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Working with the Internet

The Internet is the most effective communications tool ever invented, a tool whose implications for human society are only beginning to be glimpsed. This page presents information to help you better understand and work with the Internet.

Shut down offensive websites: If you spot an offensive web site -- antisemitic, terrorist supporting, anti-Israel, or just hateful -- you may be able to shut it down. By following simple procedures, you can determine who owns the site and what web hosting company is giving them access to the Internet. Often the offensive site is not actually known to the web hosting company and is probably in violation of their rules of conduct. A simple letter of complaint can force the site to move, a considerable inconvenience and possibly the end of them.

Don't publicize hateful sites: If you want to tell others about a website by anti-Israel Arabs or neo-Nazis, do not include the link to the site in your email. Even more seriously, do not link to such sites from a website. By providing links you increase the offending site's traffic and may even improve their listing on search engines! Keep them in the dark -- don't provide their address to anyone except law enforcement.

Stop e-mail spam: One of the annoying realities of today's Internet is the prevelance of "spam" e-mail. Almost everyone is getting these unsolicited e-mails, most containing advertisements for goods and services you probably don't want. Many of the offers are objectionable if you have no interest in adult web sites and products. And some mailings spread hate, lies, and propaganda about Jews or other groups. Dealing with spam can be a complicated matter, depending on your circumstances. One very basic step is to enable the "blocking" option on your own e-mail software (e.g., Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express). For more information about the broad topic, this tutorial is a good start.

If the spam comes in a form that you can reply to (i.e. has a valid address), you might include a warning to the spammer, such as:

  • Sending email that appears threatening or abusive may breach the terms of your Internet Service Provider's User Agreement. Any such correspondence will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

Under such circumstances, do send the offending email to the provider being used, such as aol.com, msn.com or other Internet service being used by the spammer.

Internet Crime: If you are the victim of a crime conducted via the Internet, or if you suspect fraud in something you receive, there is an on-line center where you can file Internet related criminal complaints. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.

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