Thursday, February 9, 2012

Problem of Computer Crimes

Computer crimes is a new and dangerous type of crime that has increased with the improvement of technology and the creation of the internet.  Computer crime is defined as “a crime related to technology, computers, and the internet” (Martin and Schell, 2004).  Computer crimes will continue to increase and law enforcement needs to employ officers who know how to investigate and gather evidence resulting from a computer crime.  There are many different types of computer crimes happening all over the world today.  Two forms of computer crimes are piracy and child pornography.
Piracy and child pornography is one of the greatest computer crimes that directly affect regular people.  In a study that was conducted, it found over 100,000 torrents from The Pirate Bay that contained over 1.5 million files between the dates of April 22 to May 29, 2010 (Han, Chung, Kim, Taekyoung Kwon, Kim, & Choi, 2011).  In a little over a month there was over 1.5 million files being illegally downloaded from only one piracy website.  Another well-known computer crime is the exchange and creation of child pornography.  With the creation of the internet, pedophiles are using the internet at an increasing rate everyday.  Instead of having to wait for a video to come in the mail, all one has to do is find a child pornography website and watch the child pornography on his or her own personal computer.  The technology of the internet is so great that child pornography websites often only appear for minutes to allow pedophiles to obtain the material (Marcum, Higgins, Freiburger, & Ricketts, 2010).  By having the sites go offline, it increases the difficulty law enforcement has in catching offenders.  Piracy and child pornography are two computer crimes that are inversely affected by the creation of the internet.
Piracy and child pornography computer crime costs its victims.  Torrent sites prevent people from paying for copyrighted material.  To help the music and movie industry continue to be profitable, the industry increases the prices for their goods.  The victims of child pornography will forever be affected by the videos.  Once something has been posted online, even if it’s deleted, it will forever be somewhere in cyberspace.  According to Symantec, computer crime costs the system about $114 billion each year (Albanesius, 2011).  Computer crime costs its victims both monetarily and psychologically.
There are a few programs law enforcement has done to prevent and police computer crime.  Some law enforcement agencies are training their officers in computer forensics. With the increase in computer crimes more departments’ budgets are going towards educating officers in computer forensics (Marcum, Higgins, Freiburger, & Ricketts, 2010).  It is important for agencies to train their own officers in computer forensics because it is not the same as employing a civilian.  Computer crimes are on the rise and the government needs to educate their officers in computer forensics.
Computer crimes will continue to increase in the coming decades.  Computer crimes will become the crime of the century.  Law enforcement will see a trend of the most damaging crimes to society being transitioned to the computer.  Computer crimes are the responsibility of the federal government because they can easily cross state lines as the offender does not have to be in the location of the act.  Hackers can be thousands of miles away from the location, but still able to commit a crime.  There are various types of computer crimes and they will only continue to increase with the improvement of technology. 

Albanesius, Chloe. (2011 September 7). Cyber Crime Costs $114B Per Year, Mobile Attacks on the Rise. Retrieved from,2817,2392570,00.asp

Han, Jinyoung; Chung, Taejoong; Kim, Seungbae; Taekyoung Kwon, Ted; Kim, Hyun-chul; & Choi, Yanghee. 2011. How prevalent is content bundling in BitTorrent. SIGMETRICS Perform. Eval. Rev. 39, 1 (June 2011), 319-320. DOI=10.1145/2007116.2007156
Marcum, C. D., Higgins, G. E., Freiburger, T. L., & Ricketts, M. L. (2010). Policing possession of child pornography online: investigating the training and resources dedicated to the investigation of cyber crime. International Journal Of Police Science & Management, 12(4), 516-525. doi:10.1350/ijps.2010.12.4.201   
Martin, Clemens & Schell, Bernadette H.(2004). Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLI,O Inc.


  1. Computer crime is a never ending thing. It is very frustrating for artist and movie producers to earn a living when majority of their work are posted online for free. Also, it is disturbing to know how good child pornography websites has gotten to elude from law enforcements. Very good blog.

  2. While reading this blog, I couldn't help but think of the SOPA and PIPA Act. Which has to deal with online censoring and piracy, blocking sites like Wikipedia, youtube, and a bunch of other sites. Thus making the internet really boring.
    On another note, sites that support and provide child pornography needs to be shut down. Since pedophiles no longer have to wait for the mail to come in with their porn, it is harder for the feds to catch them. Supposedly, any child pornography that went through the U.S. mail had to be notified to the feds.

  3. To Ou and Tiffany,
    You both touched on the issue of child pornography and piracy. Those are only two of the most common forms of computer crime. If I could I would write about a lot more types of computer crime. Everyone believes that piracy is bad, but we like to get stuff for free. That is one of the problems with piracy. On the other hand, almost everyone believes that child pornography is wrong, but the advancement of technology and the internet has made it increasingly harder to police.

  4. Don't you think when the internet was first created people should have been preparing on how to handle it if it were to be used as a gateway for numerous illegal activities? It seems that people were not really concerned with cyber crimes until a few years ago. What do you think would be the most efficient way to reduce cyber crimes? Set up virtual traps?

  5. Technology created for mainstream society is not worried about future crimes that can be committed using the device. Remember the computer was invented decades before the world wide web was created. The internet has caused computer crimes to increase drastically in the past few decades. To answer your other question on how to reduce computer crimes, law enforcement needs to employ officers with a computer science background. How many people majoring in Criminal Justice know how to program or even hack into a computer? Not many. Even in the computer science department almost every single student I have encountered want to go into the private sector. To reduce computer crime, law enforcement needs to employ people with a computer science background. Those people then can create computer programs that we would never be able to think about.