There are some people who have the misguided impression that the internet is not regulated, want it either not regulated or self-regulated – actually it is and by many agencies.
So who are the agencies? Well there is the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) in the US that provides digital forensics; international agencies like CEOP monitoring the safety of children, in Britain the National Crime Agency and local police. Other well-known involve International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) a international business organisation and Interpol as the international Policing organisation itself. The Government has also announced as of 2013 that it is to set up CERT-UK which will be part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2011. The Agency will monitor security and this new UK unit is currently part of CESG
Those that think it safe to search into a search engine hopefully realise that Google has stored every single search since it started – it says to improve its engine, but it stores the particular search IP tracing route, and search engines are obligated to provide any activity that a federal government and police organisations across the world require of them. Newsgroups are monitored which led very only onto to every US and now worldwide universities flagging known ‘.alt’ newsgroups that carried discussion or video and imagery that is suspicious. Those using anonymizing software or privately browsing are also not above the law as every agency has the power to trace those users and even file sharing and torrent searching is of course monitored by clients and law enforcement.
Viral services and viral videos are monitored of course – one famous example was of animal abuse, where users of YouTube who found a video of a dog being thrown off a bridge immediately reported the abuse within the video to YouTube who then not only removed the video but sent information to police authorities in Lithuania who used image recognition and enhancement software to not only trace the bridges location and through local investigation of residents were able to track the two individuals – both the person recording the footage and the animal abuser – no viral of this actual video is now to be found but a viral of their apology to angry people outside the court before their subsequent sentencing is in existence.
Famously the technology of organization is the UK such as M.I.5 and CESG (part of GCHQ) monitors every text, internet activity and telephone with special tracking software and utilizing the enhanced tracking and keyword software from companies such as NARUS or sound analyzer in milliseconds and plans to record a database have also been discussed. More recently the finding and subsequent sending of a specialist SEAL unit flown into Pakistan by new specialist stealth helicopter would never have occurred unless the CIA had been able to monitor through a database of thousands of Islamic extremist with al-Qaeda connections one telephone call out of millions its computers were tracking and observing that led to a particular runner of al-Qaeda into Pakistan leading then to spy plane and satellite activity in tracking down the of the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.