Cyber Essay

1974 Words8 Pages
In recent years, there has been considerable focus within the criminal justice system on computer-related crime. This so-called “cyber-crime” has garnered increased attention because computers have become so central to several areas of social activity connected to everyday life, including, but not limited to, personal and institutional finances, various record-keeping functions, interpersonal communications, and so on. Because of its widespread accessibility, the advent of the Internet has further served to facilitate predatory personal crimes and property offenses committed with a computer. The U.S. Bureau of Census reports that in 2000, there were 94 million people in the United States who made use of the Internet (Newburger, 2001). This greatly expands both the potential victim and offender pools for both personal and property crimes. Moreover, the nature of this forum has allowed some potential offenders to move more easily toward actual criminal behavior, because the victim(s) can be depersonalized in the initial stages of an offense. With the Internet, an offender does not have to come face-to-face with a potential target, which may make it easier for the offender to complete the victimization of the target. But what exactly is “cyber-crime”, and is it distinct from other, more traditional forms of crime? To begin answering these questions, it would be helpful to briefly look at the components of crime in general. Traditionally, crime has been defined as an intentional violation of the legal code that is punishable by the state. Central to this definition is the premise that crime occurs within the boundaries of some physical reference point, that is, a location that constitutes a specific jurisdiction. For example, when a conventional case of fraud occurs, one of the important considerations is where the actual offense took place so that questions of the

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