Friday, December 19, 2008

Computer hackers plundering Brazilian rain forests

As reported in the Wired blog post, Hackers plundering Brazilian rain forest, a hacking ring controlled by logging companies has been alleged to allow harvesters to unlawfully access government logging databases and issue extra 'transport permits' to remove resources (trees) from the Amazon.

This has been a challenge for Brazilian authorities, who have arrested 30 suspects and have another 200 people under investigation.

Environmental group Greenpeace estimates 1.7 million cubic meters of illegal timber has been harvested because of the hacks. The group says that's enough wood to fill 780 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Federal authorities are also suing timber companies to recoup an estimated $883 million in purloined resources, Greenpeace said.

These type of left field social and economic issues driven by technology innovations are likely to increasing challenge governments to be agile and responsive and build their own online capabilities.

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