20, 2017

The City of the Internet

The internet is like a vast city. Hundreds of millions of people live out their lives there; millions of businesses operate there; and retailers galore have their shopfronts there.

In the real world, every city has a police force. If you get into bother in London, or Glasgow, or New York, you contact the police for assistance. If you have money stolen, you report it to the police for investigation.

But in the City of the Internet there is no police force. Large companies pay for their own police force in the form of IT specialists. Small businesses and individuals buy protection in the form of “off the shelf” software.

There is no police force for the internet.

We would never allow that in the physical world. Why do we allow it in the virtual world?

Surely, it is worth paying a few pounds (euros, dollars etc) a month through our ISP or data provider to fund some sort of “City of the Internet Police” to help crack down on all the scams; and arrest all the fraudsters and hackers.

That might be scary for some since one person’s “hacker” is another person’s “advocate of free speech”! We have to protect the values of the internet. Surely we can all agree a set of common values that ensures the people trying to commit fraud or spread violence are caught, while the people with “eccentric” opinions, or “alternative” lifestyles are left alone?

The City of the Internet: should it really be the wild west?

Thoughts?