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Timofey A. Saytarly

Internet-security: interests should be balanced

Timofey A. Saytarly According to the Okinawa’s Charter of the Global information society, information and communication technologies are the most important factors forming the society in the XXI century. They influence people’s lifestyle, their education and job, as well as interaction between the government and civil society. Information technologies favor a quick development of the economy. They also make it possible for all private persons, firms and communities engaged in business to solve economic and social problems in more effective and creative way. Everybody can take huge opportunities.

The Internet originality consists in that any person, private company, state department or particular country can use it. Therefore, all its segments have no centralized regulation, censorship and other ways of controlling information. It allows obtaining an access to any information thereby increasing copyright infringements. As a result, the problem of protecting information and fighting computer crimes has become very urgent now [1].

The modern legal regulation is characterized with some flaws both at the national and international level whereas technical and organizational aspects of this problem have been already settled for a long time and appropriate measures widely taken.

Any state and person wants to be the master of the house. States can achieve it with the principles of international law, sovereignty consisting in the government leadership and independence and non-interference with home affairs of other countries. People can realize it with the help of international and national laws securing all known human rights and duties.

The last decade made the master review his rights and duties, as well as the house borders. Most of Internet security experts adhere to the opinion that the cyberspace is practically unprotected. It can be concluded from the five-year observation that Internet is not capable of protecting its users and information to be transmitted and received. Every site you visit, every payment you make, every e-mail you send is open to surveillance. And any organization having corresponding powers and resources (both technical, and financial), has access to information. You can make the little to prevent such undesirable intervention of third persons.

Nowadays there is no person who begins to deny the fact of illegal cyberspace. The Internet contains a lot of the pornographic information, slander and insult. There is an information promoting kindling of national conflict. Also, there are the facts of use the Internet for reception of the non-authorized access to the information making various kinds of secret: personal, commercial, state. Besides the information placed at web-sites, in some cases creates potential or real threat national security.

Cybercrime [2] is an international phenomenon that depends on up-to-date computer technologies, networks, their wide use and access. The home and world practice shows that the number of Internet-users and cyberattacks keeps growing every day.

According to the Cyber Terror Response Center, the number of actions brought against persons committing computer crimes in the Internet increased up to 60 000 last year. It is approximately 500 times as many as in 1997 (only 100 criminal cases).

According to experts, the damage inflicted by hackers throughout the world makes up at least $50 billion a year.

Successful existence and increase of a child porno is obliged a lot to paying for such services by means of credit cards (detailed information on a card and its owner being indicated) and using e-mail addresses to distribute images. Since the Internet is widely used, "porno-clubs" become more “popular”. Therefore, the law enforcement agencies should trace and control information in this field of criminal activity. It is necessary to establish an open (under various agreements on providing information) and operative (secret) supervision over credit and financial establishments because they are supposed to participate in committing such crimes. Thus, when using a credit card to pay for a child porno in the Internet, the criminal will run the essential risk of being disclosed and made answerable.

Some Internet-communities consider any state interference with electronic relations as impossible and even useless. According to them, the Internet is a unique information environment of supranational character meant for interpersonal dialogue. It does not belong to any state, organization or physical person. An access to Internet resources presents the private right and cannot be limited by any administrative regulations that would like to put obstacles in the way of its free use. The Internet is a completely self-adjustable information environment, which users can independently establish rules of conduct when applying it.

The state wants to monitor the Internet users under the pretence of preventing an illegal access.

The number of arrested Internet-criminals in 2002 clearly shows the process of such intervention. Most of persons suspected in the pedophilia and arrested by law enforcement officers believed that they were not under the supervision of special services. Probably, they counted on that the use of a "safe coded" link to pay for such services would allow remaining absolutely invisible or the visit of x-sites from abroad would prevent the intervention of native law enforcement officers. The similar assumption is so erroneous as the confidence that the user can completely get rid of something that he deleted from his computer. Any electronic payment will be saved at least in six main databases and any law enforcement body will be able to obtain an access to each of them.

For example, Paris Financial Action Task Force (FATF) responsible for laundering “dirty” money and shady markets has assisted many special services and law enforcement bodies from different countries to make transparent most of financial transactions.

The problem of the state jurisdiction limits regarding separate segments of the global network is the most complex and important in the modern jurisprudence. There are two approaches. First, it is a rigid censorship of the Internet information circulating inside the country and coming from abroad. In China, for example, a web site owner has been sentenced to ten-year imprisonment for publishing in the Internet another’s article devoted to events on Tiananmen Square in 1989. Law enforcement bodies decided that the article undermined China’s political system and instituted proceedings against him. Burma is another example. There each person having a computer is obliged to register it in the corresponding state bodies under threat of criminal prosecution.

