Australia’s leading criminologist thinks online scams have escalated to such a point that first-time users of computers should have to earn a licence to surf the web.
Russel Smith, principal criminologist at the Australian Institute of Criminology said the concept of a “computer drivers licence” should be taken seriously as an option for combating internet-related crime.
“There’s been some discussion in Europe about the use of what’s called a computer drivers licence – where you have a standard set of skills people should learn before they start using computers,” Dr Smith told iTnews.
“At the moment we have drivers licences for cars, and cars are very dangerous machines. Computers are also quite dangerous in the way that they can make people vulnerable to fraud.
“In the future we might want to think about whether it’s necessary there be some sort of compulsory education of people before they start using computers,” he said.
The Australian Computer Society launched computer driver’s licences in 1999. It aimed to give users a basic level of competency before they started using PCs. But the growth in cybercrime has led to IT security experts such as Eugene Kaspersky to call for more formalised recognition of a user’s identity so they can travel the net safely.
Last week Dr Smith sat in front of a Federal Government Inquiry into cyber crime and advised Australia’s senior politicians on initiatives in train to fight cybercrime.
He said that education was secondary to better technology solutions.
“I think at the starting point of it you need manufacturers of both hardware and software to devise technology that makes it difficult or impossible for people to be defrauded,” Dr Smith said.
This is one of the absolute worst ideas ever. Shout this down. Too much potential for abuse, taxation, additional fraud, etc.