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Will cybercriminality interest the candidates in the presidential election? (2)
By Carlo Revelli

Founder and CEO of Cybion, author of "Strategic Intelligence on the Internet" (Dunod).

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However, it is important not to give up looking for innovative and original solutions to these problems. Despite the limits outlined above, the initiative of opening an on-line space where Internet users have access to a form for signaling Web sites and content that contravenes the laws on the protection of minors should be welcomed. No doubt this initiative should be extended, to take into account not only pedophilia but also racism and terrorism. But above all it is essential to use an effective strategy to avoid the limitation of these measures in time and space. To do so, different avenues for reflection and action can be explored, and it would be very interesting to understand the position on these issues of each candidate in the presidential election:

  • It is difficult to imagine that a government or administration could realistically regulate "from above" everything that appears on the Internet. Internet users, and not just the public authorities, must be at the heart of any measure whose objective is to introduce any type of ethical or juridical regulation on the Internet.

  • Every Internet user can become, voluntarily or by chance, a sort of "captor", capable of identifying a web site or newsgroup that incites racism, hatred or pedophilia. No information research or monitoring software possesses the incredible potential of millions of people acting together in a network.

  • The question is whether the Web can transform itself into a sort of "ethical peer-to-peer" network, mobilizing the force of Internet users, in the same way that numerous scientific programs use the calculating power of people's PCs to help in the fight against AIDS and cancer, or to look for signs of hypothetical extra-terrestrials (seti@home)

  • Public authorities should actively promote this civic awareness so each Internet user would understand their potential capacity to help clean up cyberspace. It is therefore fundamental to develop the bases of a true ethical and civic auto-regulation of the Internet. This would be neither a regulation exclusively from above (public authorities) nor exclusively from below (Internet users).

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