Another approach consists in the all-possible state support of the Internet and its users, as well as the establishment of limits for legal regulation. Such position is specific for the Western Europe countries and the USA where some law-enforcement organizations pursue their object of broadening these limits as much as possible.

The Okinawa’s Charter of the Global information exchange of July 22, 2000 has confirmed the right of all people to take advantages of the global information exchange and specially marked out the free exchange of information and knowledge among democratic values. Thirty-five law enforcement organizations from all over the world have opposed the European Convention on Fighting Cybercrimes accepted by the European Committee Council on Fighting Crimes, which allows the Government Services to search and intercept information in the Internet (including personal one). It also establishes rules of storing information by Internet-providers in case of the demand for such data during the crime investigation. The law enforcement officers argue their reasons with that the Convention does not guarantee the protection of confidentiality and violates the Declaration on human rights and freedoms in a rough way.

The variety of information public relations is a natural source of an increasing mass of social and legal contradictions. The goal of law enforcement bodies is to keep balance between the society demands and human rights.

Now the USA, Russia and some Europe countries make efforts to force Internet-providers to store information within several years. It will allow collecting evidential data on computer crimes in a more efficient way. The financial transparency, international cooperation between special services, tracing of communication channels and investigation of these crimes on a transnational scale will make it possible to solve quite effectively the problem of fighting cybercrimes, instituting proceedings against e-criminals without giving them a chance to avoid the deserved punishment for perpetrated offences.

The experts from London Higher School of Economy closely cooperate with police in investigating transnational crimes connected with a child porno and terrorism. They have elaborated some bills on preventing, disclosing and investigating such crimes at the international level.

However, the normative document regulating actions of law enforcement officers on tracking criminals' activities can create the potential for almost boundless monitoring of the global network. E-commerce web sites, businesspersons and Internet-providers regularly save information on all crimes committed in the Internet. The provider has technical means to affect or even interfere with users’ relations. The influence can be ranged from secretly obtaining information to blocking an access to data resources and transferring confidential information to the third persons.

We are faced with the dilemma. The Internet has been created to communicate and exchange information in a safe and free way. The search system (for example, in the USA - the FBI program of controlling information traffic in the Internet and intercepting e-messages by using keywords^; in Great Britain - the Law “On Investigating agencies”) allows tracing not only those potentially and really cracking the others’ web sites but also monitoring personal electronic correspondence. At present, the law enforcement bodies from many countries actively interfere with the activity of Internet-users under the pretence of preventing those or other computer crimes.

Now Ukraine elaborates the bill “On monitoring information in the telecommunication systems” to protect personal and other privileged data from unauthorized access that violates the rights of particular persons and can threaten the national information security. A wrong interpretation of “monitoring” caused loud discussions. This step was regarded as an attempt to control personal e-correspondence in a secret way, infringement of the legal procedure of seizing information, and ungrounded surveillance [3].

According to N. Akhtyrskaya, “monitoring” has been already fixed in Ukraine’s legislation and its definition gives rise to no critical remarks. The regulations “On activity and interaction of Ukraine’s public phone network operators” of February 14, 2001 define “monitoring” as a way of collecting, processing, storing and analyzing information on the network current condition without disturbing its operation (Item 1.5).

The draft should establish the status of monitoring (inquiry action or search measure) and order of introducing changes into laws. According to its regulations, data obtained by monitoring telecommunication systems on a person against whom proceedings were not instituted would be destroyed within six months when finished, a corresponding report being drawn up. It is expedient to introduce amendments into the Complex program of preventing crimes for 2001-2005 if “monitoring” is considered a way of fighting computer crimes [4].

The acceptance of the law on protecting confidential information should become an additional guarantee of the Internet-users’ rights and legal interests.

At the same time, the privileged information on Internet-users has its limits, which should be specified in the legislation as well. It is obvious that when it is a matter of planning or committing computer crimes, the confidentiality cannot be considered more important than the potential victim’s interests.

The interests between the society having the right to information and the state protecting it from crimes, violence and other negative phenomena should be balanced in a proper way.

1. V.Golubev Some aspects of fighting transnational computer crimes - http/www.crime-research.org/library/Golubev0205.html.
2. V.Golubev, V.Gavlovsky, V.S. Tsymbalyuk Information security: problems of fighting computer technology crimes / Edited by Professor R.A. Kaluzhny. – Zaporozhye: Prosvita, 2002. – P.3.
3. N. Akhtyrskaya “Information monitoring” should be fixed in Ukraine’s legislation. - http/www.crime-research.org/library/Akhtirsk0404.html.
4. The same

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