What is the Internet?
The dictionary tells us it is ‘the large system of connected computers around the world that allows people to share information and communicate with each other. (1)
What are we sharing on the Internet?
What are we really communicating?
What are we connecting to on our computers?
What is World Internet Day about?
What is the Internet telling us about Internet Day?
Since 2005, every 29th October we celebrate the most important invention in human history because this was the day of the first transmission back in 1969.
We are being asked to celebrate the people who helped build the internet and stop for a moment to reflect on ALL the ways that the internet has changed our lives forever.
Check this video for more detail about the history of the Internet
Here are a few highlights –
The Internet began as an experimental computer network.
If we have enough in common, if we hold enough in common, then we can communicate. If we don’t hold enough in common, it’s much harder. So in fact the reason why the network works at all is that we have worked very hard to create all this commonality so that we share enough knowledge to make it possible to convey information to each other. – Dr. Vincent Cerf.
The million dollar question here is –
What do we all have in common on the Internet?
What is the ‘common’ that we communicate via the Internet?
Would it be true to say that our people and countries are divided and this is reflected in our Internet World?
Next billion dollar question –
Can we truly celebrate the Internet if we know it has changed the lives of others but not in a ‘better way’?
Do we have the real statistics not just of those who have ended their lives, but those who self-harm because of cyber abuse in some form?
Do we know what parents and custodians of our youth are going through dealing with Internet addiction?
Is it becoming more common to give our toddlers an iPad because it keeps them entertained?
Are we all using the Internet with RESPONSBILITY?
Are we using the Internet knowing we are accountable for everything we put out there?
What information are we giving to the world?
On that note – check https://simplelivingglobal.com/living-a-see-through-life
Are we aware that we are leaving a digital footprint that cannot be erased on the Internet?
Are we really bothered what happens to another because of our choices on the Internet?
In other words, are we making sure what we put online is the same as how we are living, where we are not harming ourselves or others?
Are we using the Internet as a distraction?
Are we using the Internet as a game that is not real life?
Are we using the Internet for our own personal pleasure?
Are we using the Internet to replace the void in our lives?
Are we using the Internet as a modern day tool for connection?
Are we using the Internet in a way that no one is going to find out what we are up to?
Are we using the Internet to purely gain profits for our business?
Are we using the Internet to falsely make money out of vulnerable customers?
Are we using the Internet to fuel our addictions?
Are we using the Internet because life without it now would be boring?
Are we using the Internet to take the edge off life?
Are we using the Internet to avoid a true relationship with ourselves?
Are we using the Internet to seek identification and recognition from ourselves?
Are we using the Internet to vent our hate at others?
Are we using the Internet to bad mouth those who speak the Truth?
Are we using the Internet to genuinely support humanity to evolve?
Could it be possible that on-line and off-line are actually the same?
Could it be possible that how we live in real life is the same as cyber world?
Could it be possible that the original inventors of the Internet wanted global connection and sharing to support our evolution?
Email took the usefulness of computer networking to a new level.
First website http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
August 1991 (2)
1982 – only 50 pages on the Internet
1990 – Microsoft first big breakthrough system – Windows 3.0
1993 – first browser developed for using the world wide web
1994 – Yahoo launched their first website
1995 – Internet Explorer added to the first Microsoft OS package reaching home computers
1995 – Amazon website launch
1998 – Google
1999 – PayPal
2003 – WordPress, LinkedIn
2004 – Facebook
2005 – YouTube
2006 – Twitter
2008 – Dropbox
2008 – Facebook had 100 million monthly active users worldwide. (3)
2010 – Google estimated the total size of all data stored on our internet – 5 million Terabytes. (4)
2015 – 3,185,996,155 Internet users. That is over 3 billion users. (5)
2015 – Google revenues $75,000,000,000. (6)
2015 – Apple profit in last quarter to February 2016 $18,000,000,000 (7)
In January 2016 – Simple Living Global website launch. This website remains active and the content will go down in history as a unique website for humanity bringing more awareness to the people in the early 21st century.
In February 2016 Google became the most valuable company in the world – worth more than $500 billion – (500,000,000,000 dollars). (6)
There are over 1 billion websites today of which 75% are not active. (5)
What is this telling us?
WHY is there such a large amount of websites not actively operating today?
So here we have big fat numbers that most of us would not even be able to comprehend.
This is telling us how huge the Internet industry is and Silicon Valley is the home for our Global Technological companies.
Apple being the leader of the group, trumped ExxonMobile in 2015 in annual profits with “the biggest annual profit in corporate history”. (9)
2015 – Apple $53.4 billion profits. ExxonMobile $16.2 billion. (7)
Can we just stop, press the pause button and re-read?
