Computer Crime: a Increasing Problem

Topics: Computer, Federal government of the United States, United States Congress Pages: 7 (2602 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Computer Crime: A Increasing Problem


Computer crimes seem to be an increasing problem in today's society. The main aspect concerning these offenses is information gained or lost. As our government tries to take control of the information that travels through the digital world, and across networks such as the InterNet, they also seem to be taking away certain rights and privileges that come with these technological advancements.

These services open a whole new doorway to communications as we know it. They offer freedom of expression, and at the same time, freedom of privacy in the highest possible form. Can the government reduce computer crimes, and still allow people the right to freedom of expression and privacy?


In the past decade, computer technology has expanded at an incredibly fast rate, and the information stored on these computers has been increasing even faster. The amount of money, military intelligence, and personal information stored on computers has increased far beyond expectations. Governments, the military, and the economy could not operate without the use of computers. Banks transfer trillions of dollars every day over inter-linking networks, and more than one billion pieces of electronic mail are passed through the world's networks daily. It is the age of the computer network, the largest of which is known as the InterNet. A complex web of communications inter-linking millions of computers together -- and this number is at least doubling every year. The computer was originally designed as a scientific and mathematical tool, to aid in performing intense and precise calculations. However, from the large, sixty square foot ENIAC (Electronical Numerical Integrator and Calculator) of 1946, to the three square foot IBM PC of today, their uses have mutated and expanded far beyond this boundary. Their almost infinite capacity and lightning speed, which is increasing annually, and their low cost, which is decreasing annually, has allowed computers to stabilize at a more personal level, yet retain their position in mathematical and scientific research1 . They are now being used in almost every aspect of life, as we know it, today. The greatest effect of computers on life at this present time seems to be the InterNet. What we know now as the InterNet began in 1969 as a network then named ArpaNet. ArpaNet, under control by the pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was first introduced as an answer to a problem concerning the government question of how they would communicate during war. They needed a network with no central authority, unlike those subsequent to this project. A main computer controlling the network would definitely be an immediate target for enemies. The first test node of ArpaNet was installed at UCLA in the Fall of 1969. By December of the same year, three more nodes were added, and within two years, there was a total of fifteen nodes within the system. However, by this time, something seemed to be changing concerning the information traveling across the nodes. By 1971, government employees began to obtain their own personal mail addresses, and the main traffic over the net shifted from scientific information to personal mail and gossip. Mailing lists were used to send mass quantities of mail to hundreds of people, and the first newsgroup was created for discussing views and opinions in the science fiction world. The networks decentralized structure made the addition of more machines, and the use of different types of machines very simple. As computer technology increased, interest in ArpaNet seemed only to expand.

In 1977, a new method of transmission was put into effect, called TCP/IP. The transmission control protocol (TCP) would convert messages into smaller packets of information at their source, then reassemble them at their destination, while the InterNet protocol (IP) would control...

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Communications Decency Act. Enacted by the U.S. Congress on February 1,
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Gates, Bill. The Road Ahead. New York: Penguin Books USA, inc, 1995.
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