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The Victorian Internet Part III – Chapters 7,8 & 9 By Bryant Chestnut & Alex Camelio
Fraud, Theft & Deception • The Telegraph provided “opportunities for fraud, theft & deception • The telegraph allowed for the speedy transmission of information across great distances, this meant that people in control of information were at a great advantage because now they can transport this information almost instantly
Cases of Fraud: • 1834: François & Joseph Blanc bribe telegraphers to gain information about the stock market in Paris, France • 1840s: A man in Shoreditch station in London, received a secret coded message about the results of a horse race
The Use Of Code… • In almost all fraudulent schemes, their messages were written in code. • In early telegraphic law, the only institutions allowed to write telegraphs in code were governments and officials of the telegraph companies. • Coded messages were seen as a heightened security method by telegraph officials
Privacy in the Age of the Telegraph • There was an increased demand for coders and ciphers to assist in securing the telegraph network • In 1864, a conference was held by top European nations to address security in the telegraphic network • In 1865 the International Telegraph Union was created, that set the rules for coded message transmission
The Issue with Codes • Between 1845 and 1894, customers of the telegraph business and the telegraph business itself battled to find middle grounds on the proper use of codes in telegraphs • The main issues were security and cost. Telegraphic messages were expensive, therefore people found their own means of security through coding which often shortchanged the Telegraph companies. • This issue was solved in 1894 with the ITU’s creation of the official telegraphic vocabulary for transmitting messages, which set a formal standard for the contents of messages being sent
E-Commerce • Doubts about the security of electronic commerce has held back the development of telegraphic banking transactions • Banks relied on the complex codes to transmit information across the network, and now people in need of money quickly could obtain it with no issue • In 1872, Western Union, the leading telegraph company, implemented a new system that was based on the division on the company’s networks into 20 districts, each with a superintendent who managed the transmission on messages. This increased security and allowed for larger transactions across longer distances
The Dreyfus Affair • In 1984, Captain Dreyfus was accused creating an incriminating documents • News spread so fast about Dreyfus’ arrest that an Anti-Dreyfus movement was started • Due to Dreyfus’ Jewish heritage, the Anti-Dreyfus movement was tied to anti-Semitism and the anti-Jewish sentiment divided the nation
The Dreyfus Affair • Italy’s Colonel Alessandro Panizzardi sent a message via telegram to his chief in Rome that stated if Dreyfus was not a spy, and the higher powers should reveal this information • This message was mistranslated by the French Ministry of Posts, and required another message from Panizzardi to decode the real meaning, which then revealed that Dreyfus was in fact innocent
On-Line Weddings • As soon as the telegraph was opened to the public it was very popular; popular enough to solicit on-line weddings • A wedding was held between a bride in Boston and a groom in New York, to insure a speedy marriage that was deemed legal • The entire ceremony was held through Morse code
The Secret Lives of Telegraph Operators • While there was little security and it was very costly for the public to send telegraphs it was seen as an equivalent to letter writing • Telegraph operators however held a different view, on the basis that they spent all day communicating with one another forming bonds outside of their working lives • They formed an elitist community based on their own customs and language.
The Way Of The Wires • The telegraph operators claimed “ownership” of various lines as it guaranteed them communication with a particular operator on the other end • This allowed for a smoother transmission of messages as the operators transmitting the messages new each other and how to readily send messages • This practice was dismissed by the management of telegraph offices by switching the location of telegraph operators, this was called “snatching”
Small Town vs. Big City • The best operators worked in the big cities and looked down upon small town, part time operators. • The biggest factor in determining who was a good operator was speed. The faster you could process messages accurately, the better operator you were. There were bonuses for processing messages above the normal quota.
This Just In… • The Telegraph allowed the public to be involved in global affairs, because news papers could obtain up to date information instantly • This resulted in a giant change in the way we report the news. Newspapers generally covered just local news for the location they were distributed in, but now they were required to report on global issues through telegraphic reports. • Newspaper companies now had foreign contacts that they would rely on for up to date global reports
The New Competition • Telegraphic news reports would seem to be a positive advance in IT but it was not well received by newspaper companies. • The power of information was now placed in the hands of the telegraph, because it was the telegraph that was controlling the flow of information • It was anticipated that newspapers would be put out of business by the telegraph, but this did not happen based on the fact that the telegraph did not have the means to reach a large audience, therefore losing business.
International Security • Security again becomes an issue with the telegraph because while news and information was being transmitted, it could be easily intercepted by the enemy, thus giving them an advantage • This real-time news reporting was completely new and revolutionized the way news was reported and gave reporters an increased responsibility to monitor the information they are releasing to the public across the telegraphic network
Diplomatic Response • This new real-time reporting also forced the traditional news interview to evolve and respond to the changing times • Reporters now required diplomats and other officials to respond and comment on global affairs as soon as the news is received • This puts a heightened responsibility on diplomats and officials to make proper decisions in a speedy fashion that mirrors that of the news reporting • And due to the instant revolution of news reporting diplomats and officials had no choice but to accept the telegraph and it’s role connecting the global community
The Peacemaking Process • Due to the global community formed around the telegraph, new hopes for peacemaking arose • Countries can now communicate easier than before thus making it easier to convey diplomatic conversations and facilitate relations amongst governments.
