By Grant Gross - December 20, 2012 - computerworld
An Internet safety education campaign will point out scams and other online dangers with an initial target audience of children and seniors.
The new Digital Citizens campaign, launched Thursday, will also strive to shed light on the online sale of counterfeit goods, including prescription drugs, and on pirated Web content, said Tom Galvin, executive director of the new group. Digital Citizens will investigate online scams by showing how people can get fooled -- for example, one of the first projects will be to purchase counterfeit drugs from online pharmacies, he said.
Digital Citizens will also attempt to demonstrate the ties of counterfeit products and scams to criminal groups, he said. "There are large criminal enterprises out there," Galvin said. "What we see is an online Mafia that is spreading out into numerous illegal activities because they see they can make a profit."
The initial focus of Digital Citizens will be on education, but the group may get involved in Internet policy as well, Galvin said. The group hopes to put pressure on governments and Internet companies to take steps to protect Internet users, he said.
"We hope to motivate a greater awareness that leads to a safer Internet," Galvin added.
Several other groups "do good work" in targeting niches in Internet security, but a new group was needed to "point out specific victims and how they're getting victimized," he said. Digital Citizens also plans to "really demonstrate who the villains are," Galvin added.computerworldDigital Citizens The dangerous world of counterfeit prescription drugs