Been a LONG slog these past years. Ghostbusters was about your best bet because the Police, FBI and authorities throughout the world were largely uninterested in online criminal activity and other crimes online. They did not understand it and they did not take it seriously. Not their fault. That is the cost of progress. That's why it takes so long for something as big as the internet to be understood.
A few things changed it along the way. 9/11 was the start. AirKatrina.com was when it grabbed headlines and attention when the Attorney General of the USA is on national tv speaking about it. That incident changed how charities operate online and even off-line. The authorities were now interested in folks abusing others online and the fraud and that went along with it.
But even after that it would be years before the authorities took things really seriously. Crimes via Craig's list and others drove the effort. Today they understand more. Not 100% but they do understand it is THEIR jurisdiction. I think Australia has led the way in some of the crimes as their authorities have always responded and showed an interest in things online. They are proactive in investigating and they follow-up. They share information that in the USA would never happen.
The USA is getting better. Still may not be easy. There are ways to start the ball rolling where before they would just give you an empty look and point you to another department or jurisdiction who would in turn point you to another and another and eventually you would end where you started and at that point you try one more time and then give up.
This is the reason I also believe that Reverse Domain Name Hijacking is in the last days. The rash of over reaching is going to be OVER within a year or two. There will always be some SCHMUCK that will try to steal, but I believe that the numbers in the second half of 2013 nd 2014 will decline and I think we are already seeing that. Don't forget to factor in how many more domains there are today than 10 years ago and the fact it is widely known many are very valuable. Plus all parties are much more sophisticated and educated on what's what!
The social penalty is much more severe and long-lasting than a fine. Plus a fine of $1000 won't do much. $10,000? Maybe a bit stronger deterrent but on a $2 million domain still a good gamble. So you would have to get to at least a $100k penalty or make it criminal to actually deter. That is why the social penalty is a bigger deterrent. Priceless!
So a tip of the hat to the authorities for finally recognizing that crime online is just as important as crime offline! And also a tip of the hat to the WIPO and NAF panels that are largely getting it right these days as opposed to days past. Tomorrow we will take it to the next level. Until then.......