[funsec] McColo: Major Source of Online Scams and Spams Knocked Offline (fwd)

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Thu Nov 13 13:27:40 UTC 2008

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 11:30:45AM -0600, Kee Hinckley wrote:
> The article expressed a good deal of frustration with the (lack of)  
> speed with which law enforcement has been tackling these issues. 

Law enforcement is almost a complete non-factor in dealing with
online abuse.

Action is erratic, slow and incompetent at best; it tends to only happen
when one of four things is true: (a) someone's running for office
(b) positive PR is needed (c) a government has been publicly embarrrassed and
needs a scapegoat or (d) someone with sufficient political connections,
money, and/or power wants it.  And even when it happens, it's ineffective:
for example, token prosecutions of spammers have done nothing to make
the spam problem any better.  Multiple spyware vendors have settled
their cases for pitifully small sums and then gone right back to work.

But even if that weren't true, even if law enforcement worldwide had
adequate staff, resources, training, clue, etc. to attempt something
useful -- the necessary legal framework really doesn't exist.  Abusers
can dissolve their shadow companies, form new ones, relocate (possibly
across international borders), modify their tactics, etc.

Peer-to-peer action continues to be the best available option -- one
that needs to be exercised far more often.


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