The root of all evil?

Last night I watched a programme called “Hardcore Profits”. I was horrified when the presenter interviewed some men in Ghana who watched hardcore American porn via the Internet who interpreted these films as “education”, deduced that unprotected anal sex was normal, and then admitted raping women in order to put into practice what they had “learnt”.

I read a book written by Tim Berners-Lee a while back (Weaving the Web) about the invention of the World-Wide Web, and I bet he couldn’t have foreseen such horrific acts being carried out as a result of a technology that he invented.

When you think about all the bad stuff that happens on the net, from the corruption of our young, to credit-card fraud, scams, spam, porn and paedophile’s, you start to wonder whether it’s all worth it. Why do we have such wonderful technology being abused by so many people?

The net is now so pervasive that we all tend to rely on it far too much, not just for sending emails, but for planning our routes, doing our banking, booking our holidays, looking up old friends etc. I’ll quite often check my stocks and shares on my phone while on the train, or read the BBC News web site. This is all stuff that was unheard of when I was a kid. But now it’s normal and kids are growing up with this it. Yet there is this dark stuff going on that is getting harder and harder to avoid.

I foresee a future where it gets worse and worse, kinds of like when we first had land lines installed, then we had to register with the TPS to stop cold calls. But how do you register your “on-line” activities to prevent invasion of privacy, prevent yourself being scammed, prevent yourself being offered “Penis Enlargements” and all manner of drugs.

How am I going to explain to my daughter what a “Penis Enlargement” is when she starts getting spam in her inbox (she’s only 4 months old by the way!)?

It does seem that “The Internet” is way too corrupt and dark at the moment and when my daughter is old enough, I’m not sure if I want to let her onto it. Maybe there will be a backlash, and a time when people forcibly avoid the net (or be forcibly banned!)?

It’ll all collapse when we run out of oil anyway and then we’ll go back to pen and paper.

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