Human trafficking: sinking in the advantage of the Internet

 

With the Internet, everything seems to be easier for us than ever. Only a ‘click’, a new world comes. The Internet brings advantages into people life leading a convenient and colorful daily routine. However, the Internet is the ‘iceberg’ to our life while we are the Titanic. As the Titanic boat, which is famous for its sinking because of an ‘iceberg’, we are facing our own ‘iceberg’ too (Brown 2011). Based on the ‘principle of Iceberg’, Ernest Hemingway defines that iceberg has one-eighth of its floating on the surface when the other seven-eighth sinking under water (Wood 2009). It means that we can just ‘see’ a small part of the Internet as an effective tool. However, the sink part of that Internet ‘iceberg’ maintains a whole different side of the Internet – the danger ones.

The strong evidence for this concept is the human trafficking. In many years, the human trafficking as a ‘modern form of slavery’ is a significant problem of the society (Hagopian 2014). In 2010, there were approximately 12 million slaves around the world (Caseact 2012). The number of these slaves keeps increasing without a break. There are many projects and programs run to prevent this problem. However, this problem becomes more serious because of the complexity and uncontrollable methods of the traffickers based on the Internet through various forms, including websites and chat rooms (Westcott 2013).

Figure 1. This is a screen from a normal chat room (Reproduced from Markga 2009).

Figure 1. This is a screen from a normal chat room (Reproduced from Markga 2009).

Figure 2. An example of how attackers make friend with their victim (Reproduced from Naperville 2013).

Figure 2. An example of how attackers make friend with their victim (Reproduced from Naperville 2013).

As I mentioned before, the Internet is the ‘iceberg’ of our life. Although the Internet brings advantages and new things to us, it also contains dangerous. The traffickers take advantage of these benefits from the Internet into their tool to approach the targets (Sykiotou 2007).

The Internet becomes popular because of its feature in connecting and communication. We just need to sit in front of a computer or mobile devices connected to the Internet and then communicating with other peoples or have a new friend easily (Cyberethics 2011). With this advantage, the traffickers can easily to connect or make friends with their victims or even finding clients or suppliers (Sykiotou 2007).

Figure 3. A request for add new friend, who could be the human traffickers (Reproduced from Daily Dot 2014).

Figure 3. A request for add new friend, who could be the human traffickers (Reproduced from Daily Dot 2014).

Furthermore, the human trafficking business is still growing fast and fast because it has unlimited sources – the ‘virtual communities’ – where people gather together and communicate. Maybe, one of your virtual group friends could be a trafficker! Maybe!

Moreover, the traffickers also can expand their business based on the ‘anonymous’ feature (UN.GIFT 2008). Anonymity is defined that the real owner or author of a message ‘is not shown’ (Palme and Berglund 2004). This creates an advantage of protecting the traffickers identity so that polices or government cannot track or commit their crimes (Sykiotou 2007). With the ‘anonymity’, the traffickers can be anyone, even your best friend, with just a little information about them. This personal information also can be false! This is a significant benefit of the Internet for the human trafficking business.

Another advantage of the Internet for society is its cheap fee. With the low fee, anyone can access to the Internet, even the traffickers. This is a great opportunity for the human trafficking business because the investment in Internet is much cheaper than others method but also brings high profit (Sykiotou 2007).

The floating part of the Internet ‘iceberg’ tricks what we ‘see’ the Internet as an amazing place. Actually, it is! But, some people take advantages of Internet to do their bad things. All of these advantages of the Internet become danger in life, which leads to the ‘cybercrime’. In conclusion, although the Internet brings amazing things to our life, we need to be careful with the sinking part of it.

Andrea Powell talking about how the traffickers target the victim online (Adopted from CNN 2013).

Follow the story of a survivor in Cambodia (Adopted from Water Brook 2009).

Word count: 594.


References 

Brown, PL 2011, ‘Titanic: Sinking the Myths’, BBC, 3rd March, viewed 5 August 2014, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwone/titanic_01.shtml>.

