Computer Crime Study Essay

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Computer Crime and Computer Fraud University of Maryland Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Fall, 2004 Report to the Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission By Michael Kunz & Patrick Wilson This report was prepared in part as fulfillment of requirements in CCJS 604 and CCJS 605 for the Professional Masters Degree in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. We express thanks to Dr. Charles Wellford, Dr. Doris MacKenzie, and Jean McGloin for assistance with this report. 2 Executive Summary The past several decades have brought a vast increase in the availability of electronic resources. With this increased availability has come a new form of criminal activity that takes advantage of electronic resources, namely computer crime and computer fraud. Currently, these new forms of crime are burgeoning and pose a new and lasting challenge to law enforcement agencies at all levels in how to prevent, investigate, and prosecute these crimes. Law enforcement agencies from the local to the federal level are beginning to institute specific units devoted to handling computer-related offenses, but there does not currently exist a uniform method to define and address computer crime and computer fraud. With this case study, we intend to analyze what the current level of understanding is regarding computer crime and computer fraud, as well as what is being done by law enforcement agencies to deal with these offenses. Using this information, we provided specific recommendations regarding computer-related offenses in the future including: • • • Uniform definition Organizational requirements and procedures Tools necessary to successful operation of computer crime units 3 Introduction Throughout the past several decades there have been numerous advances in electronic resources. Technologies such as cellular phones, pagers, home

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