Computer Crimes

Published 19 Aug 2016

Crimes and delinquent behavior are serious social problems. They are not problems of the government alone but the whole society as well. Indeed, for society to function harmoniously, crime and delinquent behavior must be prevented. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better a pound of cure.

In the 21st Century, however, we find ourselves engaged in a new battle. The war is no longer against street hoodlums and small-time crooks who commit small-time robberies and other crimes. The war is now being waged against an organized group of individuals who has powerful connections both in the domestic and international arena. These organized crimes seem to have proliferated in the age of globalization and Internet technology. The advancements brought about by globalization – improved communication, increased international trade, the opening of borders and the availability and easy access of information – also carried with it the growth and spread of organized crime. It bears stressing that these organized crimes no longer limit their operations in one country but has extended their operations from one country to another and from one border to another. Because of the extent of their operations, the problem of organized crime can no longer be considered a problem of a single country alone but a problem of all of us.

Some of the most common crimes in this age and time of Internet Technology are computer crimes. Computer crimes, otherwise known as cyber crimes, generally pertain to criminal activity where a computer or network is the tool, target, or place of a crime. (“Computer Crime”) Cyber crimes create the serious impact to the society. With the advent of information technology and improvement in the telecommunication system, computers have become the wave of the future. They make the available multitude of information, help us pay our bills, communicate with friends and relatives in other countries, and enter into various transactions. Recently, however, the most powerful and fascinating tool of the 20th Century has been exploited and used for committing crimes. It is now being utilized in committing crimes such as threat using computers, child pornography, fraud, gambling extortion, theft of intellectual property, hacking, releasing viruses, and shutting down computers by flooding them with unwarranted information. In addition, with the improvement of information technology, information about ourselves which we previously thought as secure and inaccessible, such as our bank accounts, and other personal information, can now easily accessed by a computer hacker and may even be used against us.

Ronald B. Standler states that the following are the new crimes that may be committed using computers:

  • a) unauthorized use of a computer, which might involve stealing a username and password, or might involve accessing the victim’s computer via the Internet through a backdoor operated by a TrojanHorse program
  • b) creating or releasing a malicious computer program (e.g., computer virus, worm, TrojanHorse)
  • c) harassment and stalking in cyberspace. (Ronald Standler)
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