Hey! Are you a usual suspect too? According to the Netherlands you are…

So, let’s talk about privacy. I know, I did that in the past, but it is still a very delicate issue. There is something to say for giving up a bit of privacy for more security, but there is a big problem if the giving up the privacy doesn’t have anything in return.

Today, a report will be presented in the Netherlands mentioning that covering your IP address online is suspicious behavior and as soon as this is noticed, the police should be tracing every move you make online. Also, producers of adult productions should be tracked precisely online because it is a more high-risk group that might be involved in child pornography.

Excuse me?

I am not kidding you. It is in Dutch, but you might use a translator to read this text: http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2694/Internet-Media/article/detail/1303654/2010/12/28/Internetcriminelen-gaan-te-vaak-vrijuit.dhtml

Let me rephrase it; if you are in any way related to production of adult oriented material you should be under surveillance because you are more likely to be involved in creation of child pornography.

Then, if you cloak your IP address, you are showing suspicious behavior.

These two points in this report are absolutely stunning! The bad part is, this report will be used as a guideline for fighting cybercrime in the Netherlands. The fact is, simply put, that this is not about privacy anymore, it is about pointing out suspects and finding possible criminals. You are actually guilty until proven innocent.

First of all, cloaking your IP address is not suspicious behavior. As a blogger responded on this article, it is like closing your curtains. It does not mean you are a criminal or that you do things inside your house that are of criminal intent. It might be that you simply prefer to remain unseen. Even though it might look suspicious, which I can understand it does, it does not mean you are a suspect of anything.

IP cloaking might actually enhance your security and of your network; simply because it might prevent trojans of getting access to your servers. And not only that, actually with a lot of systems IP cloaking, or the use of a proxy server, is absolutely recommended. Ask any corporate network administrator.

But I do still get this train of thought. If you do not understand the world of IT, you might think hiding your IP address is a sign of suspicious behavior. I know the government would like to have a grip on information and information about personalized behavior – it might well decrease crime. But it doesn’t work.

The reason why it doesn’t work is because you have three personalities that commit crime; The smart ones, the dumb ones and the unstable ones.

The smart ones you will  not get. These are the people who know to hide their tracks, or have the dumb ones to the work for them. These people are three or four steps ahead and are not by any means scared by these tactics.

The dumb ones, well, these are the people doing the dirty work or following orders, or are simply not smart enough to hide their tracks. Online or offline, these are the people that get caught. And they should.

The unstable ones, no matter in what kind of crime, are the ones you do not control. They are not acting out of rational thought, they do not think about the law or that they are a suspect. They get caught, still, their crime rate on or offline will not go down.

The smart ones and the unstable ones you will not catch, no matter what you do. The dumb ones are easy to track, they most of the time do not even use IP cloaking if they are already known with it.

And then the absolutely amazing one; if you are into adult movie making, you are more likely to be involved with child pornography. That means that if you are a cop, you are also more likely to be a criminal; they both have to do with crime. It makes no sense. Another one; if you are a banker, you are also more likely to be involved with counterfeiting money. If you are a judge, you are also more likely to be a white-collar criminal since they both have to do with crime and both do not get their hands dirty. It makes no sense whatsoever. I have a photo studio and once in a while we shoot nude scenes with models; am I now on the most wanted list?

It is ridiculous and this report will not stand when it is being critizised by real IT and criminology experts. Not only that, but even following up and tracking all the people suddenly becoming suspects will be a very costly thing with too little results. What worries me, and the thing that is the point of this posting is that governments do listen to these reports. Politicians with no required knowledge in the field of IT will read these outcomes and form their opinions. Opinions that are difficult to remove.

But it is scary to know that these are the steps taken these days, to create a false idea of security.

Will the uncloaking of IP addresses make it safer on the streets? Will tracking every adult photographer and camera team for loads of money make your neighborhood safe again to walk around at night? Or will there be more money put in these actions, and since there are limited security budgets, take away this money from where it really matters.

Come on people, use your mind. If you want to do real research that fights crime everywhere; make it worthwhile for the police and departments of justice to work for national and international security. Don’t let the guys in blue on the street put their asses on the line every day for a little amount of money, respect them more. Give crime investigation units enough money to keep up to date with the latest technology to find, and fight the smart criminals, take these down and not let them slip away.

That, in my opinion, would create a lot more on and offline security.

But who am I?


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