Technology and Crime

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Criminal Law Research Paper

Whenever a new technology is found, like a double-edged sword, it often brings both more convenient life and possibility of danger in which potential exploitation of gap that might occur in its initial developing stage. For the past 20 years, computer related technologies and industry have been continuously advancing at radical speeds that greatly changed our way of life. The introduction of internet and digitalization of data has saved us enormous time and work required otherwise would have been wasted. On the other hand, however, it aided whole new types of property offences that are distinct from traditional ones to arise which posses’ difficulties in dealing with them by traditional way of approaching property offences. The main difficulties are, first, ‘Offences that were traditionally committed as interpersonal offences can now be committed at extreme distances and without the personal involvement of any victim. Second, the object of such offences may not amount to larcenable property or, indeed, property at all.’[1] Examples of these crimes include, electronic funds transfer crime, electronic money laundering, [2]counterfeiting, and software piracy.[3] Contrary to traditional property offences, computers coupled with telecommunications technology enables offenders not to leave any traces of usual biological evidence in interpersonal offences such as finger prints or hair that could lead to the offender through forensic tests. Even if the police traced back the computer that the fund transfer crime was originated, the actual offender would be uncertain if it’s located in internet café which is used by numerous customers. This anonymity is considered the major attraction for offenders with advanced computer skills to commit such crimes. This paper will discuss the effectiveness of the current law in protecting the people from the new treats and possible policies or methods that could be implemented by authorities to combat this matter.

::The Current Doctrine and issues::
It is obvious to find that property rights have been the most important feature in our society since the beginning of the civilisation as the oldest written law, the Code of Hammurabi[4] which dates back to 1750 BC, contains codes that protected individual property. Protection of ownership encourages people to work at their full potential in return for increase in their wealth and power that gives satisfaction and security. If such protection was absent, stealing and damaging personal possessions to satisfy the needs and wants would have been occasional and we might not have been able to achieve the standard of living and the social security we enjoy now. Under the current common law system, properties are protected by both case law and statutes. Obviously regarding the history of development, there are countless case laws relating to property matter. Statutes are also implemented in order to provide protection of the rights for aiding the courts if the kind of the offence is the new one and there are no relevant authorities available for judges to rely on. Those protections have been building onto one and another from strong foundations and nowadays physical property protection by the law seems quite drastic. However the dawn of the digital age introduced a whole new range of offences that cannot be categorised by traditional methods.

::Absence of Specific victim or damage::
What would be the damage to the bank if their internet banking facility has been used for electronic money laundering? There is no person harmed or any physical property damage done to the bank. When a personal computer which happens to belong to a CEO is hacked and confidential information about a report that is not intended for releasing to the public that predicts a shape rise in share prices caused by exceptional performance is retrieved by the hacker and he/she and his/her friends make millions of dollars based on that...
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