It has been said that some tech companies invest in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
Multinational Corporations use of tax havens allow them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year. (Citizens for Tax Justice) (7)
The man who owns Microsoft has a net worth of $75 billion.
Mr. Amazon is around $45 billion.
Our famous Facebook inventor over $44 billion.
Mr. Google around $35 billion. (10)
The above simply confirms how big the Internet business is.
Whilst the Internet is of great value to many of us as individuals and for our business world, it also has the ugly stuff which most of us don’t really want to talk about.
Have we heard of –
Social Media Manipulation
The Dark Web
Do we simply ignore these ongoing problems related to the Internet when we ‘celebrate’ how great it all is out there in cyber world?
Do we care about the victims whose lives are affected by cyber abuse?
WHY do the perpetrators have a licence to do what they want?
WHY are we the general public not viewing this as a serious crime?
WHY are we accepting these acts of abuse as normal daily Internet activity?
Does it take a suicide case for news to reach us about how serious these crimes are?
John Carr, a leading authority on children and the Internet states that our social media giant, which is like a public utility for young people and plays a massive role in their lives “should be more energetically engaged in policing the content”.
There is of course the Transparency thing and the EU Law, which states that as long as the social media sites react quickly to complaints they are immune from liability. (14)
This is a not so clear as there is a unique nature to Cyberlaw.
We do not as a world have a ‘commonality’ when it comes to the Law and the Internet.
This is because the Internet is not geographically bound as this was never the intention of the inventors and this means that our national laws cannot be applied globally. There are a few international agreements that exist but there are those who oppose this and state that the Internet should be allowed to self-regulate as its own “nation”.
If you would like to know more detail about the following – check this online law and government information site
Laws and current regulation and their shortcomings.
Architecture which is about how information can and cannot be transmitted across the Internet.
Norms refers to ways in which people interact with one another on the Internet. This includes certain activities that are allowed such as online forums where users can moderate comments made by others.
Market Regulation controls patterns of conduct on the Internet through the traditional economic principles of supply and demand.
This is about regulations of the infrastructure of the Internet itself. Everything that is transmitted across the Internet passes through private and public organisations which could be government agencies, telecommunications companies or universities. This has become an area of concern as different countries have different laws they want to implement that then affect the infrastructure.
Free Speech on the Internet
This is not something our world is united on. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans a right to free speech but this is not in other nations. What the Internet has granted is the cloak of anonymity so others can have their voices heard.
There are countries who have made efforts to filter unwanted parts of the internet from its people.
We also know how there are many cyber abusers who use anonymity to seriously harm others, knowing they can get away with it in the name of “Free Speech on the Internet”.
The rise of the Internet means other areas of Internet Law are now hot topics such as Privacy, Fraud, Cyberbullying, Cyberterrorism and Intelligence Gathering.
Are there any social media laws and how are common legal issues dealt with when they occur on a social network?
What about all this posting of private photos – can we legally have them removed?
We all know that once an image appears online it is there somewhere in cyberspace even if we have it removed. That means there is a digital footprint that cannot be erased regardless of what we have to say. With the social media sites anything can be copied and reposted to plenty of other sites which makes total removal almost impossible if we are to be honest here.
Read more on this same website about –
Sex Crimes Involving Internet Interactions
Remedies for Cybersquatting
Legal Risks of Naming Specific Persons Online
Sharing Photographs: Excessive Copyright Demands
Privacy Laws and Social Media Sites
What is Your Liability if Someone Hacks your PC and Uses Information for Criminal Purposes?
Note – each country will have their own Internet Law.
What this blog is presenting is some basic stuff and the questions –
Where is our individual Responsibility as an Internet user?
Do we have a moral compass inside us when it comes to using the Internet?
Do we have our own ‘Internet Laws’ and so what we think is what we do?
Do we think it is ok to do whatever we want until something goes wrong?
Do we choose to not be aware that we are custodians of the Internet?
What will it take for our Governments to criminalise such acts or do we need a ‘commonality’ where there are lots more cases before the Law is changed?
Top Ranking Internet Sites
So is anyone wondering WHY Porn and Sex sites are still amongst the top ten searches on the Internet according to a survey in 2014? (15)
2013 – 70% of men and 30% of women watch porn and the rates were increasing rapidly each week.
There are 450 million unique monthly visitors to porn sites each month.
2 out of 3 HR professionals have found porn on their employees’ work computers.
“We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn’t find any.”
Dr. Simon Lajeunesse, University of Montreal (16)
The NSPCC have seen a 60% increase in a year of the numbers of children, some younger than age 11 who were contacting them due to worries about seeing online porn. Some callers said that they felt ashamed and guilty.
