Interview with criminologist Bartolo Danzi: "The network cancels our conscience"

(To Maria Grazia Labellarte)

Cybercrime, cyberstalking, cyberpedophilia are very widespread problems that find fertile ground in the lack of awareness of the subject-victim.

Know the techniques of social engineering and the methods of attack through the equipment, systems and computer networks make it more difficult to perpetrate these criminal cases that exploit, in fact, the lack of awareness of the victim who moves without caution in the maze of the internet.

Through the network, the offender can always reach his victim, even in real time; it can only escape if it knows how to move carefully on the net and above all it is able to implement even simple defensive strategies. Being in control of yourself, even managing to not always be connected. It does not make sense, for example, to use one's own devices to carry out corporate work, because the risk of infecting the company's IT systems with trojan o malware o cryptoware it becomes really high and dangerous.

The personal use of the computer (for online shopping, for home banking, for online services) does not coincide with the now fundamental need for a culture of cybersecurity. The best weapon is therefore a knowledge of the fundamentals of cyber security.

Doctor Danzi, the importance of awareness of the risks that exist while surfing the net and the lack of personalization of the perpetrators of illegal acts leads us to believe that there is a kind of impunity for those who surf the net. In a comment to one of his books, he reminds us of the role of anonymity as a deterrent. But is the network really so "anonymous"?

In cyberprofiling, the cybercrime author is convinced that he is anonymous on the net. In fact, cybercrime perpetrators may not be able in real life to commit the same crime directly. The IT medium cancels anxiety, the fear of being discovered, modifies the spatio-temporal consciousness. But the network never forgets!

Even for how much you want to erase the traces of a computer crime, for how much you want to make your IP address anonymous, it is still possible to trace the author of the computer crime, also through a study of the methods and a behavioral analysis, the signature of the 'author.
We can say that there is no absolute anonymity on the net.

How delicate is the problem of computer crimes today?

Cybercrime has seen in recent years an exponential increase and the proliferation of the so-called "Cybercrime spa". These are real criminal organizations that are structured in a pyramidal way and made up of individuals with high knowledge of computer engineering, law, graphics, marketing , psychology, telephony, etc. Anything that can serve to achieve the ultimate goal, the acquisition of strictly confidential data. It is no coincidence that today it is possible on the deep web (the submerged part of the network) for those who know how to enter it, to come into possession of confidential information (credit cards, access passwords, etc., etc.).

Cybercrime is therefore a problem that also affects important companies for the loss of large amounts of data and information and forces you to invest important capital for the defense of such data and information.

Following the SARS-CoV-2 emergency, we also experienced as parents "the new approach" to school teaching through DAD. The development of distance learning, in the future, will increasingly weaken the ability to deal with problems of common life. What will change in the relationship between students?

The current pandemic emergency certainly does not pose favorably, forcing young people above all to remain hyper-connected in the network, with evident high risks of being victims or becoming perpetrators, even unaware of serious crimes.

The net cancels our conscience, makes us devoid of feelings. Writing LOVE in a text message is not the same as saying this term face to face. The network makes us different, insensitive, stupid to the point of being able to do what in reality we would never be able to do. The occurrence of youth suicides for participating in online games is proof of this danger.

Human relations will be seriously worsened by an exasperated and exasperating use of the internet.
Unfortunately, it cannot be said that states are taking real responsibility for improving the cybersecurity culture. The increase in cybercrime, especially in this last period of Covid emergency, testifies, if anything, an evident regression, a greater attachment to the use of information technologies, especially in online education, without a minimum respect for what should be the rules imposed by current GDPR.

We can technically tell our readers about the Deep Web. What is the most incisive form in its contrast?

The Deep web is that submerged part of the Internet not indexed by normal or common search engines which, therefore, is not visible or explorable by anyone. It contains the most pleasant human perversions of cyberpedophilia, cybercrime, sale of drugs and weapons, sexual violence, paid killers, racial hatred, Nazi-fascism, cyberterrorism, cannibalism, hackers and scammers, live torture and murders, sectarian crimes, manuals secrets to building bombs, bank security portals, social media, military restricted areas, anything that shouldn't be visible outside.

In particular, it is accessed through a search engine derived from mozilla Firefox called TOR which allows (at least partially) to anonymize the navigation in these submerged websites which are certainly the most consistent part of the internet (only the smallest part is visible what is on the surface).

The deep web is therefore frequented by criminals, secret services, drug traffickers, child pornography producers, murderers, all that is most perverse and dangerous.

Therefore it is extremely not recommended, even if only per curiosity, access it: in addition to having bad encounters, you could be trapped in some FBI or CIA operation that continuously scan the deep web in search of information useful for global security purposes.

The navigation levels stand out in surface web, deep web and dark web, the most terrible part.

Photo: web