05 June 2007

Virtual Victims & Cyber-Crime

Second LifeI don't know if any of you have ever visited Second Life, the parallel universe in virtual reality—I certainly haven't. However, Nigel Cameron has a fascinating post on his blog, ChoosingTomorrow, highlighting how the distinction between what is real and what is unreal is not as clear as some of us who are not "plugged in" to any other cyber-dimensions might believe. For, police in this universe of ours are seriously investigating alleged crimes of virtual rape and virtual child abuse in cyberspace.

Perhaps the world of avatars needs to establish its own laws and criminal justice systems?


The Stonemason said...

That real police are investigating virtual crime is a logical extension of the 'thought-crime' mentality that lies at the back of religious, sexual or racially motivated offences. That hitting someone because they are of a different religion, colour or sexuality is somehow worse than hitting someone because they have ginger hair, wear glasses, live in a different part of town or some other motivation of violence. George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning against totalitarianism, he would be aghast at how this government appears to be taking it as a policy document to be implemented.

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest I don't understand why it's worse to assault somebody because of their religious beliefs than their political beliefs, or their sex rather than their age. But its part and parcel of the way that the government refuses to engage with us as indivduals, we all have to be pigeon-holed into "communities". I don't want rights based on the fact that I'm a woman or a religious minority, I want them on the basis that I'm a citizen of the UK. This "special treatment" stuff is patronising to the people being "protected" and blatantly unfair to those who don't fall into the magic categories.