Referring specifically tothe internet, the lack of centralised control makes it essentially impossibleto regulate. The ‘World Wide Web’ is a global entity, and was designed not to havea single control beacon that could be targeted in an attack. In terms of what datais stored, collected, and therefore dispersed to, the Web is not legally boundby any specific country and its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee suggests that it cannotbe unless all countries consolidate it into one centralised system (Knapton, 2009; Arthur, 2012).
The impact of this lackof control over information systems could endanger billions, making every user,institution and business susceptible to cybercrimes. Theglobal data hack on credit reporting agency, Equifax, in 2017 is a key example of how lack of control can bringextensive harm. The firm admitted to 146 million counts of data theft in theU.S. and 700,000 in the U.K., which included names, dates of birth, phonenumbers and other sensitive information (BBC News, 2017).
In addition, the hackers’ formation of several entry points into Equifax’s databases prevented the firmfrom shutting down the data breach until months after it began (Riley, et al., 2017). It was said to have cost Equifax six billion dollars in stock market value and put billionsof customers at risk of identity theft and other cybercrimes (Andriotis, et al., 2017). Furthermore, thelack of digital trails from these hackers made them impossible to identify,another growing concern of cybercrimes (Riley, et al., 2017). The 1996 CommunicationsDecency Act (CDA) is firstof several attempts by the U.
S. Congress to tackle similar issues, whereby actionwould be taken against those intentionally distributing “obscene” content to childrenunder the age of 18 (Ehrlich, 2002). It was predominantlya response to the concerns of unrestrained online access to pornography but facedbacklash due to the vagueness of the legislation, its infringement of the FirstAmendment, as well as the difficulty for distributors to distinguish the age oftheir customers (Sodeman, 2016). Requiring credit card details was amethod suggested to verify the identity of those that wished to access adultcontent, but was widely disapproved for excluding those of legal age who didnot own credit cards (Laudon & Laudon, 2016).