2.2.2 The internet
As well as impacting on the commercial world, the internet has had an enormous impact on all areas of life. While there are still people in many parts of the world who do not have access to an internet connection, the majority of people in the developed world now have access either at home or at work, and have the opportunity to use online information resources, or communicate with others using email, instant messaging or discussion groups. New online communities have developed and existing communities have created new ways of communicating. However, issues of identity and security have become a concern. New technologies have engendered new types of crime, including identity theft and financial frauds. These problems have fostered the development of new security technologies.
The internet has become a major factor in enabling information sharing and has had a huge impact on the availability of information of all kinds. Material on the internet reflects widely differing viewpoints and sources: from official news bulletins to unofficial rumours, and from commercial megastores to community portals. The internet has revolutionised the way information can be published, raising questions about the authority and regulation of content. Because of the way the internet has been designed, no individual government, company or person has control over it.