Nature of Crimes
Crimes of the Future
Over the past ten years, crime (traditionally based in the world of physical goods) has been increasingly making its way into the world of information. Crime is evolving; since the days when goods were transported by stagecoach, robbery has changed to keep up, even to our modern-day equivalent-credit and debit cards. Internet credit card number theft has become a well-recognized danger. Recently though, whole new information markets have opened up as playing fields for computer criminals. However, only a small fraction of computer break- ins are detected, and, additionally, statistics on computer crime are mostly unavailable. Thus, the amount of damage caused by computer crime is, although recognized to be increasing dramatically, unknown. The most common forms of computer crime reported to InterGOV include child pornography, fraud, and e-mail abuse. Even more disturbing are new forms of cyber-terrorism made possible by the large amount of the physical machinery now operated by computers. The government has been looking into ways of curbing all these types of crimes; there are some laws on the books and more being considered. Punishment aside, preventing computer crime is important. Safeguards against computer crime may come in the form of limiting access to the information to be protected, using encryption to ensure privacy and integrity, and educating the public about security issues. After all, it is impossible to eliminate all technical loopholes.
In this project, after attempting to define computer crime, we examine the types that have been committed in the past, and the new types likely to appear in the future. We also examine the difficulty in detecting and measuring computer crime, methods for attempting to prosecute or prevent such crimes, and the effectiveness of these measures.