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Cyberspace: Statistics, Policy and Crimes Essay

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Updated: Jun 12th, 2020


Cyberspace is a term that was coined many years back to refer to the various things that exist within a large communication network. The concept has evolved over the years at an alarming rate, driven by constant growth in the use of technology in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Undoubtedly, cyberspace has greatly transformed the way we live and interact with one another globally. However, as society continues to embrace the use of cyberspace, there are those who are out to benefit selfishly from new innovations. To address the challenges posed by cyberspace, it is imperative for those entrusted with the fight against negative use of cyberspace to think up solutions that will curb illegal activities.

This paper looks at facts, statistics, resources, and public opinion about cyberspace that are necessary for policy formulation. The paper also considers cyberspace related crimes and negative developments. In addition, it provides policy recommendations on the subject of cyberspace and the impact they could have on the modern criminal justice system and globalization. As explained above, negative activities associated with cyberspace include cyber terrorism, cyberbullying, and denial of service attacks.

Facts, Statistics, Resources, and Public Opinion about Cyberspace

Drawing from a study by Curtis (2014), almost every person in the world has a connection to the Web in one way or another. The various tools that are used to access the Web, including cell phones and other technological devices are getting more sophisticated and giving individuals a chance to do so much online. As a result, cybercriminals have also changed tack and are now carrying out their illegal activities through the Web. Unlike in the past, children today communicate mainly through the Internet than I person. Although kids chatting online may seem harmless to most people, facts, and statistics concerning cyberbullying are shocking. Evidently, children get harassed through the Web. With no authority to intervene, unruly kids use words that are not kind to torment others while hiding through aliases.

According to Curtis (2014), close to 7.5 million users of Facebook in the United States are less than 13 years old. It is thus obvious that most victims of cyberbullying are innocent children. As pointed out by Wolfson (2010), online bullies make use of every available opportunity to carry out their harmful activities wherever they go. Based on research findings, about 58 percent of children in the U.S. have been bullied by people who said hurting things to them more than two or three times. Considering that most children choose to be quiet about such things, it is important for parents to be extremely keen in order to protect their children. Any telltale signs must be investigated diligently. In worst-case scenarios, victims of cyberbullying have ended up committing suicide as a result of online bullying at a very tender age. Although some victims may survive to cyberbully, they become depressed and mainly live under the fear of being attacked.

Another negative activity linked to cyberspace is cyber terrorism (Weimann, 2004). To a large extent, the threat of cyber terrorism has created fear in so many people, and especially those who depend on the Web to survive. In general, cyber terrorism is dangerous for public policy as well as the security of an entire nation. Key stakeholders, including experts in matters of security and politicians, are making every effort to see to it that the public is aware of the consequences of cyber terrorism. Among other unwelcome outcomes, cyber terrorism can create an avenue for unauthorized individuals to access data or information they are not allowed to access. Access to sensitive government secrets can easily cripple operations and make a nation vulnerable to attacks by external forces.

Although there are a number of threats that can result from cyber terrorism, stakeholders are yet to determine whether it is actually a real threat considering that such attacks are not seen to be rampant (Weimann, 2004). This notwithstanding, it is necessary to prevent surprise occurrences that are capable of crippling operations, whether in government or in the private sector. If not checked, cyber terrorism is a very attractive option that can be exploited by terrorists to make life impossible for law-abiding citizens. It must thus be dealt with accordingly.

A very good example of what can result from cyber terrorism is the 9/11 terrorist attack that took place in the United States, leaving many dead and scores injured. The attack also led to a huge loss of income for the nation. It is thus important not to take anything lightly. Every possible threat must be investigated fully and, if possible, eliminated. Closely related to cyber terrorism is the denial of service attacks (Weimann, 2004). In denial of service attacks, the attackers destabilize the operations of the victims by attacking the networking and jamming it with a continuous flow of traffic that makes access to the network by other interested parties impossible. Following the 9/11 attacks, fighting terrorism is one of the priorities of the American government. Apparently, the government of the United States was compelled to spend approximately 4.5 billion dollars on infrastructure security. According to Tafoya (2011), cyber terrorism can create an opportunity for the attacker to comprise data. The use of wrong data can, in turn, have far-reaching implications that can make a difference between success and failure. Unreliable information can lead to misunderstandings, which can later destroy trust. Cyber terrorism is thus considered a part of information warfare. Despite the possible relationship that exists between cyber terrorism and information warfare, however, the two terms are quite different.

