Computer crime has become increasingly popular over the past decade. The need to develop new measures to combat computer crime is increasingly critical in protecting people throughout the world. In reviewing the growing prevalence of computer related crime, I will explore my own personal beliefs on the issue. I will further use scholarly literature to support my beliefs. Conclusions will then be drawn in order to determine how to reduce the prevalence of computer crime in society.
Computer crime is a growing problem plaguing society. Yet determining how to effectively combat computer crime on an international level is a complex problem. Despite the complexity of this problem, computer crime is one of the most expensive forms of crimes internationally (Moore, Clayton, and Anderson, 2009). In exploring computer crimes, my own personal feelings will be assessed. Conclusions will then be drawn based on my opinions and scholarly research supporting these conclusions.
In assessing my personal views pertaining to computer crime, I believe that the internet created new opportunities for individuals to commit criminal acts. Despite these new opportunities, effective measures have not been developed to prevent computer crime from occurring. Moore et. al. (2009) further concurs in arguing that computer crime became an industry in 2004. Since this period, the prevalence of computer crime has steadily increased. Although there is no way to determine the exact prevalence of computer crime, the continuous data breaches companies experience annually demonstrates that computer crimes is a problem plaguing society. Peretti (2008) further agrees in arguing that the evolution of technology has made it easier for individuals to steal others information.
I further believe that the growing prevalence of computer crime is in part supported by the fact that individuals can commit criminal acts online while living across the world from their victim. From this perspective, it could be argued that computer crime can be perceived as a victimless crime (Peretti, 2008). Even though there is in fact a victim, the inability to physically see how the victim is impacted makes it difficult for computer criminals to see how their actions harm others. Yet at the same time, the inability for governments to work together and create measures to decrease computer related crimes is a growing problem. Although multiple governments have regulations making computer related crimes illegal, actually prosecuting an individual living across the world is slightly more difficult. In exploring computer crimes from this perspective, if a government can not effectively extradite a repeat cyber offender who has stolen millions of people’s data, than there is no way to effectively stop this individual from committing computer crimes in the future. In viewing computer crime from this perspective, it could be argued that this cycle will continue to evolve, as there is no effective way to deter potential computer criminals from across the world from committing a computer related crime.
Although computer crime is often associated with white-collar, economic crimes, people can use computers to commit more devious acts. The reliance society has on computers and other forms of technology makes computer crimes a growing problem. Adams (2004) further concurs in calling the internet “a new battlefield” (p. 98). Adams further argues that this was first evident in 2000 when Israel and Palestine began using the internet to attack each other website’s and businesses. However, overtime, both sides began attacking businesses around the world that had relationships with the other. Since this period, the concept of computer crime as a battlefield has continued to evolve. Most recently, terrorist groups such as ISIS have used the internet to recruit individuals from across the world to join them in the fight. Although many governments have been able to stop individuals from joining ISIS, some individuals have used the internet as a way of connecting with the terrorist organization and joining them. Yet ISIS is only one example, as groups throughout the world can access the internet to spread their individualistic messages. As the media throughout the world covers the successes ISIS is having in gaining recruits, other groups will eventually try to use the internet as a way of gaining support.
The growing use of computer crimes in terrorist organizations remains an international problem. However, some scholars have questioned whether or not terrorist groups could use the internet in order to commit an act of war against another country (Adams, 2004). Although the prospect of using computers to commit an act of war against another country may seem far away, the prospect of stealing another’s information through virtual means was once a far away thought.
Although punishing computer criminals is one aspect that will help to reduce computer crime, there needs to be an increased focus on working with other governments to help hold computer criminals accountable for their actions (Adams, 2004). In assessing my personal feelings on the matter, I believe that this will be a challenging task. Even though many governments can work together and prosper, in some cases, governments have conflicting interests that may make it difficult to form relationships with others that will allow them to prosecute computer criminals. However, I believe that until governments throughout the world can work together, preventing computer crimes from occurring will heavily focus on preventative measures. Yet, in reviewing how data breaches are becoming increasingly popular, I question whether or not these measures will be enough to protect individuals from computer crime in the present and in the future.
In assessing my own personal views and the scholarly literature supporting these perspectives, there is an evident need for governments throughout the world to work together to protect others from computer related crimes (Adams, 2004). The increased computer related crimes happening in various regions throughout the world further suggests that there needs to be an international body committed to upholding cyber security. Yet until this happens, little can be done in order to stop computer crimes from occurring on an international level. As a result, governments need to take new measures to help prevent future acts of computer related crimes. However, these tactics need to continue to evolve as technology evolves. Yet, computer crime is a broad term describing a wide array of criminal actions individuals can commit through the use of a computer (Peretti, 2008). Wilson (2006) further concurs in finding that individuals have different reasoning’s for committing computer crimes. In assessing individualistic reasons, Wilson found that individuals may change their behaviors prior to committing a computer related crime. Despite this finding, the overall reasoning for committing a computer crime may further influence the individual’s behavior.
- Adams J. (2004) Virtual Defense. Foreign Affairs 80 (3) 98-112.
- Moore T., Clayton R., Anderson R. (2009) The Economics of Online Crimes. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (3) 3-20.
- Peretti K. (2008) Data Breaches: What the Underground World of Carding Reveals. Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Journal 28 (1) 375-389.
- Willson R. (2006) Understanding the offender/environment dynamic for computer crimes. Information Technology & People 19 (2) 170-186.