In the recent years, computer technology has had a great impact on the society, governments and businesses. The world-wide network of activities has changed the relationship between people and the physical world. Information is now easily transferable through the internet, which has been useful in business transactions and service delivery. On the other hand, increase in crime because of the internet access has become a matter of public concern. Criminal justice system has drawn its focus on computer related crimes. The crimes have increased public attention because computers have become the central areas of social connectivity to the people’s daily lives, which include record keeping functions, institutional finances, interpersonal communications, and personal finance. Because of the sufficient accessibility, internet has increased crimes and criminal offenses associated with the computer use. It is approximated that in 2001, 94 million citizens of the United States were able to access the internet (Mills 2012, p. 15).
Commoditization of technology and efforts facilitating access to the internet has led to unrestricted use of internet by individuals disregarding the negativity it can have on their lives. This decrease in computing technology has created a gap between skilled and non-skilled users, thus leading to cybercrimes. Technology has introduced safeguards as well as vulnerabilities. It poses threats, and there are tools to deal with these threats. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee analyzed the dangers of the internet to the general public.
According to the Department of Justice, computer crimes are violations of criminal laws involving knowledge of computer technology for their investigation, perpetration or prosecution. The numbers of crimes are as much as the criminals in the information technology. These criminals could be dissatisfied empolyees , youthful hackers, international spies and terrorists and the company insiders. The use of the new computer technology has given rise to the desire to understand, and determine cybercrimes. The attempt to quantify the number of cybercrimes is quite complicated. Garlik estimation of criminology to quantify the cybercrimes shows the following categories. Offences against the Person
This category involves the use of computer technology to cause personal injury or harm such as distress, anxiety or psychological harm. It includes the use of abusive language, threatening electronic mails, and posting insulting information online. In addition, in situations whereby the offender engage in offensive behaviors behind the mask of secrecy offered by the internet, this is considered to be criminal. Hate speech and crimes intimidating a person or group of people on the basis of actual and perceived membership of a target group defined in terms of political, religion, gender, race, belief or sexual orientation are also criminal offenses. Examples of hate crimes are the abusive, and unfair or unfavorable derogatory information distributed about the targeted group. Financial Fraud
This involves the use of deceptive information to material gain either directly or indirectly. Direct financial gain involves impersonation characteristics causing theft because of false identity and fraud to obtain money. Gaining indirectly involves assumption of information that secures the offenders to more lucrative opportunities for employment. Also the deceit may involve misrepresentation of identity of the party concerned. Because of this, identity theft may be synonymous with the financial fraud. This argument differs in some cases because identity theft assumes identity of another for whatever reasons. This can be financial fraud or not. A person assuming another’s identity to commit an offense will be categorized as identity fraud, but not a financial one. The two crimes are categorized as cybercrimes if they were committed through the internet or used online...
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