The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has found himself a victim of Internet fraud. Having invented the Internet twenty years ago with the noble intent of linking documents together, the Web has evolved and also become a haven for fraud. Sir Tim, who purchased a Christmas present from a Website which never arrived, called the phone number on the site only to discover that the number was not valid. As he puts it "The worst thing that has happened to me was when I tried to buy a Christmas present from a company that looked like a bona fide company on the internet and then actually they were a completely fake company. I think I am yet to get the money back, but it wasn't a lot."
Clearly, no one is immune. As we surf the Web daily and transact on sites, we mostly take it for granted that the sites we are on are legitimate and trustworthy. We might look for trust marks like the Better Business Bureau Online, the VeriSign Secured Seal, and Truste as indicators of authenticity and security but we mostly assume positive intent. Unfortunately, this is when we can fall victim to cyber crime.
According to the Telegraph:
Sir Tim called on the authorities to put as much effort into fighting cyber crime as they do into conventional crime.
Sir Tim said he felt that online crime needed to be enforced as rigorously as crime in the real world, within international agreements to help prevent internet criminals escaping prosecution by hiding in countries outside the jurisdiction of the law where their victims live.
He said: "There have been many positive things about the web, but there are also some nasty things out there too. You can find out how to cure diseases, but you can also find out how to make bombs.
"Sometimes we need new laws, but in other cases we need to realise that old laws can still be applied to the web.
"We need to tackle issues of enforcement instead, as the laws on fraud, for example, already exist but is hard to find and catch the people responsible."