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The rise of cybercrime: The widening gap between rich and poor is in direct correlation. We have been warned that the continuing divide and expanding inequality within our societies will spawn a violent breakdown of law and order. The proliferation of scams and identity theft is the forerunner of this societal upheaval. Scammers and hackers depend upon there being plenty of dissatisfied folk ready to cross the line to better their lot. If we continue to allow the wealthy to feather their nests, at the expense of the majority, via manipulation of our democratic governments things are only going to get worse.

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Legions of Scammers & Hackers Attacking Unfair Wealth

Legions of semi-organised cybercriminals will mount continuous campaigns in a bid to get their fair share of the fat of the land.

Our financial institutions are already under concerted attack from those wishing to open portals into the digital bank vaults of the super wealthy. We have had decades of conservative governments in the US, UK, and Australia peddling their neoliberalism and fast track policies to enrich the already wealthy.

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“Once again, this report reminds us that wealth in Australia is distributed very unevenly. We have over 130 billionaires in this country and last year their wealth grew, on average, by $395 million or 12 per cent. It means they now hold almost as much wealth as the 2.8 million households in the lowest 30 per cent of the population,” says Scientia Professor Carla Treloar, Director of the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) and the Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH).

“This research makes it clear we have an economic model that delivers profits for the wealthiest at the expense of those with least in our community, and it’s time for the inequality in our economic system to be addressed and made fairer for all.”

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Rising Cybercrime & Community Deafness to the Consequences of Inequality

Awareness within communities about things like growing inequality and its consequences are a bit like inaction on climate change. The deafness to warnings have seen worsening natural disaster cycles delivering record flooding and bushfires.

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Similarly, Australians fail to recognise the signs of record inequity and the impending crime wave which has just begun. Sensationalist news coverage will focus on the lurid details of crimes like home invasion stabbings but will not address the economic causes behind ‘so-called’ crime waves.  

“Over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year.

Self-reported losses from cybercrime total more than $33 billion.

Approximately one quarter of reported cyber security incidents affected entities associated with Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Over 1,500 cybercrime reports of malicious cyber activity related to the coronavirus pandemic (approximately four per day).

More than 75 per cent of pandemic-related cybercrime reports involved Australians losing money or personal information.

Nearly 500 ransomware cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 15 per cent from the previous financial year.

Fraud, online shopping scams and online banking scams were the top reported cybercrime types.

An increase in the average severity and impact of reported cyber security incidents, with nearly half categorised as ‘substantial’.”

“Disruption of essential services and critical infrastructure: Approximately one quarter of cyber incidents reported to the ACSC during the reporting period were associated with Australia’s critical infrastructure or essential services. Significant targeting, both domestically and globally, of essential services such as the health care, food distribution and energy sectors has underscored the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to significant disruption in essential services, lost revenue and the potential of harm or loss of life.”

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Shock jocks will bay for the blood of teens transgressing the laws of the land. State politicians will campaign on ‘get tough on crime’ to get elected.

Nobody will seriously question the economic model running our country and excluding ever greater numbers of ordinary Australians from the wealth of the nation. Redistribution of wealth and opportunity is essential if our western democracies are to endure in the face of the rise of fascism globally. Putin’s Russia, potentially a rerun of Trump’s America, far right wing regimes in Israel, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, and potentially Ukraine indicate the spread of this autocratic political virus.

Fascism is fed by right wing media, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Fox News are prime examples.

The artful manipulation of facts to serve narratives about the attack on the social fabric by scapegoats like the LBGQTI+ community and refugees. Really it is all about the money. If you starve people of opportunity and condemn them to lives of less than plenty, eventually, enough of these deprived individuals will rise up and take what they need. Record levels of inflation driving the cost of living  for essentials like rent, food, and energy into the red zone for poor people. What do you think is going to happen? You can listen to right wing commentators bitch and moan about being soft on crime but basic inequality will tip a society over the edge into greater lawlessness.

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The rise of cybercrime: The widening gap between rich and poor is at the heart of this phenomenon. This is the first wave of the breakdown of our societal structures via a sustained upsurge in crime. If you don’t take everybody with you on the climb to wealth and comfort, you will pay more in the long run. You either have police states run by autocratic regimes to protect the vast wealth of the few. Putin’s Russia is a good example of this, with oligarchs, gangsters, and deadly agents of the state poisoning and throwing undesirables off balconies. Or, you have South American style kidnappings happening and organised crime running amok through your cites and country. If you vote along the lines of the political party who is  only concerned with increasing your wealth and theirs – and bugger everyone else. Well, you are accelerating the destruction of what once made Australia a great place to live.

“Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law. Liberals espouse various views depending on their understanding of these principles.”

Liberalism can tip over into Libertarianism and the far right form of this bristles with guns in places like America.

“Libertarianism is a family of views in political philosophy. Libertarians strongly value individual freedom and see this as justifying strong protections for individual freedom. Thus, libertarians insist that justice poses stringent limits to coercion. While people can be justifiably forced to do certain things (most obviously, to refrain from violating the rights of others) they cannot be coerced to serve the overall good of society, or even their own personal good.” 

If concern with individual rights overwhelm honouring the fact that we live within communities, then, we get the warped stuff that happened in the US during the Covid pandemic.

Dumb policies not serving to protect the health of the greater community. Hundreds of thousands of people dying unnecessarily because of stupid government inaction and a huge divide between rich and poor. Anti-vaxxers marching in the streets here in Australia were led by citizen staters and fascist groups. Covid exposed the cracks in our societies around inequality, inequity, and the failure of our health and welfare programs to meet the needs of these people. The vulnerable died and are still dying in Australia and around the globe. The elderly and those challenged with existing health issues have borne the brunt of this virus.

Four young police officers were gunned down in Queensland very recently. Two of them died, along with a good neighbour trying to do the right thing when the perpetrators lit a fire on their property to burn out the police officers. Guns make everything worse and this US style tragedy emphasises that important point. Ordinary citizens should not be armed. This obvious fact escapes some people. Someone goes crazy, that is a problem for that person and loved ones.

Put a gun in the hands of that crazy person and it becomes a deadly problem for anybody in their vicinity.

The rise of cybercrime: The widening gap between rich and poor feeds it. Cybercrime targets wealth predominantly in its various forms. It is a largely silent and surreptitious business. This may well be the first wave of the attack on law and order on the back of decades of growing inequality and inequity. The presence of guns and weapons will make the next wave of societal breakdown far more violent and bloody. The paranoia inherent in the world view of right wing libertarians and fascists turns neighbours into the ‘other’. The ’other’ is not human in the way they view themselves, which facilitates killing and acts of violence.

If you listen to loud voices, in the media and on social media, painting people as ‘youth criminals’ deserving of the death penalty and lifelong incarceration – you are categorising them as the ‘other’.

If you see those who have a different sexual preference as perversions, then you are pointing the finger at the ‘other’. If you see refugees with different coloured skin and cultural appearances and believe they are taking livelihoods from your cohort, then, it is another manifestation of the ‘other’. The truth is that all of these people are part of our greater community and deserve our support and understanding. If you want to live in a great country, then, welcome everybody. Social inclusiveness makes great nations.

The rise of cybercrime: The widening gap between rich and poor is at the root of this and  is a clear sign that something must be done to address a serious societal crisis.

Robert Sudha Hamilton

©Midas Word

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