“Young people are being exposed to extreme sexual acts online. Worryingly, some think that porn is realistic and want to act out what they’ve seen online.”
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, NSPCC. (The i Paper, 17th October 2016)
Just reading the above do we ever stop and question WHY porn sites are so popular?
Are these statistics giving us the real figures?
What about the underworld of Porn which we know does exist on our Internet?
If 2 out of 3 Human Resources professionals are finding porn on their employees’ work computers, what is going on that our staff need this during work time?
Could it be possible that porn is the new ‘safe’ drug as chances are you won’t get caught?
Could it be possible that porn gives us intimacy in the form of a false connection?
Could it be possible that some reach for a cigarette and others reach for porn?
WHY are our young children going onto porn sites?
What is the void, the gap in their life that is being filled with porn?
What is the future of an 11 year old who is visiting porn sites?
Who do we hold accountable for uploading “extreme sexual acts online”?
Do we blame those who make money from porn or do we look at why we demand porn?
Basic economics tell us that if there is a demand then the supply is there. No demand then that service goes so the suppliers are not able to make it a business because there are no customers driving the need to keep that service going.
So could it be possible that if we all started taking RESPONSIBILITY for our choices on the Internet then that would determine what sites continue to grow?
In October 2016, Facebook ranked as the highest search term on the Internet followed by YouTube.
Does this tell us where are priority is and where our focus is on a daily basis?
Do we ask WHY is Social Media getting so many hits every single day of our lives?
Could it be possible that Social Media is our new form of connection?
Could it be possible that Social Media is safer than real life connection?
Could it be possible that Social Media allows us to escape from life?
Could it be possible that engaging in Social Media is like our daily medicine?
Susan Greenfield, senior research fellow at Oxford University states that in 2014 there was a study by the university showing how ‘cyber-immersion’ is affecting humanity. The study found that people did not like spending 6 – 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do. They enjoyed doing mundane tasks more and in some cases they preferred giving themselves mild electric shocks – particularly the men – rather than sitting and doing nothing. WHY? People are used to constant stimulation and so would prefer to do something than nothing, even if it is negative. (The i Paper, 17th October 2016).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – edition 5 (DSM-5) has identified Internet Gaming Disorder as a condition that warrants further research. It is not yet included in the main manual as a ‘formal disorder’.
Known as “gamers”, people who play online games compulsively end up excluding other interests. The ‘persistent’ and ‘recurrent’ online activity is said to result in ‘significant impairment and distress, putting their job and study functioning at risk due to the amount of time they spend playing. Gamers also experience withdrawal symptoms when pulled away from playing games online.
Studies suggest that when gamers are engrossed in games on the Internet, certain pathways are triggered in their brains in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict’s brain is affected by substances. Gaming causes a neurological response that influences feelings of ‘pleasure and reward’. In the extreme this can lead to addictive behaviour. (17)
Internet Gaming Disorder is most common in 12 – 20 year old males. (18)
Have we all heard of Safer Internet Day? (19)
February 7th 2017 with the theme “Be the change: unite for a better Internet”.
This day is celebrated globally to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
In the UK, this day is to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities.
2016 theme was “Play your part for a better Internet”.
Have any of us taken this seriously or are we doing the same same on the Internet since this awareness day in February 2016?
We are being asked to BE THE CHANGE.
Does this mean we as individuals need to take Personal RESPONSIBILITY?
Does this mean we need to live the change we want for the Internet?
If we do not want our kids on porn sites, then we need to ensure we are not secretly doing porn.
If we subscribe to hate online and become a cyber troll, we need to be aware that this could one day happen to us or our kids or parents.
Are we as a world ready to UNITE?
Is a ‘better’ Internet a TRUE Internet that is safe for our children and young people?
Is ‘better’ one step better than how things are now?
Is ‘better’ as the dictionary says “satisfactory”?
Is satisfactory enough?
Is satisfactory a band aid to a bullet wound approach?
Is ‘better’ REDUCING what is really called for which is Truth.
Are we ready to be honest about our contribution to the Internet?
Are we open to the fact that we all are EQUALLY responsible for our World Wide Web?
Would it be safe to ask WHY do we need these awareness days?
What is going on in our world that we don’t know about?
WHY has the internet become an unsafe place for our kids?
WHY are we not responsible for ALL our online activities?
WHY is the internet not supporting victims of cyber abuse?
Why is internet policing not really making much difference?
WHY do we have little or no research into real figures about cyber abuse?
WHY are our governments not united about Laws for the Internet?
WHY is cyber-crime escalating?
Cyber-attacks are threats to businesses through financial fraud, theft and the selling of stolen data and other valuable information. (20)
This video tells us how we can buy a credit card with a date of birth for £5.