In general, different people have different opinions about cyber terrorism and other cyberspace related activities. While it is considered to be a serious threat by some people, others do not see cyber terrorism as a real threat (Weimann, 2004). Despite the fact that several activities by hackers have been reported globally, it is presumed that cyber defenses are quite robust. This notwithstanding, terrorism attacks that are linked to hacking activities are likely to become a reality. While there were only 2,134 incidences of computer hacks in 1997, the number increased to 21,756 in 2001 (Weimann, 2004). It is thus, essential to develop strategies to counter hacking-related attacks. To a large extent, the political class is concerned about the regulation of cyberspace. Generally, what politicians desire to see is a strict surveillance system as well as tough control measures and respect for people’s rights and the need for privacy. In most places around the world, state governments make every effort to come up with theories that consider issues such as access and equity. Politicians are also responsible for the enactment of laws that can help to promote the responsible use of cyberspace. The greatest concern and hence the responsibility of law enforcers is to see to it that the various laws put in place to govern cyberspace activities are followed.

Disobedience to the law thus attracts a penalty. The greatest responsibility of judges is to convict those found guilty of going against the law. In doing so, the expectation is that they will remain impartial and deliver justice to all without prejudice. According to most defense attorneys, their work is mainly complicated by the fact that cyberspace users can easily carry out their activities unnoticed by anyone. Apparently, this makes it extremely difficult to access the evidence that may be used in a court of law. The fact that the Internet can be used incognito generates a very high number of cybercriminals and makes it challenging to pin down offenders. For the victims and other law-abiding citizens, the greatest desire is to see that politicians are focused on developing laws that are relevant and able to protect the interests of the affected individuals. In addition, they would like to see that law enforcers are working closely with judges to ensure fairness for all.

Policy Recommendations

As explained by Weimann (2004), the fight against cyberspace related attacks has been highly politicized, and many seek to reap economic benefits from it. One of the things that must be done to address the challenges posed by cyberspace is to create a policy that helps to establish the motive of the attackers. As cyberbullying is mostly done anonymously, policy formulators must look for strategies that will ensure that nothing is left to chance. Without a doubt, having a strict policy in place will serve to protect the interests of most innocent children who are keen to utilize Internet gainfully. According to experts in children matters, children who are involved in molesting others online display certain characteristics that must be looked out for a while seeking to help both the victims and the attackers. An effective policy for cyberbullying should include the involvement of relevant authorities and monitoring what children are doing online.

As part of the policy, there should be clear guidelines for parents regarding how best to ensure that their children are not victims of cyberbullying, not the ones attacking other children online. The criminal justice system should also have in place a strict strategy to ensure that cyberspace activities are not undertaken with the intention of hurting others. In addition, it is imperative for the policy to provide for the need to educate all the public on what must be done to deal with negative cyberspace activities such as cyberbullying. Apart from sensitizing parents, children should also be educated and equipped with skills for dealing with possible attacks.

As noted by Tafoya (2011), agencies that are responsible for law enforcement must stay informed in order to deal with the challenges of cyber terrorism. Although some researchers claim that no reliable evidence can be found to show that terrorists use cyberspace to launch attacks, others argue that there is credible information indicating that cyber terrorism is a threat that must be monitored very carefully.

By and large, the opinions of all stakeholders are valid and have a very important part to play in making sure that cyberspace is utilized in a responsible manner. As earlier explained, different people in society have different concerns they would like to see addressed. Politicians, for example, care about having laws that are pertinent to safeguarding the interests of cyberspace users. Law enforcers, on the other hand, have an important task of ensuring that laws that are related to cyberspace are obeyed. Victims and law-abiding citizens care about fairness and protection at all levels in society. The responsibility of judges, as explained, is to see to it that justice is done to every person.

The rationale for Policy Recommendations and Impact on Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues and Globalization

The underlying principle behind the above policy recommendations lies in the fact that an all-inclusive cyberspace policy will help to strengthen the use of cyberspace to benefit all people. All these opinions are critical in developing a cyberspace policy and have to be taken into account when developing the cyberspace policy. Without the support of state governments and politicians, nothing much can be achieved. Similarly, the laws enacted by politicians have to be reinforced by law enforcement agencies. For completeness purposes, victims and law-abiding citizens must be involved at every level of policy development. In the absence of such diligence, many innocent people may continue suffering.

Because of technology and cyberspace, in particular, we live in a global village. For this reason, the given policy recommendations are critical for supporting the idea of globalization. Certainly, a well-defined cyberspace policy will affect globalization positively. In addition, such a policy will also ensure that criminal justice serves the needs of all users of cyberspace.


Although the advent of cyberspace has simplified the people live and interact, it has also come with numerous challenges. Based on research findings, the challenges that are posed by negative activities such as cyberbullying and cyber terrorism are a reality. Consequently, the need for an effective cyberspace policy cannot be underestimated. As discussed in this paper, the development of such a policy is largely dependent on ensuring that the views of all stakeholders are taken into account. All stakeholders must be consulted, and their views respected.


Curtis, J. (2014). . Web.

Tafoya, W. L. (2011). Cyber Terror. Web.

Weimann, G. (2004). Web.

Wolfson, E. (2010). Cyberbullying: Confronting the Modern Face of Bullying. Web.

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