Term Paper: Internet Security Measures- an Assessment

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[. . .] A coordinated action has to be taken against the security threats, by the Internet security providers as well as the companies that use these services. Finally, each and every person who uses the Internet would also have to use security measures for their systems like anti-virus software and firewall technology. Keith Lowry, Director of Security at Pilot, feels that a hacker has the time and the opportunity and the need to do harm and these are the facts that have to be addressed for the user to be able to deal with him effectively. This can be achieved when information is shared freely between the various users. Even though providers insist that basic security is a must for all users, not all Internet users have any sort of security for their systems and thus find themselves acutely vulnerable to security attacks.

No one, including the top management of a company, likes to take on the onus of responsibility on themselves for such breaches of security and the criminals find it an easy job to succeed in their condemnable acts, and most of these crimes do go unpunished-about one in sixteen is ever detected or caught. For example, banks that are breached never complain of such a thing having happened, to prevent panic being created among its customers. This means that the criminal could get away scot- free with no trail to lead towards him. The companies may adapt measures such as decoys or even cages, but the best idea would be to report any breach of security to the concerned authorities immediately. The best home-based methods would be, therefore, for both companies, as well as individuals to assume responsibility for the upkeep of security standards and enter into a joint cooperative effort to share all information so that the criminal could be caught before the next serious breach of security were to happen. (Who's Responsible for Internet Security?)

Are there any laws or guidelines for Internet Security? The astonishing fact is, there are none! There is no such thing as 'Internet Law'. However, Internet security is something that has been a growing need, especially in the recent past. A lawyer in the real world would be able to talk about security of any product in the real world, but the real world laws do not apply to the cyber world of the Internet. (Internet Law) there are however, of late, some laws that have been passed for the purpose of Internet Security. One of these is the 'Children's Internet Protection Act'. This act was passed in May 2002 for the protection of children from reading unsuitable material from Internet libraries. This would force all such libraries to enable a filter that would allow an adult user to open it with a password or a code and prevent access to children who might inadvertently chance upon such material that neither would nor suit them.

Violation of this law would result in the levying of hefty fines by the lawmakers. Laws for the protection of minors that are similar to the previous one are the 'Children's Online Protection Act', the 'Child Pornography Prevention Act', and the 'Children's Online Privacy Act'. All these acts would prevent minors from viewing or participating in acts unsavory to them. (Constitutional Laws in Cyberspace) however, these laws would in no manner deter the cyber criminal from committing his despicable acts of crime. Generally, any technological advances would result in a spate of crimes being committed by people who would be experimenting in the new medium. The medium may be used to commit the traditional crimes of credit card theft, security frauds, and infiltration of trade secrets, as well as the brand new crimes of hacking, spreading viruses, and cracking. Some other more threatening crimes are cyber stalking and even child exploitation scams. (Cyber Crimes)

In what manner can such crimes be dealt with? Some lawmakers feel that these crimes should, in fact, be treated as if they were real world and real time crimes and then go about deciding the means to deal with them. The hitch here that is faced by lawmakers is that the Internet is a medium that would allow a person in Ohio to commit a crime on someone in Florida, remaining anonymous all the time. This is what makes it difficult to apprehend the criminal and take any action on him. The arm of law does not usually extend over hundreds of miles of real space and one state would not follow the same laws as another, miles away. Meaningful investigations would, therefore, be quite impossible, on account of the widely disparate laws governing each state. Enforcement of across the state surveillance laws is also impossibility, due to the simple reason of there being no laws to substantiate these surveillance orders. This is where the need for cooperation and sharing of all information across borders and even internationally by the concerned

Governments become vitally important. Reliable and surefire equipment would have to be constructed for this purpose. Likewise, law enforcement agencies would have to now divulge any information that another would want or need, even if it were a top secret that would never have been divulged in the real world. Crimes that were generally confined to the real world in real time are now being planned in real time and being executed in cyber time and cyber space both of which makes lawmakers see the very real necessity of jurisdiction that would cover the Internet as one whole. Federal and State and local law enforcement agencies could therefore have to share their information about cases that are being investigated at the same time so that there would be a link established between them, if it were present and duplication could be avoided. The Attorney General Reno, in January 2000, made up a list of needs for security measures to be taken. She included the fact that there should exist a network to deal with cyber crime on a 24-hour basis.

This would involve establishing a central power point where an officer or a responsible person would attend to calls on cyber crimes being committed, at any time of the day or night. She also insisted that there should be a common online site that would be used for the sole purpose of sharing information at all times. This type of information would go a long way toward solving cyber crimes. She advocated the use of existing mechanisms such as XSP and LEO. The Attorney General's next idea was to hold annual or bi annual meetings at a common place and share information on all ongoing as well as old cases that had needed the services of an Internet investigator. Her final advice was to engage in developing more mechanisms such as XSP to aid in the interstate and cross border investigations on cyber crimes and also aid investigators by cooperative sharing of information. She holds the state and local law enforcement organizations responsible for all investigations of Internet Crime and prosecution of any such criminals, but the problem lies in the lack of proper resources and funding for all these activities.

Such resources are a vital necessity in investigations of such a type of high technology crimes that have no borders or frontiers. Strong laws are needed, keeping in mind the devious nature of these cyber crimes, to fight these crimes and use the Internet in a safe manner, and this would be made possible only if the necessary resources were provided for it. Some acts that protect the Computer and its users and also the users of the Internet are the 'Computer Fraud and Abuse Act' that was passed in 1984 to protect access to any computer without necessary authorization. This act also protected private information that the Government or private agencies were entitled to protect and not share with any outsider. Another similar act was the Privacy Protection Act that was passed in 1980. This act offers protection against any law enforcement officials attempting to seize or take into their custody work related papers of a private nature that belonged solely to the user of the computer.

The 'Electronic Communications Privacy Act', passed in 1986, took into consideration the delicate balance needed between users of such telecommunications, service providers, and the genuine needs of government officials to investigate such material in their search for cyber criminals. However, this act was full of inconsistencies, especially in the environment of the growing number of Internet users. Access to e-mails, voice mails and user access logs were all necessary for investigators and this act protected companies and individuals from having to part with such information that they considered to be private. This act hampers investigations to a large extent but succeeds in protecting Internet users to a certain extent. The 'Telephone Harassment Law' makes it unlawful for any person to harass another using the telephone.

This law applies to the Internet too in the same manner… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Internet Security Measures- an Assessment.  (2004, March 23).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/internet-security-measures-assessment/6361482

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"Internet Security Measures- an Assessment."  Essaytown.com.  March 23, 2004.  Accessed July 18, 2019.