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Cybercrime, Application Essay Example

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Application Essay

Cybercrime is criminal activity involving computer technology. According to Elizabeth Kitchen and Bill Fulks, “Any crime committed via the internet is a cybercrime. Most cybercrimes cannot be placed into a single category, thus making cybercrime statistics difficult to compile”. (Kitchen & Fulks, 2010) Due to the nature of cybercrimes, it is hard to sometimes pin-point who actually completed the crime.  When the tricks of cybercrimes are revealed, cyber criminals will advance their efforts and work around roadblocks that have been placed in their path on the internet.  Some cybercrimes include financial fraud, identity theft, harassment, bullying, intimidation, child enticement, and other sexual crimes. Cybercrimes impacts the criminal justice system on a global level by enabling criminals from all over the world to access accounts and other information in various countries. One of the biggest crimes includes financial crimes, and they can occur various different ways. A criminal in another country can access account information by actually speaking with a person and obtaining their account information, or by never speaking to a person and accessing their account electronically. On a bigger scale, globally cyber-crime is difficult to detect and especially punish. Because crime and punishment are so different in various countries, it is difficult to find consistency with punishing such crimes. If a cyber-criminal is caught, it is difficult to obtain evidence unless the entire computer system can be obtained.

Cybercrimes are crimes that are committed over the internet. More specifically they are committed in cyber space. Cyberspace is defined as “A metaphor for describing the non-physical terrain created by computer systems.”(Webopedia, n.d) In particularly that could be defined as portals (social media, blogs, and chat sites) where people can communicate such as emails where information such as files can be openly shared with others. These are very popular with today’s new technology. A lot of the crimes that are committed have to do with identity theft and information theft. If you buy things over the internet, people are able to gain access to card information and then can use that information to make purchases for themselves. In some cases, people are able to get the individual to send money to them through western union or mail because unsuspecting individuals believe that they are buying something from that person. Other types of crimes are computer and program hacking. Someone could hack social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, or others, and monetary websites such as PayPal. In accessing these different accounts, criminals are able to gain access personal information that the person has provided. Due to the increase in cybercrime attacks, laws have been established to help protect individuals from being victims of cyber criminals.  When checking email, potentially harmful e-mails in the hands of unsuspecting people could be hurtful.  A lot of the time these e-mails are contained in the spam folder. Virginia has taken steps to keep spam under wraps.  According to DM from the Washington Post, “The Virginia spam law makes it a misdemeanor to send unsolicited bulk e-mail by using false transmission information, such as a phony domain name or Internet protocol address.” (DM, 2008) This law has yet to be passed, but it shows that the individual’s representing the people understand that there is a cybercrime problem in.

The amount of cybercrimes have been on the rise in recent years and have caught the attention of the local and federal authorities. The FBI has been providing the public with tips to help them in case they are the victim of cybercrimes and also gives the victim step-by-step instructions to help rectify the situation.  The FBI website asserted the following information regarding the Nigerian Letter Scheme, “Nigerian letter frauds combine the threat of impersonation fraud with a variation of an advance fee scheme.” (FBI, n.d) Some countries use cybercrimes in order to make money for their country.  Throughout the world cybercrimes are looked at differently.  Some countries may feel that it is a job, but other countries may view cyber criminals as breaking the law.  According to Victoria Roddel and Brian Nelson, “Not all countries recognize cybercrimes as crimes”. (Roddel & Nelson, 2009) Technology needs to advance further in order to monitor websites and to track cases of known cybercrime. This going to protect people in the future because everything is going to become electronic, and everything that is electronic now such as debit cards and personal information should be monitored. This is why there are programs that monitor your social security numbers. To better combat cyber-crime, countries must work together to ensure more communication and more efficient policing of such crimes. A unified approach would benefit this effort. Authorities can only do so much and by the time they are notified it may be too late.  That is why many groups and federal agencies have been providing educational assistance to those that do not know the effects of cybercrimes.  According to Doug Hanchard, “The FBI has increased its cyber skills immensely over the past decade and works independently and cooperatively with other agencies. The Bureau, like other agencies, has numerous responsibilities in addition to Internet-based crimes”.  (Hanchard, 2010)  Individuals who are educated about cybercrimes can also share the education or experience that they have with the subject to individuals that are around them to better helping their communities.

Local law enforcement efforts have stepped up considerably through education from Federal law enforcement agents and local input. However, some are still not aware of the exact protocols to prosecute criminals. In a majority of states, there are laws that make it a felony offense to knowingly defraud, scheme, or obtain property from someone over the internet. These laws include one of the most popular of crimes which is identify theft, where in most cases the local law enforcement will try to prosecute individuals by issuing an arrest warrant for them in that state, however, they also involve federal agencies such as the FBI in order to help them capture them. If the situation is serious where they involve a large sum of money, or multiple individuals, then the FBI automatically steps in an employs local law enforcement to help with the capture. In some states there have been initiatives that have tried to prosecute cybercrimes, but the level of the crimes makes it difficult to prosecute. The factors that are involve include, the geographic location, the level of government, the type of crime, and which branch of government needs to be involved. In the realm of crime, there are laws that are criminal, civil, and regulatory, that are handled on a federal, state, and local levels. When dealing with cybercrime the seriousness of the nature impacts the results and the involvement of other agencies. The geographic area is the biggest barrier. People that commit cybercrimes usually operate under a veil of anonymity which make it difficult to locate. If the person is located, the locate police do not always have jurisdiction if the person is not located within their municipality. However, technology is improving to help police track criminals so they can be better prosecuted for more serious crimes such as child pornography, identify theft, and robbery.

References

“Common Fraud Schemes” (n.d). FBI. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud#419

“Cyberspace.” (n.d). Webopedia. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/cyberspace.html(2008).

“Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down State’s Anti-Spam Law.” Cybercrime Law. Retrieved from http://www.cybercrimelaw.org/2008/09/12/virginia-supreme-court-strikes-down-states-anti-spam-law/#comments.

Hanchard, D.  (2010). “FBI Director on cyber threats: We can’t do it alone.”  Retrieved from

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/government/fbi-director-on-cyber-threats-we-cant-do-it-alone/7481

Kitchen, E. C. & Fulks, B. (2010). “Cyber Crime Facts and Cyber Crime Growth.” Brighthub. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/internet/security-privacy/articles/83739.aspx.

Roddel, V. & Nelson, B.  (2009). “Are Cybercrime Laws Uniform?” Brighthub. Retrieved from

http://www.brighthub.com/internet/security-privacy/articles/8821.aspx.

Shinder, Deb. (2011). “What makes cybercrime laws so difficult to enforce.” Tech Republic. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/what-makes-cybercrime-laws-so-difficult-to-enforce/4997

“State Computer Crime Laws.” (n.d). FindLaw. Retrieved from http://statelaws.findlaw.com/criminal-laws/computer-crimes/

Sullivan, Eileen. (2013). “Local Police Get Into Cybercrime Fighting Business.” Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/police-cybercrime_n_3075427.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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