Last week I was in the ICANN Studienkreis, when one of the panellists, from Verisign, provided a shocking number: on the UK alone there is around 680 million pound fraud a year on fake charity ngos, being 10% online fraud.
This makes me think about the current times in Haiti and the need for help. I feel disgusted and sick in my stomach by learning that fraudsters and scammers do not hesitate to take advantage of tragic events to make their schemes profitable.
In a world of high connectivity and the increasing digital inclusion that needs to be done with adequate capacity building of users and the implementation of safe environments, this is indeed a challenge. Here is a message that Facebook has sent to users:
On the one side, we are afraid of all the scams on the wild wild web and oftentimes hesitate to make purchases and pay for items we need. Some of us prefer even to wait more time, pay higher prices, and have to face traffic jams to make some transactions when there is no perceived security online.
On the other side, we all see how the disaster and chaotic situation needs our urgent help and solidarity. We do want to make a contribution. How?
This is the reason I am writing this post here. One of the great things about the relationship I have with Diplo for half a decade is how we are integrated as a global community of good hearted people. I can easily say I have friends in all corners of the planet. People who I trust.
Personally, I do not know much about which are the institutions that are doing serious work and that are ready to receive my contribution. But I trust my friends who know and are already engaged.
This is an open invitation to our community so we can build a list of organizations. Please add your comments with details and links that we can use to make our contributions. This space can also be used to ask our contacts in Haiti and the region about the reputation of the institutions of interest - let's use a peer-based approach to add trust in the online space.
I would like to thank Vlada, Deirdre, Marsha and other friends for sparking the idea for this post, and most importantly to our Haitian friend Jimmy Bruce, who has reported recently to us about the situation.
p.s. I received the following information, in Spanish, from Deirdre. It provides clear instructions on how to give support from foreign countries:
The full text of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance (6th edition) is available here. The translated versions in Serbian/BCS, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese are also available for download.