keysIf some security experts have their way, you may soon need a license to log on to the Internet.

It’s all in the name of “protecting” you, but there are people in Europe and Australia that think it might be a good idea for you to have a license to surf the Internet.

The theory is a simple one: there are people on the Internet who want to defraud you, and you should be required to take a class to learn to avoid these situations prior to being allowed on the Web.  At least that is the idea that Dr. Russel Smith, principal criminologist at the Australian Institute of Criminology, has been saying to iTnews.

While it seems his heart is in the right place, Dr. Smith is simply going too far with such a concept.  The majority of Internet fraud concerns can be solved with a short pamphlet that Internet service providers (ISPs) could send out to customers when they sign up.  Essentially it boils down to three things:

  • Never give out your password or personal info
  • Never send money to someone
  • Never use a credit card on a suspicious looking site

There, you’ve just earned your “license”.

Dr. Smith attempts to make an analogy between driving a car and controlling a computer, both items being dangerous machines, but it just comes off as lame.  Yes, the Internet can be a big scary place, but just because a handful of people get defrauded each year doesn’t mean that the hundreds of millions of other people on the Internet should have to jump through hoops to use their own computers.

You know what else is dangerous?  Guns.  But you don’t have to take a safety course before buying one.

You know what else is dangerous?  Alcohol.  But you don’t have to take a course before you drink.

You know what else is dangerous?  Smoking.  But you don’t have to take a course before you buy a pack of cigarettes.

I think you get the picture.

Categories: Internet, Opinion, Security   
 

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Steven Hodson
    August 30th, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    you know what else is dangerous but you don't need a license – have kids.

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