Posted by & filed under cyber terroism, cyber war.

Description: It is a crime in progress, a cyber-fraud network that moves with blistering efficiency between servers in England, criminals in Russia and victims around the globe. It is borderless, profitable and almost impossible to stop. It is the digital future of criminality.

Source: Globe and Mail

Date: Nov 24, 2010

But perhaps the scariest aspect of these networks of compromised computers isn’t their capacity to defraud users and Web sites. It is the fact that they are also the means by which much larger cyber-battles can be carried out — even between governments that are locked in a digital arms race.

At the birth of the Internet some 40 years ago, when the first bits of digital information flowed between two university computers in California, few could have envisioned what the communications network would one day become: the centre of the world’s business, social and educational interaction and one of the most important inventions in human history.

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Questions for discussion:

  • Who should protect Canadians and others from Cyber terrorism ? Explain?
  • Should Canada be the cyber sleuths of the world like we are the peacekeepers in the real world?
  • If Canada are not the cyber police, what country is positioned to take on this roll?

18 Responses to “The Internet needs peacekeepers. Is Canada ready?”

  1. Adam G

    Before the cyber police are hired there needs to be better laws and regulations upon the internet and its users. Better international standards upon the internet need to be created in order to limit companies such as Koobface who are only being unethical and not unlawful. The internet is great, but should have a law on it to prevent such companies from existing. There should be internet borders and so nations can not hack into other nations via the internet. The internet could be called a world of its own, and each nation responsible for their respective part within this cyber world. Yes it would be difficult to police, extremely difficult but there needs to be better defined rules for the users of the internet to follow.

    Canada being the cyber peacekeeper for the world is possible, as long as we have those that are capable to do so. An “army of cyber police would have to be developed. It would be difficult to have a cyber army, the internet is not the same as the physical world, and this is an entirely different type of war.

    I believe each nation needs to be the ones to take better initiative to ensure legislation is drafted that covers internet use, and a better division within the UN established to ‘guard’ the internet.

  2. Chuqiao(Emma).yu

    The cyber-fraud network is happening everywhere in the world. It is borderless, but profitable and almost impossible to stop. It might be the digital future of criminality. The nature of security threats has radically changed from virus attacks by ‘amateur hackers’ to co-ordinate attacks carefully orchestrated by fraudsters, identity thieves and other criminals. Canada should be more sensitive to the cyber-fraud, like we are the peacekeepers in the real world because the terrorism also exists in this country. Also, Canadian telecoms service providers must take some effective actions immediately to counter the ‘criminalization of the Web’ and the communication networks. Canada should protect ourselves and others from Cyber terrorism because we have the ability and power to do this. We should not always relay on the U.S. or other global institutions. Every country is positioned to take on this roll.

  3. Jessy Gust

    The idea of hiring “Cyber Police” from Canada is a great idea, and it is also very evident that “the internet needs peacekeepers”, the bigger question is- how? The facts are that the internet has grown so immensely large and such a essential part of everybody’s lives that it is far beyond the point where it can be controlled or even managed , for that matter. Even if there was one agency hired to monitor the internet, such as the UN, it almost seems impossible that such a collective collaboration such as the internet could ever be effectively monitored.
    I think that such an proposal will never actually be enforced, and I think the bigger problem in combating internet security issues is security itself. I believe that there is much more international organized crime that is currently not being dealt with effectively, so monitoring the internet should not be a priority.
    It is a pleasant thought to believe that Canada could be a leader in enforcing the cyber police, but I believe that it is very unlikely.
    I believe that the freedom of the internet simply allows people to be our true selves, so in that sense maybe the internet shows our true nature? And the main issue with enforcing any kind of “internet police” is a huge breach of ones security and freedom.

  4. Jen

    Should Canada be the cyber sleuths of cyber terrorism, like we are the peacekeepers of the world? Most definitely. To be a cyber spy, and to be an experienced spy can in the long run, protect our country from cyber terrorism. Canada is recognized as a very highly multicultural country. It may be said that the internet is geographically borderless, but I beg to differ. Being a multicultural country can help us have connections all over the world to different hackers and cyber terrorism invasions. More awareness can help more protect us. We can monitor from every possible angle of entranc through the network, and try and protect our country the best way we know how. Goverment intervention is key. I agree with having our government involved in protecting us from cyber terrorism. If the government can make benefical decisions on behalf of our country and to keep us safe, then I do believe that they can do it through the internet.

