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The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem -- Part II

Evidence mounts that the real problem on the Internet, is not that it is not open/neutral enough, but that it is not as safe/secure as it needs to be. (Part I)

  • Public policy priorities are really warped when there is so much discussion about addressing an unproven and potential net neutrality problem, and relatively little discussion about addressing the very real, serious and growing Internet safety/security problems.

Mounting evidence: 

"Cyber-Scams on the Uptick in downturn:" Wall Street Journal

  • "Experts and law enforcement officials who track Internet crime say scams have intensified in the past six months as fraudsters take advantage of economic confusion and anxiety to target both consumers and businesses." 
    • "Cyber-assaults on many banks have doubled in the past six months in the U.S."     

"70 of Top 100 Web Sites Spread Malware" Information Week

  • "That represents a 16% increase over the first half of 2008."

"Website infection rising, warns Websense" PortalIT News

  • "We're seeing an increase in cybercriminals taking advantage of the growing number of Web 2.0 properties that allow user generated content, " said Websense Chief Technology Officer Dan Hubbard.

"Cybercriminals exploit trust in networking sites" Info4 Security

  • "The news that Facebook and Twitter have been hit by spammers using ‘fake friend’ accounts to steal passwords and identities is the latest indication that cybercriminals will consider such social networking sites as viable mediums for spreading and profiting from crimeware during 2009."

"Cybercriminals will exploit the cloud in 2009" Computer Weekly

  • "Websense predicts the coming year will see a rise in the malicious use of some web service APIs to exploit trust and steal user credentials and other information."

Organized cyber-crime is on the rise. Zero Day Threat

  • "One indicator of a larger criminal nexus at work comes from CardCops president Dan Clements...  We have seen an increase of at least 20% over the last six months in online chat room activity where hackers are testing out stolen credit and debit cards to make sure that they are active...”

"Short-lived stealthy attacks are the new web threats." AVG Technologies

  • "The rate of appearance of these 'here today, gone tomorrow sites' is increasing in just the past three months, AVG researchers have seen the average number of unique new infective sites that appear growing from 100,000-200,000 a day to 200,000-300,000 a day, a pattern that looks set to continue."
  • "Websense expects cybercriminals to distribute their servers and move to non-US hosting providers in 2009 to make it more difficult to track them down."

"95% of music downloads are unauthorized with no payment to artists and producers." IFPI 2009 Report

  • IFPI estimates that more than 40 billion files were illegally shared in 2008. 

"How much should the average person really be concerned about cyberthreats?" (USA Today Interview of Cisco's Chief Security Officer)

  • "More than we are."

Bottom line:

It is sad that those claiming to represent the public interest in pushing net neutrality and an open Internet...

  • Scream like Chicken Little's -- Save the Internet! -- to supposedly protect Internet users from an unproven and undefined net neutrality problem -- that has harmed no one to date...
  • While not making the slightest peep about the very real, pervasive, and harmful cyber-crime/pollution/privacy problems that have harmed tens on millions of people to date. 

Warped public policy priorities are one of the many reasons why net neutrality remains a fringe issue out of the political mainstream -- its not really about the public interest... and it's not really about what they say its about...