Caseact 2012, ‘What is Human Trafficking?’, Caseact, viewed 4 August 2014, < http://www.caseact.org/learn/humantrafficking/>.

CNN 2013, ‘Pimps target sex trafficking victims online’, image, Youtube, 6th March, viewed 7 August 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXVLfNUWLV8>.

Cyberethics 2011, ‘Benefits of Internet Use’, Cyber Ethics, viewed 6 August 2014, < http://www.cyberethics.info/cyethics1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186&Itemid=83&lang=en>.

Daily Dot 2014, ‘Lonely people share more on Facebook’, image, Salon, 16th May, viewed 7 August 2014, <http://www.salon.com/2014/05/16/lonely_people_share_more_on_facebook_partner/>.

Hagopian, J 2014, ‘Global Human Trafficking, a Modern form of Slavery’, Global Research, 15th April, viewed 5 August 2014, < http://www.globalresearch.ca/global-human-trafficking-a-modern-form-of-slavery/5377853>.

Markga 2009, ‘What is Group Chat Server in OCS R2?’, image, Technet, 10th April, viewed 7 August 2014, <http://blogs.technet.com/b/ucedsg/archive/2009/04/09/what-is-group-chat-server-in-ocs-r2.aspx>.

Naperville 2013, ‘Safeguarding Children on the Internet’, image, Naperville, viewed 7 August 2014, <http://www.naperville.il.us/dynamic_content.aspx?id=347>.

Palme, J and Berglund, M 2004, ‘Anonymity on the Internet’, DSV, 22nd December, viewed 4 August 2014, < http://people.dsv.su.se/~jpalme/society/anonymity.pdf>.

Sykiotou, AP 2007, ‘Trafficking in human beings: Internet recruitment’, Council of Europe, viewed 5 August 2014, < http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/trafficking/Source/THB_Internetstudy_en.pdf>.

UN.GIFT 2008, ‘017 Workshop: Technology and Human Trafficking’, The Vienna Forum to fight Human Trafficking, UNODC, 13 – 15th February, viewed 4 August 2014, < http://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/2008/BP017TechnologyandHumanTrafficking.pdf>.

Water Brook 2009, ‘One woman’s story of the horrors of human trafficking’, image, Youtube, 21st September, viewed 7 August 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzBf3a2mDVw>.

Westcott, L 2013, ‘Human trafficking investigators play catchup as criminals go hi-tech’, The Guardian, 29th July, viewed 4 August 2014, < http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jul/29/human-trafficking-law>.

Wood, DD 2009, ‘The Other Seven-Eighths of the Iceberg: Peering Beneath the Surface of Ernest Hemingway’s Six-Word Story’, Philament ABSENCE, Academia, viewed 4 September 2013, <http://www.academia.edu/215304/The_Other_Seven-Eighths_of_the_Iceberg_Peering_Beneath_the_Surface_of_Ernest_Hemingways_Six-Word_Story>.

Is the Internet or we isolating ourselves?

It cannot be deny that the Internet is one of the most important inventions over the world. With the development of the Internet, our life becomes more interesting that surrounded with new things and experiences appearing on a tiny screen of a computer, a table or a mobile phone. The Internet brings the convenient in connecting people in different places through social networks.

The Internet brings convinient and comfortable place for people (Reproduced from Salazar 2009).

The Internet brings convenient and comfortable place for people .

However, the Internet is ‘a double-edged sword’. The Internet has various harmful effects. With the advantages of the Internet, modern people use it anywhere, anytime, anyplace as they can. The Internet becomes our ‘real-life’. While, we become more rely on the Internet. We carry the ‘Internet devices’, such as mobile phone, tablet, along with us all the time. Anytime, we free or just in a little trouble then we use these devices to entertain or help us. When we enjoy our life, we want to capture all our memories to keep joyful time and share with everyone. When we are in troubles, the ‘amazing’ mobile phone will help us with recommendations on the network, such as Google. These are the first step of us in starting to ‘live’ our life on the Internet.

