Internet safety: An ongoing fight

Rizal Faisal

Years ago, as the Internet Age began its chapter, governments and organisations saw the inevitable – having to forge ahead while facing the shortcomings of the new technology.

Today, it is still an issue to filter the Internet according to a country’s regulations.

Brunei Darussalam is not excluded from the issue of Internet safety, with its many global roles while forging its own image. The assimilation of information in the digital age is being addressed by regulating the Internet, overseen by a number of agencies.

The key demographics impacted by the Internet are the children and youth.

World governments pro-actively take action to avoid the erosion of cultural and moral values as well as the danger it may pose on the psychological well-being of citizens.

A case in point is the United Kingdom (UK) government. They are ensuring safe Internet access by partnering with Netsweeper for over students in 7,000 schools and educational institutions across the UK.

Key features of the DfE project circumvents two policies, one of which is the assignment of a fixed private IP for each SIM card belonging to students for policy management and monitoring.

Traffic is logged, and reports generated for safeguarding and validation of the project. The DfE will then hand over the control of the SIM card to the schools in the long term, so the school administration can manage the cards of the students.

It also has a centralised deployment design for the ease of management and consistent policy enforcement; the Netsweeper system can be easily scaled by adding additional servers.

Telecom companies in countries like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are mandated by their regulator to filter harmful Internet content.

For Brunei Darussalam, such a mandate ensures a nationwide clean Internet and the preservation of the national culture.

In terms of monitoring radicalisation, the Netsweeper design, for example, with its partner UK Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, provides an up-to-date list comprising over 5,000 terrorism related websites and content.

Terrorist or extremist content can be monitored through the system.

The Netsweeper can also be used for several purposes by regulators.

As virus, malware and phishing are categorised in the database, Netsweeper blocks the web threats to prevent the spread of botnets and ransomware as part of the national cyber-security strategy.