• Abstract
  • Definition
    Nature of Crimes
    Fighting Crime
  • Policy
  • Prevention
  • Detection
  • Measuring
    Crimes of the Future
  • Information Theft
  • Cyber-Terrorism
    Pop Culture




  • Abstract
    Working Definition

    On the Importance of Computer Crime

    Computer crime is an issue rapidly increasing in size as computers become more widespread and interconnected. One reason computer crime seems so important is because it can involve the displacement of large amounts of money virtually instantaneously, simply because so many records exist only or primarily on computers. However, this is again too narrow a view of the effects of computer crime. As we define computer crime to be any crime in which the computer is the primary factor, we see that not only our money, but also our children and our privacy are at risk. Recently, a radical anti-abortionist web site was found guilty of threatening the life of doctors who performed abortions ["$100 Million Verdict" 1-2]. This constitutes a new way of using computers to commit a crime that falls outside of many older definitions, but it is clearly an activity that is extremely important to prevent in the future.

    Computer Crime Is Connected to Everything

    A large - and increasing - percentage of the population of the United States and other developed countries is now online. Many businesses use computers heavily in day-to-day routines. The recent recovery of science fiction in the media reflects how these changes impact our culture. Computer crime is even related to most other major issues in computer news nowadays: intellectual property rights, child pornography, and privacy issues.

    A Note on Our Focus

    Anecdotal evidence shows that fraud, unauthorized access, child pornography, and related crimes make up the majority of computer crime, and these all fall within our definition. In this web site, however, we focus primarily on the first two components of computer crime. This is because child pornography is fairly different from the other two components in terms of its effects. The effects of the first two components are largely material in nature, whereas child pornography is a more humanistic concern. We do not imply that child pornography is therefore less important or is not computer crime. Rather, we simply narrow our focus in order to produce a more detailed picture of computer fraud and breakins. However, we still offer some information on child pornography, and we encourage those interested in the subject to examine the following web page, an excellent source of information on child pornography and preventative measures:

    Safeguarding Our Childrem - United Mothers (SOC-UM)