If there’s a way to be bad, you’ll find it on the Internet
Since the first caveman caved in the head of his rival with a sharpened rock, it hasn’t taken us long to use new inventions to be naughty.
And so it is with the internet and every fad it spawns. It seems it’s only a matter of time before some creative crooks find in every new popular website or net gimmick a new way to commit dastardly deeds.
Like Welshman Brian Lewis who was last week jailed for life for murdering his wife (and mother of his four children) because he noticed she had changed her status to “single” on Facebook. Sadly, it’s just the latest in a string of examples of the misuse of new inventions that should be bringing us together.
Here’s our top five:
5. The Internet
The create communicator or the great sharer of porn? It’s embarrassing but the idea of internet porn was invented even before the idea of the World Wide Web.
The premise of the web was developed by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 but it didn’t go global until about 1993.
And in that time between? Yes, programmers testing its data transfer rate would send each other the first ever online nudey pics known as ASCII porn – the process of using characters on the common keyboard in a really small font to create awesome images.
Yup, I don’t know what we expected would happen when you put a bunch of computer nerds in a room together but there you go.
It took only a few months after the web went public for entrepreneur Gary Kremen to register the domain sex.com and now, by some estimations, porn makes up more than 40 per cent of all websites.
4. iPhone Applications
They can do everything from making you a better guitar player to finding your golf ball but it wasn’t long before developers started using their iPhones to do bad stuff.
Like North Queensland IT student Travis Yates who last year developed an app that helps you count cards while playing blackjack in casinos.
The app sold so quickly it doubled Yates’ income and led the Nevada Gaming Commission to issue a fiery warning to Las Vegas casinos to be on the lookout. Cue a noticeable rise in instances of shifty-eyed iPhone yuppies getting dragged out the back and given the old one-two by roidsarexic bouncers.
That app was cheeky but the Baby Shaker, recently banned by the iTunes store was just plain tasteless. It involved an animated crying baby that you had to silence by shaking the phone as hard as you could. Needless to say the infant would end up both quiet and unconscious. Not nice.
Apart from the relentless snore-fest tweets from Kevin Rudd’s office, Twitter has managed to keep its nose relatively clean.
Except for when it was used by hundreds of teens in Philadelphia to co-ordinate a riot in which a convenience store was robbed, pedestrians beat up and a taxi hijacked.
Philly police called Twitter crime a ``kind of new dynamic that’s growing with large groups of juveniles using the social networks to get the word out.’’
Later in Arizona a Twitter-friendly robber apparently burgled a house after its owner tweeted that he was on vacation. Police later warned: ``don’t tweet every mundane aspect of your life”. You never know who’s reading it.
Or how about Osama Bin Laden who also appears to be a member of the Twitter-sphere?
Some recent Tweets?: ``Thought I heard infidels approaching; just my llama being restless’’ and “Just woke up… sleeping on rocks is bad for my aging back. Hope we get an Ikea soon.”
Despite having more than 3,500 followers, something tells me it’s a fake.
Unfortunately the sad example mentioned above is not the only murder facilitated by Facebook.
In Brisbane last year, 22-year-old Sarah Elston was tracked down by a former flame on the social networking site after he noticed her “single” status and the pair organized a meeting.
A short time later she was dead, stabbed several times while the boyfriend never faced a trial for her murder due to his mental condition. He is still in a high-security mental health ward.
North now to Britain, where a thief used Facey to mock the owners of the house he had burgled, saying he was about to pawn their possessions including a laptop and iPhone.
The robber hacked the owners account then professed to be writing the posts “on his new laptop” before signing off: “regards, your nighttime burglar”.
Meanwhile, the experts in death - Mexican drug cartels - have also reportedly used Facebook to aid in kidnappings, using the site to find out everything they need to know about a target from who they socialize with and what their family looks like.
You and I just thought it was fun way to check out work colleagues photos but crims see a world of potential.
The scourge of newspapers and a magnet for bad eggs, If you’re ever in the US and want anything from a casual root to a 48ft yacht - you hit up Craiglist. With more than 20 billion page views a month, the site is classifieds, ebay, a housing search engine, matchmaker, chat room, travel agent, talent agent and job listings all in one.
But the job search was all one pest needed to pull off a massive heist in Washington state in 2008 where he put out an ad calling for road maintenance workers and promising wages of $28.50 an hour.
The catch was all applicants had to wait at a certain Bank of America branch in Monroe, Washington at the same time dressed in yellow vests, safety goggles, a respirator mask and “preferably a blue shirt”.
About a dozen of them showed up at which point the pest, dressed in the same kit, walked up to a BoA armoured van, pepper-sprayed a guard and made off with tens of thousands of dollars.
Cops searching for the robber only found the dozen or so decoys milling around aimlessly out the front of the bank while the thief escaped down a river in an inflatable tube!
The site has since been used by sickos submitting ads for models in order to assault young women and thieves to get the addresses of richie’s who want to sell expensive jewellery.
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