Have we all heard of European Cyber Security Month?
This is the EU’s annual advocacy campaign taking place each October with the aim of raising awareness of cyber security threats, promoting cyber security among citizens and providing up-to-date security information through education and sharing of good practices.
See link to read their list of objectives, one of which says ‘to promote safer use of the Internet for all users’. https://cybersecuritymonth.eu/about-ecsm/whats-ecsm
What exactly does that mean to you and me the general public on the street?
What is safer use?
Is it safe to do something in secret as long as no one knows?
Is it safe to read about stuff that is harming us but we choose not to be aware?
Is it safe to become an Internet troll because we can?
Is it safe to cyber abuse people we don’t know just because we feel like it?
Is safer use telling us to be more Responsible when using the Internet?
WHY are we not campaigning for more RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY for ALL Internet users across the world?
Here are the current statistics about some famous social network sites worldwide, ranked by number of active users. (24)
Facebook – 1,712,000,000 that is 1.71 billion active users per month
What’s App – 1,000,000,000 (that is 1,000 million)
QQ – 899,000,000 (that is 899 million)
Skype – 300,000,000 (that is 300,000 million)
Snapchat – 200,000,000 (that is 200 million)
LinkedIn – 106,000,000 (that is 106 million)
Could it be possible that to see a real change on our Internet in a positive direction, we ALL need to be held accountable for ALL our online activities?
When Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web almost 30 years ago he said
“This is for everyone”.
Could it be possible that he was telling us ALL EQUALLY to be responsible for how we choose to use the Internet as it affects all others?
The Internet was not to be owned by anyone or any company. It was for ALL of us equally to unite and be custodians.
Recl@im the Internet is a broad based campaign for action to challenge abuse online. (25)
This website gives some evidence of the different types of abuse that are taking place on the Internet which is the new street crime.
Is this what we call “freedom of speech”?
Do those who abuse think it is ok as there is little or no consequences for their actions as it is difficult to police most online activity of this kind?
How far have we come as a race of beings who are the most intelligent species on earth?
How far have we deviated from what the inventors of the Internet have given us all to use?
WHY do some of us think it is ok to use the Internet as a licence to do whatever we want?
Jess Phillips – MP for Birmingham Yardley states that young women are saying they are worried about speaking up and putting forward their ideas, because of the backlash from trolls and bullies online. She has had rape threats and her children’s lives threatened by people on the Internet.
WHY is it that anyone who stands up for Truth are more likely to be the victims of cyber abuse?
(1) Cambridge Dictionary
(2) Wolchover, N. (2012, August 21). What Was the First Website Ever?
(3) Number of Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 2nd Quarter of 2016 (in Millions). Statista.com
(4) (n.d). Internet Day
(5) (2016). Total Number of Websites. Internet Live Stats
(6) (2016). How Does Google Make Money? iWonder. BBC
(7) Liberatore, S. (2016, February 6). Watch in Real Time How Much Money Apple, Google and Facebook are Making Every SECOND
(8) (2016, October 24). Silicon: The Essentials. WebElements.
(9) Titcomb, J. (2015, October 28). Apple Reports Biggest Annual Profit in History with Net Income of $53.4 billion
(10) (2016). The World’s Billionaires. Forbes
(11) (2016, October 20). What is the Dark Web and How Does It Work?
(12) (2016, October 18). Sexting Gone Wrong: Trust is Key in Preventing Secondary Sexting. Belgian Safer Internet Centre
(13) (2016, September, 6). Revenge Porn: More Than 200 Prosecuted Under New Law
(14) Topping, A. (2016, October 9). Facebook Revenge Pornography Trial ‘Could Open Floodgates’
(15) Lubin, G., & Nudelman, M. (2015, March 11). Here’s What People Really Search for Most on Google
(16) (2013, April 5). Porn Sites Get More Visitors Each Month Than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter Combined
(17) (2013, May). Internet Gaming Disorder
(18) Sarkis, S. (2014, July 18). Internet Gaming Disorder in DSM-5
(19) Safer Internet Day 2017. UK Safer Internet Centre
(20) (2016, July 7). NCA Strategic Cyber Industry Group Cyber Crime Assessment 2016. National Crime Agency 2016. Version 1.2
(21) (2016, October 18). Fraud & Cybercrime Cost UK Nearly £11bn in Past Year. Action Fraud
(22) Travis, A. (2016, July 21). Cybercrime Figures Prompt Police Call for Awareness Campaign
(23) (2016, July 5). Identity Fraud Up by 57% as Thieves ‘Hunt’ on Social Media
(24) Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of September 2016, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions)
(25) RECL@IM THE INTERNET
(26) Staggering Scale of Social Media Misogyny Mapped in New Demos Study