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Responses to cybercrime

The information superhighway does have benefits for law enforcement agencies. Although its potential has yet to be realized, the use of technology for general public relations, for the communication of basic information for crime prevention, and for the exchange of information in furtherance of criminal investigation may be expected to increase dramatically in years ahead. Already photographs displayed on the Internet have led to the arrest of fugitives. The activities of pornographers and software pirates (as well as innocent criminologists) may be traced effectively using information available on the Internet.

This raises the question about prevention of internet crime, and the extent to which the principles of terrestrial crime prevention may be applied in cyberspace. Opportunity reduction and target hardening, which have become key elements of situational crime prevention, would appear to be as applicable to information systems as to residential dwellings. Whether principles of developmental crime prevention will be similarly generalizable is open to question.

It does in any event appear that technological solutions will play a significant role in ensuring security and prosperity in cyberspace. Few would argue that computer security will be one of the growth industries of the next century. In addition to more rigorous management practices and the introduction of more sophisticated password and verification procedures, new technologies such as biometric security devices and anomaly detection computer software help alert users to system weaknesses and enhance the security of computer systems themselves.

Grabosky P 1998. Crime and technology in the global village, paper presented at the Internet crime conference, 16-17 Feb 1998

See also : Legal issues; Internet regulation

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