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Exploring our Screen Lives, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1186

Research Paper

Introduction

The inescapable reality is that, in a relatively brief span of time, the world has become dependent upon the Internet, and in virtually every aspect of  its functioning.   On national levels, governments rely on it to store crucial data,  safely communicate privileged information,  orchestrate policies, and interact with other governments through secure channels.   In societal arenas, citizens everywhere bank, shop, and conduct personal relationships through the Internet as frequently and as confidently as such activities were engaged in prior to its advent.  Today, the Internet has become an indispensable means of conducting any facet of living not confined to literally personal contact.

This being the case, the opportunities for criminal exploitation of the Internet are, not unexpectedly, as widespread and diverse as the uses of it.  Reliance upon the Internet being, again, a completely global affair, an exponential aspect to criminality arises, in that cybercrime is equally free to emerge from any quarter and directed at a target also vastly open in location.  For law enforcement, it is very much a complicated process of “catching up”, and in a race begun before law enforcement even entered it:   Measures are perpetually taken, but often in ignorance or opposition to existing ones.   Meanwhile, new technologies continually provide fresh arenas for cybercrime.   As the following will examine, the research on the subject reveals that cybercrime is changing the way crime itself is seen, and approached.

Five Reports on Cybercrime

With global usage of the Internet, all the conflicts both internal and external to governments become exacerbating components in any attempt to define, identify, and prosecute cybercrime.  This is evidently made worse by the difficulties in merely establishing basic, regulatory, Internet standards and procedures, as the Internet is inherently always evolving:   In  “Dealing with the Problem of Cybercrime”, the authors address this particular aspect of the Internet: “It is as a result regulated in a largely ad hoc manner which makes it a rich environment for criminal behaviour” (Alkaabi, Mohay, McCullagh, & Chantler  12).   In this complex address, the authors propose a series of new definitions of cybercrime based upon existing ones from various nations.   Comparisons are made which reflect both identical concerns and contrasting approaches, and the research fully supports the contention that “The lack of a globally harmonized legal framework with respect to cyber criminal activities has become an issue requiring the urgent attention of all nations” (15).   Moreover, the authors assert that a lack of globally organized attention to cybercrime is as potentially dangerous as any other global catastrophe the world may face.

Moreover, the above illustration highlights what may be the greatest dilemma in addressing cybercrime, which is, ironically, locale.   This is the subject of  “Approaches to Cybercrime Jurisdiction”, in which authors Breener and Koops examine the vastly influential issues of jurisdiction in regard to defining and prosecuting cybercrime.   As they note, tt is not only that, as in the United States, different states have completely different statutes regarding degrees of criminality; it is also that what comprises jurisdiction itself is brought into question by virtue of the universality of the Internet.   That is to say, the place where the cybercrime took place is as valid a jurisdiction as the location of the crime’s perpetrator, which may be on the other side of the world (Brenner, Koops  3).  In such an instance, which region has the proper authority, or is obligated to pursue the offender?  As this article clearly indicates, the “invisibility” of the Internet, as well as its universality, raise serious questions as to literal arenas of criminality.

“Is Your Information at Risk?: Information Technology Leaders’  Thoughts About the Impact of Cybercrime on Competitive Advantage” is a reflective work on the commercial vulnerabilities of the Internet.   As regards this aspect, the dangers to businesses posed by cybercrime are many, and authors Jones and Mujtaba document the legal identifications of them. Nine specific forms of such crime, in fact, have been isolated. Of these, the authors note that the primary concerns are the intentional destruction of information, the unauthorized downloads of data and material, and unauthorized, or illegal, transactions (Jones, Mujtaba  9).   The articles goes on to emphasize how even these definitions contain multiple potentials for cybercrime.  For example, unauthorized downloads of data may be done for purposes of extortion, as well as espionage.   Then, simple transactional crimes, in which an individual’s banking account may be accessed, place cybercrime on another level of difficulty, for elements of individual responsibility come into play.  Plainly, it is easier to identify as a crime the robbing of a person on the street, while a theft permitted through a careless allowing of access on the part of the victim calls into question an enabling of crime too overt to be ignored.  This thoughtful work addresses how even the parameters of known, traditional crime take on new meaning in a cyber context.

It seems inevitable that cybercrime must accompany Internet activity as certainly as crime occurs in any arena of mankind.   Its potentials, however, are more extreme precisely because the Internet is, figuratively, everywhere, and possessed of every manner of information, and this poses the kinds of national threats addressed by Patrick Marshall in “Cybersecurity”.     Commercial vulnerabilities are rampant, but the fact that the most sensitive information in a nation’s possession is stored, in some fashion, online, translates to extreme risks to national security.   As Marshall notes,  the most destructive activities imaginable are now permitted through the subtle means of data transmissions, and it is not surprising that cybercrime is now ranked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the third greatest security issue, following terrorism and counterespionage (Marshall  799).

In the article “Computer Hacking”, however, one benefit emerges from research, in regard to fighting cybercrime, and it is one created by a variation of crime itself.   Author Marcia Clemmitt addresses the fact that computer hackers, typically at work to illegally access information, have actually discovered greater incentives in revealing their discoveries to commercial institutions and security agencies (Clemmitt  766).   Initial impulses to generate illegal gain have, in fact,  pointed the way to improved security.  Clemmitt does not wholeheartedly endorse hacking as the answer to preventing cybercrime, however, and she presents opposing viewpoints that point out the inherent weaknesses of turning to any such activity as a strategy.  Nonetheless, this   evolution of hacking as a beneficial process is an encouraging development.  As the article indicates, as far as cybercrime goes, a great many solutions may be found in the vulnerability of the technology itself.

Works Cited

Alkaabi, A., Mohay,  G. M.,  McCullagh, A. J., & Chantler, A. N.  Dealing with the Problem of Cybercrime. In: Conference Proceedings of 2nd  International ICST Conference on

Digital Forensics & Cyber Crime, 4‐6 October, 2010.  Abu Dhabi.  Retrieved from  http://www.springerlink.com/content/w66l10404p6706p2/

Brenner, S. W., &  Koops, B.  Approaches to Cybercrime Jurisdiction.  Journal of High Technology Law, Vol. IV, No. 1.  pp. 1-46.  2004.

Clemmitt, M.  Computer Hacking. CQ  Researcher,21,  pp. 757-780.  2011, September 16. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher

Jones, C., & Mujtaba, B.  Is Your Information at Risk?: Information Technology Leaders’ Thoughts About the Impact of Cybercrime on Competitive Advantage. The Review of Business Information Systems, Vol, 10, No. 2.  pp. 7-20.  2006.

Marshall, P.  Cybersecurity.  CQ  Researcher,13,  pp. 797-820.  2003, September 26. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher

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