We started to make friends on social networks. We started to entertain on online game websites. We started to build our memories on the Internet. Some people even start their days and end their days with the Internet. I understand that we work and live in a world of digital communication technologies, where we communicate and interact almost based on the Internet. This brings the convenient for us.

However, by doing and finishing things so easily, I wonder whether you remember the feeling of being challenged. That’s amazing feeling. By connecting with people so easily, I wonder whether you remember the feeling of waiting somebody and then seeing their smiles, hearing their voices. I’m sure that it’s quite an interesting feeling. These feeling are easy come and also easy go because of the Internet. Nowadays, everyone has their own ‘light’ – the light from devices that reflects on their faces.

The girl focuses on her phone. (Reproducing from: Temple 2012)

The girl focuses on her phone.

Everyone stuck with their ‘online life’. They start to talk to each other with the eyes on the screen, instead of eyes contact to the other. They start to share their stories on social networks, instead of telling their feeling for their ‘real’ friends in the ‘real’ coffee stores.

The cold in a relationship because of the Internet in 'I Forgot My Phone' video (Adapting from: Charstarlene TV 2013).

The cold in a relationship because of the Internet in ‘I Forgot My Phone’ video ‘.

People become chilly to each other. We isolated ourselves with the ‘real’ world. These things broke our relationship, harmed our love between each other. Even more, it’s harm yourself and also your relatives. For example, in 2010, a little Korean girl ‘starved to death’ because her parents were busy to take care of their virtual child on the Internet.

The virtual child of the couple (Reproduced from: The Telegraph 2010).

The virtual child of the couple.

With an addiction of her parents, it causes the death of a beautiful girl. The Internet broke their little family. I’m also one of them. I admit that I have an addiction to the Internet. I remember the laughs and noisy voice of my friends and their crazy facial expression. Now, only I and the ‘cold’ screen are talking together. The Internet built our own kingdom, where surrounded by the ‘information’ walls and ‘social networks’ walls.

In conclusion, the Internet provides us the convenient and new experience, but takes away the feeling of love and interaction in ‘real’ life. It’s ‘a double-edged sword’. We should be careful and use the Internet wisely in order to avoid the harm and take advantages of the Internet for our interesting life!


References

Cascio, J 2005, ‘The Rise of the Participatory Panopticon’, Open the Future, 4th May, viewed 10 July 2014, < http://www.openthefuture.com/wcarchive/2005/05/the_rise_of_the_participatory.html>.

Charstarlene TV 2013, ‘I Forgot My Phone’, image, Youtube, 22nd August, viewed 17 July 2014, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OINa46HeWg8#t=10>.

Greenfield, BS 2010, ‘Baroness Susan Greenfield: society should wake up to harmful effects of internet’, The Telegraph, 15th September, viewed 16 July 2014, < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8002921/Baroness-Susan-Greenfield-society-should-wake-up-to-harmful-effects-of-internet.html>.

Kumar, MS 2011, ‘Greatest Inventions Of All Time’, Success Stories, 29th September, viewed 15 July 2014, < http://www.successstories.co.in/greatest-inventions-of-all-time/>.

Marche, S 2012, ‘Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?’, The Atlantic, 2nd April, viewed 15 July 2014, < http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/308930/>.

Salazar 2009, ‘Social Media Icons Pillow Designs Provide Some Needed Rest’, image, Walyou, 14th July, viewed 16 July 2014, < http://walyou.com/social-media-icons-pillow/>.

Temple, E 2012, ‘Fascinating Paintings of People Entranced by Their Phones’, image, Flavorwire, 15th July, viewed 17 July 2014, < http://flavorwire.com/309121/fascinating-paintings-of-people-entranced-by-their-phones>.

The Telegraph 2010, ‘Korean couple let baby starve to death while caring for virtual child’, image, The Telegraph, 5th March, viewed 17 July 2014, < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/7376178/Korean-couple-let-baby-starve-to-death-while-caring-for-virtual-child.html>.

Tran, M 2010, ‘Girl starved to death while parents raised virtual child in online game’, The Guardian, 5th March, viewed 15 July 2014, < http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/mar/05/korean-girl-starved-online-game#>.