Fighting Cybercrime or Living in the Wayback Machine?

Senators Pat Leahy, Arlen Specter, and Dick Durbin are co-sponsoring a new bill to help fight online identity theft, and yesterday they sent me an email about it.

The banner at the top of the email read: “Fighting Cybercrime.”

Listen, I hate identity theft as much as the next guy, but why must we call it “cybercrime?” This isn’t stuff out of a William Gibson novel, it’s an unofortunate part of our everyday lives.

And what’s with the banner? Yes, I get it, ones and zeroes equals “digital,” and “digital” equals “cyber.” Passports equal identity, and Leahy and Durbin equal… cybercrime fighters.

Throw in a monotype computer font (cyber!) and — BAM — we’re back in 1996 all over again.

It gets worse: somehow, someway, the designers found another monotype font to use, this one as bad as the first.

Message to legislators: more and more aspects of our identities are stored online, and that information is in danger of being stolen. It’s 2007; you can make this point perfectly clear without the aid of Bladerunner-esque phrases and imagery which, rather than paint you as cybercrime fighters of the future, actually make you look stuck in the Wayback Machine.

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