Technology and Crime
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.  Examples of these crimes include, electronic funds transfer crime, electronic money laundering, counterfeiting, and software piracy.
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 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 cafe 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 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 information, is it possible to measure the damage?
Or does it even exist? As exampled, some new types of illegal acts do not create specific victim or damage or the both. In order to regulate these treats, the definition of property has been extended to ones that take forms of electronic data and even to intellectual ones. By recognising such properties it is now possible to identify the damage incurred and the victim which enables us to enforce the traditional doctrine of property offences approach. To reward the victims for the damages they suffered under the civil law and to prosecute the offender and enforce penalties under the criminal law. :Types of new offences:: Hacking and intrusion into a computer system is the most common form of computer based crime, hackers usually commit this offence in order to gain confidential information or to inspect the level of security measures in place for preparation of other offence. Rarely, some hackers attempt to break into a system that’s guarded by strong security system and damage the system itself just to demonstrate the ability of him or her self. This kind of act is also known as electronic vandalism.
The next most common offence is the intellectual property offences such as breaching copy rights by making illegal duplicate of intellectual property, for example, books, movies, music and games. This type of offence is becoming more and more ordinary as the fast broadband internet access’s being available to most of the households enabling such illegally copied materials to be circulated and distributed at fast rate even crossing borders without any obstruction. Electronic funds transfer crime and electronic money laundering are also major crimes that are becoming increasingly difficult to regulate with traditional counter measures. :Traditional Countermeasures:: Most common methods often chosen by the government is to take legislative and administrative action to deal with the problem before it gets out of hand. Russell emphasises in his journal ‘This method to criminalise has, however, a number of dangers. First, is the difficulty, noted by Dunning (1982, pp. 293-4), of over-codifying behaviour: one does not want to enact a new provision every time a new permutation of criminal behaviour arises.
Ideally, the elasticity of a common law system will supply the omissions of the legislature but there are limits to which our judiciary will, and indeed can, go. ’, that there are limits in legislative and administrative approach that the society can take as legitimate. There is also the fundamental problem of difficulty when trying to battle the new offences with the traditional approach in quantifying the offences since the nature and characteristics of the offences often leave no trace at all and also authorities might not disclose the information because of embarrassment or commercial inconvenience.
Deceptive quantifying which makes the policy makers to take distorted view of the seriousness of the issue is also the problem. For example, ‘a pursuit of a US$0. 75 accounting error in a computer account led to the unravelling of an international espionage ring. ’ Event like this confuses the decision makers in deciding the level or degree of regulation should be imposed.
Originality of the crime also creates great challenge to the authorities, globalization of networks and widespread of the internet permits offenders to stay in their own country and commit crime in the systems of foreign country. This poses exorbitant difficulties in determining the place of the occurrence of the crime in order to decide which prosecution authority should be handing the matter and where to collect and present evidence to. ::Possible Alternative methods of Prevention:: There are several proposed ways for the government to deal with the problem.
Restricting the availability of new technologies themselves, or restricting certain people from possessing and using new technologies and so on… Probably the most fundamental solution of all, considering the possibility of misuse of the technology, the researchers and developers in the initial stage of the process should apply crime prevention measures that prevents misuse of such vulnerable technologies and if the cost is too high to carry out the modification the government should always consider to subsidise the process because the cost of exploitation of the weakness of the technology might be even greater.
But there is also possibility that those precautions implemented could be compromised and the additional development costs vaporised. The break of the DVD movie title encryption and area code protection by hackers and crackers which introduced Dvix is the good example of it. The next best cost effective way is commercial solution. Various needs to protect one’s electronic assets from possible attackers would generate considerable market demand for electronic and informational security.
Companies with expertise of those matters would grow and it would provide professional advices, helps and protection with reasonable fee that would be far more less than it would cost for individual demanders to develop such systems. Also from the demand for assuring the compensation for the damages caused electronically, new insurance policies would emerge and protect the losses incurred. When dealing with technologies that are developed for military or investigative use, it is best for the government to take action that prevents possession and use of those technologies by possible offenders.
Such as code breaker program designed for military operations should be restricted for the use of the purposes intended only, to achieve that, it is best to isolate the program in selected systems that are not connected to the internet. However if the technology developed found to be viable for use by the public to improve their standard of life, it should be considered that more benefit would be realised by making it public depending on specific technology. A super fast speed satellite communication intended for space crafts would be viable to use for the faster internet connection than conventional technology.
