When I started researching the 200 cases of electronic crime that became the manuscript for the Canadian Cyberfraud Handbook (Thomson Reuters, 2017), most (by some accounts up to 83% of) scammers, money mules and other bottom feeders were set free due to lack of 'evidence'. The problem was not dissimilar to those faced by Ghana and Nigeria, with their internal Sakawa frauds and exports of #419 advance-fee scams that continue to this day.

Now more than a decade later, the situation has hardly improved, yet cybercrime has exploded with billions of dollars in annual losses in Canada alone (according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre), not to mention unreported extortion, intimidation and other scumbaggery.

I flatly reject the notion of "lawful" backdoor access to technology, but I do get the need for more resources, greater collaboration and jurisdictional authority. Yet I can't help but wonder whether open "coopetition" wouldn't be a solution for dealing with the problem at scale.

Anecdotally, why are investigative journalists like (CBC News Marketplace and CTV News) and Internet vigilantes (like Jim Browning and even Mark Rober) having more success against cybercriminals and fraudsters than law enforcement? We have seen the excellent work done by the above Canadian TV programs, now here is a report from their Australian counterparts at 60 Minutes.

Click to watch referenced video: The dramatic undercover sting exposing Nigerian fraud syndicates | 60 Minutes Australia - YouTube