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It depends on your definition of crime, I suppose.

I have never experienced Internet crime. My housemate had her identity stolen, and the thief tried to take out a loan from an Internet-based lending group, Prosper.com, which fortunately called to make sure my housemate knew about it. In “Why Phishing Works?, Dhamija, Tygar, and Hearst found that “Good phishing websites fooled 90% of participants…On average, our participant group made mistakes on our test set 40% of the time.? (p. 1) I don’t imagine that I am any more web-clever that the average participant in this study, and I believe I would be fooled just as often. There are a few steps I take to protect myself from Internet/identity crime: the minor amount of online shopping I do is limited to a few well-known retailers, I don’t respond to unsolicited e-mail, even if they appear to come from a reputable source. I’m pretty careful about ripping up my mail before putting it in the recycling, since I've heard that identity thieves get more info from the trash than from the Web.

I wouldn’t say that a 419 scam is Robin Hood-like, but I don’t think its any worse than lots of other money making schemes: Amway, junky exercise machines sold on late night TV, the credit card business, or the lottery. Thousands of dollars could either be spent on, say, a new car for an American or unwittingly donated to a crafty person in Lagos, where ABC news says "the average income is a dollar a week." If this is accurate, the 4500 dollars ABC news pretended to send could have (if not spent on a swanky mansion) sustained 86 people for a year. Consider the choice between making enough money to support yourself for 86 years by spending a few weeks in front of a computer, or (if you're lucky) working some crap job for the rest of your life. Stealing isn't fair, but is it fair that some people are born into rich countries and some into poor countries?

I don't think that Wikipedia tweaking should be considered a crime. Wikipedia is very clear that it represents a collectively authored, constantly evolving source of information, and does not claim to be perfectly accurate or unbiased-- and what information source can truthfully claim to be? The fact that so many editors are watching out for tweaked entries may not prevent them, but questionable content seems to be caught fairly quickly. Gurak points out that websites often lack any sort of mechanisms for accuracy: "In print publishing...information is screened by editors, reviewers, and fact checkers...while this feature does not automatically lead to truth...it does provide steps along the way where information can be checked." (Cyberliteracy p. 92) For Gutknecht, Wikipedia seems to be in a sort of limbo- not credible enough to rely on for research, but credible enough to threaten his reputation. “A spokesman for Gutknecht did not dispute that his office tried to change his Wikipedia entry. But he called into question the reliability of the service, which was created in 2001 and claims to be the largest reference website on the Internet.? (From the Diaz Strib article) Too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin the soup, but they also can watch the pot and see that it doesn't burn.

la la.