  5. Vanessa Welton-Hagen

    I think that there needs to be a combined effort between citizens and the government. If the people are protecting themselves as much as they can and the government is watching for potential terrorists. Canada should not be the cyber sleuths of the world as each country has different regulations and rules that may differ from Canada’s. The world is a large place and it would make no sense that only one country would have to keep track of all other countries. Everyone needs to be responsible for themselves so that if something happened or something was missed, it wouldn’t be blamed that the other country purposefully missed that bit of information. All countries should be in contact with the others so that potential threats will be known.

  6. Scott S

    This story tells a frightening story. When I look at the optics of it I get a little nervous. It almost seems that such a good thing like sharing information and learning is starting to turn into a control game. When countries like China and Russia want to start taking control of the internet it really lets us know how important this is. I don’t know if Canada should be the “Cyber Police” of not but I do think that this country needs to at least become a lot more involved. What this does force us to do is to look at how we want the internet to be like. The other part of the story regarding the malware does not suprise me in the least. The biggest problem is that laws can’t be made fast enough to keep up with the advancements in technology. By the time countries make laws they are already outdated and need to be redone. So unless something can be done about laws being enacted much quicker they will always be way behind technology. This then brings in the question of ethics. Unfortunately when you are dealing with these types of people ethics isn’t even in their vocabulary.

  7. Yuang Nyang

    Since the internet has become the world dominant communications network and used by different countries of the world with different rules and intentions,in this case, it will be upto Canada to build it security base on it rules and intentions of it used of internet and in that way Canada will be protected from the cyber terrorist attack or the neutrality of Canada could protect it and it partner from terrorist.If Canada could become the cyber sleuths of the world,and if it might be possible to bring the terrorist to understand the reasons not to act terrorist than Canada can do it but since the terrorist could not be known by Canada as well as where they operated, and when they will carried out attack, it will be hard for Canada to do that job. And if the Canada don’t do the cyber policing there will be no one to take it over, everone will be millitrizing and setting security.

  8. Anita Hsieh

    I think having a cyber peacekeeping unit is the most bizarre thing. The Internet is so vast, diverse, and intangible; it seems like a formidable task that I don’t think any ONE country or government can truly take on by themselves. How will any peace keeping unit enforce any laws over the internet? The internet was built on the premise of freedom of speech and expression; it almost seems to take away from that complete when you introduce an idea to ‘enforce’ this. It almost seems like an meaningless task, there is no real outcome or any prevention of cyber terrorism. Plus many people can obtain proxies to disguise their true location, as well, what happens if you do catch the international cracker or hacker? How will they punished, under which country’s laws? I don’t think this is a well thought out concept. People should just adopt a greater security hardware and software and regularly backup their information, and hope for the best.

  9. Shawna MacDonald

    I think it’s really quite terrifying that things such as Koobface exist and cannot really be gotten rid of. What happens when one comes along that is a huge invasion of privacy or is used to wage cyberwar or cyberterrorism, and we cannot get rid of it? It’s really hard to say what Canada should do, but something needs to be done. Security hardware and software can only go so far – crackers and hackers are smart and could probably outsmart security software without too much of a problem. I don’t know if Canada is necessary the best fit for the role of cyber police, and I feel like the United States should step up because they probably have more to be worried about – although, their standards regarding internet don’t even seem to be as high as Canada’s at this point (take PIPEDA for example, and the lack thereof of an American equivalent).

  10. Dustin Lehmann

    I believe that the world should begin to start an organization that does the peacekeeping of the internet. We also need to begin to make rules,laws and legislation as well so that we have the means to prosecute those who commit crimes on-line. Woth-out these laws inplace we will be vulenrable to more cyber crime because the criminals won’t be fearful of getting in trouble. They also need to make an example of some of these criminals with huge fines and jailtime so that future criminals will think twice before they commit the cyber-crimes. I also found it interesting that they figured in the article that possibly the next world war could happen on the web. That is scary to think about especially when we don’t have any sort of policing going online.

  11. James Clark

    This article goes foot-in-mouth with the cyberforensics one. The world may not need a group that is dedicated to keeping the peace on the world wide web. That would certainly be one way of looking at the solution, another may be to set up better information systems around the globe. Canada should step it up and take a leadership postion in this fight. The country tends to sit back and let others take the upperhand a lot. One of the biggest issues with policing the internet and trying to keep peoples information and rights safe and secure is that we have to give up our security to acquire it. You think about policing citizens in public and how in order to keep us safe the police have access to registery information, the government has access to social insurance information, and healthcare information. If that information is abused or stolen then our identities are at risk. So there is some give and take but I guess a question to ask is do we feel that we can protect our right and freedoms on the internet or do we trust others that hopefully have the experience and expertise to protect us and hold or have access to our personal information. Or is Canada that other person that is to be trusted by others. We have built ourselves a reputation involving security, trust and peackeeping.

