The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online and the ;Cops Followed

The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online and the Cops Followed




I have been fascinated by the Internet ever since I first logged on. The Internet has had a greater impact on daily life than anything else that has come along in my lifetime and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I have written reviews of books dealing with the subject of the physical Internet and the hacktivist culture.
When any new technology comes along, you have people that will look to exploit it for their own gain. So it is no surprise that the Internet became an avenue for all sorts of different crimes. ‘The Internet Police’ takes a look at crime on the Internet and law-enforcement’s response to it.


Chaos and order clash in this riveting exploration of crime and punishment on the Internet.
Once considered a borderless and chaotic virtual landscape, the Internet is now home to the forces of international law and order. It’s not just computer hackers and cyber crooks who lurk in the dark corners of the Web – the cops are there, too. In The Internet Police, Ars Technica editor Nate Anderson takes readers on a behind-the-screens tour of landmark cybercrime cases, revealing how criminals continue to find digital and legal loopholes even as police hurry to cinch them closed.
From the Cleveland man whose “natural male enhancement” pill inadvertently protected the privacy of your e-mail to the Russian spam king who ended up in a Milwaukee jail to the Australian arrest that ultimately led to the breakup of the largest child pornography ring in the United States, Anderson draws on interviews, court documents, and law-enforcement reports to reconstruct accounts of how online policing actually works. Questions of online crime are as complex and interconnected as the Internet itself. With each episode in The Internet Police, Anderson shows the dark side of online spaces – but also how dystopian a fully “ordered” alternative would be.
©2013 Nate Anderson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.


‘The Internet Police’ takes a look at how crime found its way onto the Internet and how the police have had to become Internet police to stop it. The book deals with several cases ranging from piracy to drugs, hacking to child pornography, and we can’t forget about SPAMs used both to commit various crimes and to track down the criminals.
The Internet is a tough place to try to police. The Internet is not confined to one nation’s borders and so can not be governed by one nation’s laws. What is illegal in the United States is not going to be illegal everywhere else, so jurisdiction is an issue.
There are some landmark cases discussed. The chapters dealing with the RIAA lawsuit against Jamie Thomas for piracy are as ridiculous as they come. The RIAA has the right to aggressively defend rights to its property, but some of the ways they went about it could not have made them more hated in the eyes of the public.
The whole thing reads like a giant game of chess between the criminal element and law enforcement. Each group must be proactive and reactive to attempt to stay out in front of or keep up with the other side. This game of chess seems to have no end in sight. This is why I found the subject matter in ‘The Internet Police’ to be so interesting.


Nate Anderson is the deputy editor of Ars Technica. Writing about technology law and policy is his specialty. I would definitely be interested in another volume, as this one left me wanting more. Anderson is not likely to run out of material anytime soon.


James Patrick Cronin gives a good performance. The storytelling doesn’t have a lot of emotional depth, it is more of a “just the facts” style of book. As a result, Cronin’s narration is pretty straight forward. Even though the emotional scenes aren’t there, it is not a bland reading. Cronin has a bit of a sneaky sounding voice that also comes off as being quite kind. It is easy on the ears. This is not the first book I’ve heard him narrate; I like his readings very much.


This is a typical track produced by Audible. No music or sound effects can be found and there are chapter stops in the appropriate places. The volume levels are consistent throughout the track. This is what you would expect, given that it is a more recent production.


The battle between the criminals and the police for control of the Internet is not one that will end anytime soon. Just when law enforcement develops new technology to stem the tide of the criminals, the criminals gain new technology to exploit a different advantage. When the criminals get new technology to exploit an advantage, the law enforcement industry gets access to that same technology to look for vulnerabilities. It is a classic example of the chicken or egg question.
If I had one criticism of this book, it would be that I didn’t think we were given enough. In other words, when I was done reading ‘The Internet Police’ I was left wanting more.


Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online and the Cops Followed Nate Anderson James Patrick Cronin Audible Studios Science & Technology 11/05/2013 8 hours, 37 minutes 7.5/10


A copy of ‘The Internet Police’ was purchased from Audible for review.