Tackling High-tech Crimes
Last modified: October 26, 2015
The internet and computers are widely in use everywhere for e-mail, surfing, browsing, file sharing, collaboration, streaming media, voice telephony and so on and storage of data that can be public, personal or even strategic (van der Laan, 2008). Unauthorized offenses
that originate from and make use of these technologies are called high-tech crimes (Decker, 2008). With the increasing use of controlling and commanding the setup and staff from remote locations, the threat of high-tech crimes has also increased proportionately.
Vital national and international systems such as power grids, water supply systems, telecommunication networks, cable television, satellites and road, sea and air traffic signals and control, the financial services sector and also the critical government services like the emergency and national defense systems are being directed and managed by networked computers that can become the targets of the groups that may wish to harm the country (Decker, 2008; Getty, 2010).
High-tech crimes can be destructive or intrusive (Decker, 2008),and belong to four categories: those that are computer related crimes that violate confidentiality of personal information, and infringements against the integrity and accessibility of computer-related data or systems; offenses like forgeries and fraud using computers; content-related abuses like child pornography; and copyright infringements and associated rights (Brown, 2008).
Cybercrimes are easy to commit, can be done remotely and are also more challenging to detect and prove. Logistics, combating anonymity, accessing electronic information and transnational enforcement are the four chief problems involving cybercrime. Jurisdictional problems of the provinces or countries implicated, hi-tech re-routing systems used by the criminals, and unsatisfactory national and transnational on cybercrime make prosecution difficult (Cassim, 2009).
The US has enacted certain laws like the Commerce Clause that includes to specialized criminal code sections (Decker, 2008). The FBI cyber mission is empowered to combat computer intrusions, malicious code distribution; sexual predators and child pornography; threats to national security and competitiveness; and organized criminal fraud (Chadwick, 2010). Agreements and treaties between the countries like the EU, U.S.A, and those in Africa, Asia-South Pacific regions to fight high tech crimes help in combating cybercrime along with organizations like the Interpol and the U.N (Brown, 2008).
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