  12. Troy K (U of L)

    In the article it says that 10 to 15 percent of cases of cyberterrorism is caused but governments around the world. Canada by itself would not be able to effectively protect against other large gvoernment bodies. It would be good if there was a group of countries that are bonded together that would be able to put pressure on the different governments that are commiting these crimes. It is hard to force a governing body in another country to do something without causing conflicts between two countries. Also if a crime is commited by an idividual in another country there is nothing that one government can do to that person without the help from the governing body in the country were the the individual is located. It would be beneficial if countries combined rules for internet activeties which will allow punishments to be enforced.

  13. sean Miller

    Canada should not be involved in cyberwar unless it effects us directly. Cyber space is a wierd place and you never know who your chasing or what your chasing. I could see something going wrong and putting Canada at risk in the cyperworld. This time USA is nto able to back us up. Its a New type of war and i’m sure there are hackers out there that can do real damage. I don’t want canada to be a target just because we tried to help someone els out.

    sorry other countries!

  14. kathy

    I think that Canada needs cyber police as Cyber fraud is increasing as each year goes by. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Canadians need to be protected from Cyber-terrorism. According to Hamadoun “The next world war will likely happen in cyber space.” Therefore we need to be prepared for any cyber attacks that may come our way. Canada needs someone to protect such attacks. So Canadian Cyber police should protect Canadians. However I don’t think that Canada should protect everyone. Each country has their own rules and each country has their own expectations. If Canada where to protect the entire world it would be a lot of work, but if I had to choose I think that Canada would be the best cyber police. As Canada is deemed peacekeepers in real life. They help maintain peace during wars so why would they not be able to keep peace with cyber wars. If for some reason Canada backed down from being cyber police the UN should take on the roll of protecting each country from any attacks. This does not mean that every cyber attack will be detected as the internet is expanding and making it difficult to keep track of everything that happens on the internet.

  15. Kayla D

    I think that as long as users are taking every step in being secure, the government needs to do the rest. Having cyber police is definitely a need in today’s society. The scary part is that if it is already nearly impossible to catch these online criminals, I don’t even want to imagine what it will be like years from now if we don’t start to do something about it as soon as possible. This is an area of the police/RCMP that needs its own division in my opinion. That leaves a lot of potential for IS majors in the future, with that division being a niche market.
    Canada, in my opinion, needs to step up and take part in this ‘mission’. The internet is such an important and used part of Canadian’s that they would be crazy not to get involved. I think the lack of effort would let down many Canadian citizens if they chose not to get involved.

  16. Cory

    There are really only two ways that someone or some country can truly become a peace keeping entity. one way it to straight up be more powerful than both parties at hand (or in the case of cyberterrism, more technologically advanced), which unfortunatly, canada is not most of the time. The second way is for them to be respected enough to change the minds of both parties. Although Canada is fairly respected, I wouldn’t bet my money on us putting a dent in cyber war/terrism. That doesn’t mean we don’t have our part in the whole thing, in order for the internet to keep being a success its going to take the efforts of every user. If a single country could take on this problem succesfully they would have alreay done so, but there are many issues surrounding it.

    The protectors and police of the cyber world will most likely be put into the hands of the individuals and software companies. Until it is easier to prosecute for crimes worth prosecuting for, we can only hope that the technology of protection is stronger than the technology of the hackers.

  17. Mark Anderson

    I think that Canada should try to play a leading role in the governance of the internet but there are a lot of problems that go along with it. Firstly there are no universally accepted rules to how the government should be run. Today the internet is mostly run by the ICANN which is an American based company. Many other countries would rather the ITU run the internet. This is very alarming to Canada and other western nations because western nations like to have a free and loose internet while other countries like China would rather have a censored internet. This could also be a solution for the problem of malware on the internet. If the internet was more closely monitored individuals would not be able to set up such malware. Another problem with cyber warfare is that it is very hard to trace. Countries may claim another country is attacking them but they have no proof.

  18. Brett Silbernagel

    I find this article interesting when it talks about the malware. It describes how cents are “stolen” and directed to the author through clicking an advertisement. It is almost impossible to punish those taking advantage of this because every crime is so “miniscule”. I dont think Canada or any country for that matter have the resources to fight this kind of crime. It would be like trying to find everyone who illegally downloads music and slap a fine on them- which is next to impossible. Also in order to have a peacekeeping group most countries have to on board to stop cyberwar and for lack of a better example, if you look back at the attemps to set up the United Nations after WW1, there were many failure due to the lack of commitment and strength of the countries involved.

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