The law is lagging behind technology

The other day I was reading a rather disturbing article over at the fabulous JustB about a hate blog.  The blog in question has been spewing forth its hate and vitriol for around five years.  Five years!  The vile and disgusting words have been allowed to continue to FIVE years!  This is a Blogger blog, and they would have several ways to contact the owner, not to mention shut it down…but it’s been allowed to continue.  Despite repeated death threats and other disturbing content!

In this day and age, where our lives are all but run on the internet, how can this be allowed?

Working with SMEs in web design, I often see small family businesses who are the unfortunate target of hackers.  Not only does this cost them time and money, but can have a long-term detrimental affect on their business reputation.  What purpose does it serve to shut down the site of a small company who take up less than 1% of a market share?  That’s another article entirely…

I know that in most cases, we can chase up the ISP, and often even more information relating to the hacking incident…but that doesn’t really matter.  Because who do we report it to?

If I walked into  a shop and stole $300 worth of merchandise I would be in big trouble with the law.

If I hack a website and cost them $300 in repairs, I walk away scott free.

How is this fair?

Why is the law not keeping up with technology?

I understand how clever the people behind these problems are.  Trust me, I wish I had only half of their amazing brain power to use for good, rather than evil.  I would be swimming in a pool of cash like Scrooge McDuck.  Instead I’m left to pick up the pieces and try to repair the senseless actions.

The internet is moving quicker than any of us could have possibly imagined.  Take a look at the adoption of social media as an example:  over 50% of the Australian population are actively using Facebook!  My dad and my computer-challenged husband both have accounts for goodness sake.  So with such a massive market, why is the law lagging so far behind?

It frightens me that our justice system doesn’t seem to take  this seriously, because for every SME losing a few hundred dollars repairing their website or product-specific software system following a hacking attempt, there’s going to be an employee missing out on a shift.  The money has to come from somewhere after all…


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