Cyberspace and Criminal behavior
Missouri Valley College
This paper was prepared and submitted for CJ360 Cybercrime Fall 2014, taught by Professor Alecia Schmidt.
Cyberspace and Criminal Behavior
Cyberspace has been traditionally defined as the exchange of information and communication from one person to another in completely different geographical locations (Britz, 2013, p.3). According to Britz cyberspace was defined as “the place between places” (Britz, 2013, p.3). Therefore, cyberspace represents the cloud where emails, calls, and, text messages must pass through before making it to its final destination. Cyberspace has been used since traditional communication devices were first introduced (Britz, 2013, p.3). Approximately half of the United States have used the Internet as a medium (Britz, 2013, p.3). However, with the wave of the Internet, criminals found new ways to commit crimes with less risk of getting caught. According to Britz computer crime, computer-related crimes, digital crimes, and cybercrime must be studied in order to understand technological and electronic crimes (Britz, 2013, p.3). Historically, there has not been a communication medium as effective as the Internet. The Internet allowed users to combine mail, telephone, and mass media into one central area (Britz, 2013, p.4). As Britz stated in the book, the Internet was used for different purposes such as a social gathering place, a library, or a place to be alone (Britz, 2013, p.4). The Internet had resulted in a helpful tool for communication. However, internet could be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, the Internet was allowed for everyone including pedophiles, sexual predators, and narco-trafficers (Britz, 2013, p.4). Consequently, the Internet had been effective for multiple reasons to different types of users such as individuals, companies and so on. Nevertheless, it implied a risk for individuals and companies to be victims of crimes via the internet. Criminals used the Internet and cyberspace wave to commit crimes against vulnerable software companies and individuals (Britz, 2013, p.9). Electronic and computer crimes were separated into 4 separate categories (Britz, 2013, p.6). First, computer crimes that had been committed via computer (Britz, 2013, p.5). According to Britz, computer crimes which had involved any criminal activity where a computer had been the medium to perform the criminal act were part of this category (Britz, 2013, p.5). Additionally, computer crimes from this category saw incidents that included internet and non-internet activity (Britz, 2013, p.5). Therefore, computer crimes were as petty as a stolen computer component or as big as a website which had been hacked (Britz, 2013, p.6). Second, cybercrime had been treated as abused and misused computer systems or computers connected to the internet which resulted in direct and concomitant loss (Britz, 2013, p.5). According to Britz cybercrime referred to any criminal activity which had been committed through or facilitated by the internet (Britz, 2013, p.5). In other words, cybercrime represented any criminal activity realized throughout the Internet. Third, computer related crime exemplified computer crimes in general. Therefore, computer related crimes were those criminal instances where a computer was even remotely involved in the situation (Britz, 2013, p.6). Examples included traditional bookmaking and theft (Britz, 2013, p.6). Lastly, digital crimes when referring to any criminal activity involved the “unauthorized access, dissemination, manipulation, destruction, or corruption of electronically stored data” (Britz, 2013, p.5). Digital crime has been characterized as any of the previous three categories depending on case characteristics (Britz, 2013, p.5). Finally, defined as generic crimes such as computer crimes and computer related crime other than cybercrime had been used for...
References: Britz, M. T. (2013). Computer Forensic and Cyber Crime: An Introduction. Clemson University, SC: Pearson Education
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