Friday, 9. November 2012
Guest blog by David Anderson – freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. His blog Internetproviders.net focuses on internet service providers.
What is Cyber Crime?
A cyber crime is any illegal activity using a computer. Some examples include:
- Software pirating
- ‘Hacking’ into bank accounts
- stealing information such as credit card numbers
- Identity theft
- Cyber stalking and cyber bullying
With more people using the internet, there is more opportunity for criminals to steal from people and use their information and identities.
Problems with Cyber Crime Laws
The biggest problem with cyber crime laws is that they are extremely difficult to enforce. National borders, anonymity, and lack of evidence are just a few of the reasons why cyber crime is so hard to prevent and prosecute.
- Nationality - Many cyber criminals often attack computers in other countries. This makes it much harder to prosecute. There is no clear distinction on what the government can do and which government can do it.
- Anonymity - There are many ways to not only hide your identity, but also to cover your tracks on the internet. There are many services out there that will help mask the IP addresses by routing through other internet sites. This makes it harder to track down criminals.
- Difficulty in Proving Guilt - It is very easy to make someone else look like a cyber criminal. There are also many ways to destroy any evidence of criminal activity. Cyber Bullying and Cyber Stalking are especially hard to prove. Some criminals can even set their computers up to destroy any evidence when their computers are accessed by anyone other than themselves.
Ways to Combat Cyber Crime
There is hope for those who want to fight cyber crime. New tools are being developed for investigators to examine evidence without ruining it. There are also new laws and bills being passed that will help law enforcement agencies to fight crime. More and more countries are coming together to help each other find and prosecute cyber criminals in each others’ countries. The internet is becoming transparent; there is not as much anonymity as there was just a few years ago. While this may be good news for internet users everywhere, this could also raise some problems, especially for those concerned about privacy on the internet.
People are concerned about the government and their privacy. Many people are concerned that the government could use personal data to punish dissenters and other outspoken people. Some of these new laws are very questionable and controversial, like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA from the US. They are worried that these new laws could be used to censor people critical of the government.
With news tools for tracking criminals, less anonymity, and more cooperation between law enforcement agencies, cyber crime is becoming less of a problem for internet uses. There also needs to be more laws protecting the privacy and freedom of the people using the internet. After all, what good is using the internet when you no longer have the freedom to use it?