[At-Large] [lac-discuss-en] GigaOM article : Louis Vuitton asks for SOPA-like seizure of hundreds of websites

Derek Smythe derek at aa419.org
Mon May 14 23:49:48 UTC 2012

On 5/14/2012 11:25 PM, Antony Van Couvering wrote:
> I thought a criminal was someone convicted of a crime by a court. 

criminal (noun):
  a person who commits a crime
crime (noun):
  activities that involve breaking the law

I actually find it pathetic that we are debating this. But here goes...

We all (should) know we cannot simply walk into a stranger's house and
steal his property. Nor can we go into his bank and pretend to be him,
stealing his money.

The virtual nature of the net does not change that. What it does
change is it's international reach allowing criminals to evade
prosecution. Yet the crimes are still as real.

If it takes a conviction to label the actions parties criminal or
label those committing fraud criminals, we would have hardly any
criminals on the net.

I find it sad that the laws of most countries have clauses like losses
under XXX, losses over XXX. Effectively that means most criminals will
never be prosecuted due to the international nature of the internet.
This is an insult to the victims of "under XXX" who will never see
justice, yet they also have rights. If you explain the happy-go-lucky
unaccountable nature of the Internet, they cannot belive it. The
current system is failing these victims. We can quote those lovely
terms like the "The Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime" etc, yet the
reality is it is not stopping cyber crime since even these agreements
do not cover all the countries. Even where they do,  the one country
may attach a different priority to it since they are not affected.

Even most of the lottery/pet/fake-shop/auction scammers know how to
stay under the radar by regularly changing identities and defrauding
in small amounts, using all those anonymizing mechanisms the internet
provides free of charge to "protect your privacy". This hypocrisy is
even apparent at some domain registrars and resellers, selling trust
and stability away $10 a shot then turning a blind eye to the wrong

How many real victims to fraud do we have vs the hypothetical
political refugee trying to use the net for his plight? Why should
those daily real unwilling victims be sacrificial lambs for the
hypothetical politically prosecuted? What gives the one more right
than the other? I would love to see how many refugees use the domains
on the net as a platform vs actual daily victims to fraud. I am sure
those hypothetical refugees would not be registering in their own
domains anyway even if the wanted to. They would be sure to find a
trusted sponsor abroad.

So let's keep this real please. Cyber crime is no less real than
crime. Those victims also have rights. I have met many victims to
cyber crime (three again today alone). But I have yet to meet "that"
political refugee wishing to register a domain in his own name using a
proxy service to voice his opinions.


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