Why e-commerce law enforcement is an oxymoron

Thursday, 4 July 2002, 1:59 AM EST

In the few years since the Internet has become an important venue for commerce, communications and entertainment, so-called cybercops have tried to impose a variety of rules, regulations and guidelines to protect the interests of consumers and businesses.

Unfortunately, however, no mechanism yet exists to enforce such initiatives.

As with the NFL's ban on certain questionable substances, enforcement is nearly impossible for many of the Web's more illicit activities because comprehensive tracking and monitoring technology does not exist. And any efforts to put the pieces in place usually stir up a storm of privacy issues.

The Internet is simply too vast, stretching across too many borders and encompassing too many cultures, for the current scattershot approach to be effective.

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