Digital Crime

Topics: Computer, Fraud, Internet Pages: 14 (5203 words) Published: September 14, 2011
Digital Crime Evidence and Procedures Digital

Compare and contrast the four different categorizations of computer crimes

Computers are used for many different types of personal and work related activities. Getting on the Internet and researching a topic for a college paper, researching types of flat screen televisions and their various prices, or what about getting on the computer and playing games, or using computers to watch movies and chat with friends and family. From a work standpoint, computers assist in processing orders, calculating and tracking numbers, manufacturing vehicles, sending email, and literally millions of other computer related activities. But, what if computers were used to copy Microsoft’s Office software applications and sell them at 60% cost on the black market? What if computers were used to login to accounts that weren’t the owners and take unauthorized data to sell for identify theft purposes? What if computers were used to hack into databases and “borrowed” data that then provided “insider information” that endowed an unprecedented stock gain for Members of the Board of Directors? These examples would mean that computers were being used for cyber-crimes. There are four primary categories of these types of cyber-crimes that will be the focus of this research paper.


A stated on the Law and Legal Information Web site, “A precise definition of computer crime is problematic’ (, n.d). Delving further into an explanation, one finds, “This is because of the array of different forms and forums in which the crime may appear. A single category cannot accommodate the wide divergence of conduct, perpetrators, victims, and motives found in examining computer crimes. Adding to this confusion is the fact that computer crimes also can vary depending upon the jurisdiction criminalizing the conduct. The criminal conduct can be the subject of punishment under a state statute. There is also an odd mixture of federal offenses that can be used to prosecute computer crimes. But computer crimes are not just domestic. Because computer networks operate internationally via the Internet, the law of other countries can influence the definition of computer crime as well. Despite debate among leading experts, there is no internationally recognized definition of computer crime. At the core of the definition of computer crimes are activities specifically related to computer technologies. Thus, stealing a computer or throwing a computer at another person would not fall within the scope of the definition of computer crime in that these activities do not use the computer technology as the means or object of the criminal act, and it is the technology that is the focus of this paper ( p.697). Defining the various computer activities continues to be a challenge but one that normally can be agreed upon is that of computer crimes now known as cyber-crimes. Computer crime, also known as cyber-crime, e-crimes, hi-tech crime or electronic crime, is referred to any criminal activity that is done by means or through a computer or Internet network. For the sake of this paper, cyber-crimes is the term of choice. Cyber-crimes are a fairly new set of tractable crimes, starting in 2001 by The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), which began operations on May 8, 2000. The IFCC is a partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Just prior to the 2001 IFCC organization, in 1999, The President of the United States put together a “Working Group” to Report on the Unlawful Conduct on the Internet and on March 2000 they did present a report entitled, “(PWGUCI) 2000).” Parts of this report will be discussed throughout this paper, as it relates and is purposeful. The IFCC’s primary mission is to address fraud committed over the Internet. On a side note, although the primary mission of the IFCC is to...

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