Cybercrime, returning to a definition provided by Toby Finnie, Tom Petee, and John Jarvis, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network, where a computer may or may not have played an instrumental part in the commission of crime (7).
We will write a custom Essay on Social Implications of Computer Technology (Cybercrime and Cyber-related crimes) specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The term cyber crime or cyber related crime would be used to refer to criminal act like that of identity theft, fraud, security breach, child pornography (Finnie, Petee, and Jarvis 7). Many of the techniques involve the use of a computer or a network, but many more techniques have nothing to do with computers other than information stored in text files on a computer’s hard drive.
To address cyber crime and cyber related crimes further, a distinction is made between computers as targets of crime and computer-facilitated crime.
While the former refers to crimes targeting computers or other electronic channels as such and include acts like unauthorized entry into computer systems, vandalism, virus attacks, or warfare offensives, so called computer-facilitated crimes are in fact “traditional crimes that can be or have been committed by using other means of perpetration which are now carried out through an Internet based computer-related venue (e.g. email, newsgroups, other networks) or other technological computing advancement”; or, to put in other words, crimes that use the computer as a medium to commit crimes (Finnie, Petee, and Jarvis 8).
Computer-facilitated crimes can be more systematically classified under three main traditional categories of crime: against persons, against property, and against public order and public interest.
In reading the discussion above it becomes clear that the term cybercrime actually refers to computer-related crime; however, some consider computer crime to be a subdivision of cybercrime that warrants its own definition and understanding.
The term ‘cyberspace’ became popular descriptor of the mentally constructed virtual environment within which networked computer activity takes place. ‘Cybercrime’ broadly describes the crimes that take place within that space and the term has come to symbolize insecurity and risk online.
By itself, cybercrime is fairly meaningless because it tends to be used metaphorically and emotively rather than scientifically or legally, usually to signify the occurrence of harmful behavior that is somehow related to the misuse of a networked computer system (Finnie, Petee, and Jarvis 10).
Largely an invention of the media, ‘cybercrime’ originally had no specific reference point in law and the offending that did become associated with the term was a rather narrow legal construction based upon concerns about hacking. In fact, many of the so-called cybercrimes that have caused concern over the past decade are not ethically crimes in criminal law.
However, regardless of its merits and demerits, the term ‘cybercrime’ has entered the public parlance and we are stuck with it. It is argued that the term has a greater meaning if we construct it in terms of the transformation of criminal or harmful behavior by networked technology, rather than simply the behavior itself.
This is an interesting happenstance within the context of transformation thesis, because although the contemporary meaning of ‘cyber’ is firmly linked to technological innovation, its origins lie in the Greek Kubernetes, which is also the root of the word ‘govern’.
More by happenstance than plan, the word cyber and crime interrelates linguistically. This linkage becomes more significant if we understand cybercrimes as the crimes which are mediated (governed) by networked technology and not just computer.
Finnie, Toby, Petee Tom, and Jarvis John. The Future Challenges of Cybercrime: Volume 5 Proceedings of the Futures Working Group. Quantico, Virginia 2010. Print.