But it might also make it possible for hackers to get into the satellite’s control system and disable it causing extravagant disaster thus making the technologies availability restrictive is important. Those alternatives and traditional methods may stop offenders from commission of crime but it may also encourage imitating one as well. A news report that the government is banning all child pornography sites may attract people’s attention and they might try search that kind of sites since the anonymity of access which increases the demand for viewing such material that results growth of pornography sites. :Conclusion:: Implementing the traditional approaches to deal with new emerging types of crime involving new technologies does seem to work when the new type of crime shows some fundamental similarities with already existing crimes such as causing harm whether electronic or physical or financial. Since such offences are opposed by the society and could easily be criminalised by legislation or administrative means without difficulty. Nevertheless, quantifying and implementing the right policy or legislation is too difficult because of exterritorial issues and lack of statistics.
However, as the technologies used for commission of crime advances, so does the technologies used to investigate, exam, and share information with the public and the rest of the world which aids authorities in combating using traditional approaches. Mechanisms for surveillance and detection, blocking devices, and technologies of restraint and incapacitation could also be adopted to backup the weak points of the traditional approach. Yet, while implementing those mechanisms the authority should consider possibilities of infringe of privacy right.
The use of “high-tech” means of restraint might well lead to fundamental changes in police practice. Easily available technological fixes may tempt reliance to the extent that traditional law enforcement skills become neglected due to their inconvenience and community relations will be overlooked and discarded. There would also be other social impacts of crime prevention technologies. It may include disproportionate use of restraint technologies against disadvantaged groups, such as people who are unable to afford security technologies.
And a shift in the burden of crime to those prospective victims may occur. Nonetheless, it would look like a miscalculation if we are to back off from developing and researching new technologies for crime prevention and control simply because they may be used inappropriately. “The telephones, indeed, the wheel, have criminal applications, technologies in the hands of responsible, accountable professionals can enhance liberty, rather than threaten it,” Dr Grabosky said.
Technology and Crime Control insists on that the direction of ultimate benefits of new crime prevention technologies to the public, their development and use should be based on thorough consultation and extensive testing, and those who use them should be appropriately trained and supervised. The authors of the journals conclude that there is not one fit-to-all overall solution to these new kinds of emerging crime due to the varied nature of computer-related criminal conducts. They suggest, however, that technological and market solutions will be just as, if not more, important as law enforcement.
With the invisible hands of the market the authorities should be able to find the optimal way of combating the new crimes sided by new technology. Bibliography 1. Brown et al, Criminal Laws, The Federation Press 2. P Grabosky & R Smith, Crime in the Digital Age: Controlling Telecommunications and Cyberspace Illegalities, the Federation Press (1998) 3. Russell Smith, Criminal Exploitation of New Technologies AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No93 (July 1998) 4. New millennium Doosan English Encyclopaedia No11 Doosan cooperation (2000) 5.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 1997, Recorded Crime, Australia 1996, ABS Catalogue No. 4510. 0, AGPS, Canberra (1998), Yearbook Australia, ABS Catalogue No. 1301. 0, AGPS, Canberra. 6. P. N. Grabosky, Russell G. Smith, Paul Wright, Crime and Telecommunications AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 59 (August 1996) 7. Russell G. Smith, Stealing Telecommunications Services AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 54 (April 1996) 8. Peter Grabosky, Technology & Crime Control, AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 78 (January 1998) ———————– 1] Brown et al, Criminal Laws, The Federation Press pg 1058  P Grabosky & R Smith, Crime in the Digital Age: Controlling Telecommunications and Cyberspace Illegalities (1998) The Federation Press chapter 1  Russell Smith, Criminal Exploitation of New Technologies AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No93 (July 1998) pg 3  Found in 1901 by French explorers in the Old Persian Capital of Shush (Susa), contains 282 codes consisting of criminal commercial, individual property laws – New millennium Doosan English Encyclopaedia No11 Doosan cooperation (2000) pg. 54  Australian Bureau of Statistics 1997, Recorded Crime, Australia 1996, ABS Catalogue No. 4510. 0, AGPS, Canberra (1998), Yearbook Australia, ABS Catalogue No. 1301. 0, AGPS, Canberra.  P. N. Grabosky, Russell G. Smith, Paul Wright, Crime and Telecommunications AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 59 (August 1996) pg 2 to 3  Russell G.
Smith, Stealing Telecommunications Services AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 54 (April 1996) pg 3   P. N. Grabosky, Russell G. Smith, Paul Wright, Crime and Telecommunications AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 59 (August 1996) pg 3  P. N. Grabosky, Russell G. Smith, Paul Wright, Crime and Telecommunications AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No 59 (August 1996) pg 5