The golden age of cybercrime could come to a close as soon as 2014, according to Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky — as long as the world changes how it coordinates on creating laws to govern the internet.
(Credit: Michael Lee/ZDNet Australia)
Speaking to ZDNet Australia and presenting at AusCERT 2012 this week, Kaspersky slammed the traditional model of regulation for technology and cybercrime, criticising it of being slow and unsuitable.
"Traditional regulation — it's far, far, far behind reality," he said.
He compared it to writing a book on emerging security issues (which he had been approached to do, but deemed it as being impossible).
"Come on, it's not possible. When a book is printed or published in any other way, it's outdated. The history of IT security, yes, but not the present time, because it takes time. Same with regulation."
This doesn't mean that Kaspersky doesn't support regulation. Rather, he said that the world needs to do it in a smarter way. Instead of having governance for the internet fragmented across different geographies, which then causes chaos among different governments as they attempt to reconcile definitions and intents of individual pieces of legislation, Kaspersky said that moving the governance model to a unified body makes more sense.
According to Kaspersky, governments are already beginning to wake up and move to a global model, and he said that if it works as intended, it will result in a global internet government that would be responsible for the internet and its laws — laws that in turn would be approved and then adapted as necessary by national governments, in order to harmonise legislation.
"I think that finally we will have all these regulations and powers in place in 2014, [or] 2015 perhaps," he said.
His reasoning for this date is that Interpol will have completed its dedicated Command and Coordination Centre in Singapore by then.
"I think that will be [the] end of the cybercrime golden age," he said.
However, he acknowledged that there is an inherent danger involved in anyone having too much regulatory power, or responding to issues with disproportionate legislation.
"How [do we] stop governments when [they've gone] too far? When governments introduce too much regulation on the internet? When governments want to control everything? That's going on now in the UK, for example," he said.
"Their systems are connected, and police will have access to this data without any order, without any permission from a court or judge. Police will have so much power on the people, so I'm really afraid about that."
He emphasised that although speeding up regulation is necessary, it shouldn't be at the expense of privacy.
"Don't be too quick. Don't make it too strong. Just leave some space for our privacy," he said.