The More The Better • The more information and individual has the bigger advantage that individual has over his competitors • Information is now more accessible because messages that would normally take a month to transmit, now can be sent instantly • This evolution of IT cannot be stopped therefore it must be embraced, as does the change in business pace and competition
Telegraph Dependency • As the Telegraph IT became more and more involved in business an interdependent relationship was formed between businesses and telegraph companies, thus raising the profits of the telegraph companies by a significant amount.
The Power of Gold • During the American Civil War, the national debt had grown so much that the price of gold had a direct impact on the price of other goods • People were very concerned about the price of gold, and price indicators were developed by the Stock Exchange to monitor the slight change in prices • This was until E.A. Callahan invented an improved indicator based on telegraphic technology that would greatly improve the previously installed indicator. This was the creation of the first stock ticker • Thomas Edison later improved upon this design and formed his own company building stock tickers and other equipment. This is what granted Edison his fortune.
Monopoly • Western Union the biggest Telegraph Company essentially formed a monopoly on the telegraph industry • It controlled 80% of telegraph traffic, and gained the largest profit • They imposed tariffs and policies which made message transmission very difficult, more difficult than it had to be
French Minitel • Designed in 1978 and implemented in 1982 • The original design purpose was for an electronic telephone directory. • To reduce the cost of paper telephone books, and to promote the nation's new telephone system run by the government communications agency, France Telecom. http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
Appealing to the Masses • French households were offered a free terminal as an incentive to upgrade. • The French public did not immediately accept the new system “le Minitel.” • French people were wary about the possibility of the system being shut down in wartime and the principle of giving French Telecom such a monopoly.
Successful Application • French Telecom realized that they could save money by building “le Mintel” system. • In 1979 France Telecom found that the cost of distributing free electronic terminals would, by 1988, be more cost effective than delivering free telephone books, which had required 44 million pounds of paper in 1979 and would have taken an estimated 220 million pounds by 1985.. http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
The Original System • The original “le Minitel” system had no processing capabilities but used a telephone connection to dial up a central server, retrieve some basic information, and display it on the user's screen. • How does the current “le Minitel” compare? http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
Le Minitel Expansion and Development
Development • Minitel became the nation's system for ordering merchandise, sending messages, viewing store hours or train timetables, researching theater ticket prices, or playing games. • People began playing interactive games and even stayed in contact in chat rooms that used pseudonyms. http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
Expansion • Minitel grew all over France, and in 1998 France Telecom counted 5.6 million terminals installed, from which 176 billion calls were made to Minitel. • 64% of terminals were in residences, followed by 25% in professional locations, followed by 10% in businesses and 1% in other locations. • In 1999, services included travel reservations, sports scores, bank account information, stock prices, administrative file access, weather forecasts, lottery results, TV schedules, classified ads, and mail order sales. http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
The French Enarch • A status in French culture gained by graduating from the Ecole – a French run graduate school with roots in religious doctrine. • These enarchs comprise most of the upper class aristocracy in France. • This system allowed for an easier implementation of the Minitel.
Integration of the Internet • By the mid 1990s, the Minitel system began to be accessible from personal computers and the Internet itself. • By the end of 1999, 3 million Minitel emulators were being used on computers. • 82 percent of minitel users had also used the internet in 1999; 14 percent of those people had never used Minitel before the internet became available. http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/computerscience/minitel-csci-01.html
Similarities and Differences Telegraph, Le Minitel and the Internet
Differences • The Internet uses one time access fees while le Minitel, similar to the telegraph is charged on a per use basis. • The purpose of each IT is varied; the simple communication of the telegraph, the French Government driven cost-cutting economic stimulator, and the consumer driven internet serve very different purposes.
Similarities • Increased flow of information • Revolutionized and created industries • Each system has centralizing and decentralizing qualities. • Crime advanced and changed due to each system.
Internet Crime • Internet fraud on the rise from year to year. • The NCL (National Consumer League) received 12,315 reports of internet fraud in 2005 compared to 10,794 in 2004. • The amount of money reportedly stolen more doubled from $5,787,170 in 2004 to $13,863,003 in 2005. http://www.fraud.org/2005_Internet_Fraud_Report.pdf
Questions • What similar effects have the telegraph, the Minitel and the internet had in various settings? • What do you think caused the differences between the effects of each? • Could a Minitel system be implemented outside of France and what are the conditions? Why? • What is next?