Globalizationof Crimes — A Focus on Cyber Crimes
Theaim of this paper has been to explore the issues in the globalizationof cybercrimes. It has been established that there are various formsof cybercrimes, cyberbullying, identity theft, phishing, andspoofing, which are all rampant and are having far reachingconsequences on the society. It has also been established thatvarious countries have instituted measures to address different formsCybercrimes. However, all these efforts have been challenged by thefact that the world is highly globalized, making it relatively easyfor perpetrators to commit crimes to any region, from any position onthe earth, yet there are disagreements among countries on the issueof cybercrimes. The agreements on substantive matters areparticularly limited.
Webtechnological breakthroughs are one of the areas that the current canpride itself. Indeed, the web has gained a lot of popularity, poweredby the technological advancements. The internet has ushered in manyopportunities. For instance, the products of web technologies such asthe social media continue to play a crucial role in supporting theglobalization process, creating the allowance for people to interactseamlessly as if they were in one region. Moreover, businesses arealso exploiting the opportunities on the web through onlinemarketing, retailing, and brand promotions. In essence, the webtechnologies are supporting social and economic process in differentways that the society would never have anticipated.
However,the evolution and growth of popularity of web have been characterizedby one inherent challenge — cybercrimes. There are various forms ofcybercrimes such as identity theft, cyber bullying, spamming,hacking, and phishing. The statistics are particularly documented andreveal the issue is rampant and having far-reaching consequences onthe society. According to Hazelden Foundation (2012), one in ten webusers are victim to cybercrimes. Besides, according to Messner(2012), companies in the US lose an average total of 525 million USdollars per year. Besides the economic challenges, cybercrimes canalso result to social issues such psychological problems, dependingon the nature of the crime (Thiel, 2012).
Inthis regard, cybercrimes have far-reaching consequences and call forremedial interventions. While the society has acknowledged thecriticality of the need to combat the issue, the processes have beenparticularly constrained by the globalized nature of cybercrimes, inwhich an offender can commit in different places across the border.This paper explores the issues in the globalization of cybercrimes.
MajorIncidents of Cyber Crimes
Variousforms of cybercrimes call for cross-border interventional measures.The most notable forms include data breaches, cyber fraud, hacking,cyber bullying.
Databreaches include all the activities related to unauthorized access,disclosure and use of personal, organizational or informationbelonging to particular groups from the internet. This form ofcybercrime accounts for most cases of the data breach, yet relatedcases have been on the rise. Common targets have been softwarecompanies, health records, and businesses that account for a highcombined percentage of 93 percent (Thiel, 2012). These acts aremainly perpetrated by individuals who are aware of the nature of thesystems, most likely former employees of those companies and firms.The effects of hacking include access loss or leakage of criticaldata.
Cyberfraud is the case of using the software with the intention ofdefrauding victims or taking advantage to perpetrate maliciousactivities against victims. It involves unauthorized access topersonal and private information of the victim leading to identitytheft. An example of identity theft is the use of the rogue softwareto steal the identity and commit fraud.
Purchasefraud is exhibited when perpetrator carries out business transactionsonline sellers then uses fraudulent means to pay for the goods. Insome cases, the sellers do not get payments at all as much as thecredit card payments have been accepted. In some cases, they pose asproduct marketers on the internet, only when payments have been made,is when buyers realize the perpetrator does not even exist.
Hacking,also known as network intrusion, is unauthorized access into networkswith the intention of intercepting information from the networks orwebsites for use in fraud related and criminal activities. Networkintrusions can lead to a decrease in the network speed and extremecases, total paralysis of the system can occur. Confidentiality ofcompany websites is not always guaranteed and malicious entries canbe performed on the site. In the case where the perpetrators takefull control of the site, records concerning staff and otherfinancial records can be altered (Thiel, 2012).Cyberbullying involves the transfer of abuses to intimidate other people.It has been cited to constitute internet security breaches recentlyand has since taken a tough course especially among the youth. It haspresented much of a challenge since currently there does not existintervention technique despite growing users.
GlobalInterventions to Cybercrimes
Thecountries across the globe acknowledge the problematic nature of thecybercrimes and show commitment to address it through three ways: thelegal and regulatory measure, technical measures, and technicalcollaboration.
Legaland Regulatory Measures
Regulatoryinterventions entail the use of laws. Various legal steps have beenformulated to fight cybercrimes especially after considerableadvancement in technology from the early 1980s. Areas that are ingreat danger from these vices include computer systems,communication, and infrastructure and cyberspace. For instance, thegovernment of the United States of America has played a leading rolein formulating its first federal computer crime statute, computerfraud and abuse Act of 1984(CFAA). Numerous criminal activities arehighlighted in the law. Including obtaining national securityinformation, trespassing government computers, access to defraud,damaging computers or information, trafficking passwords, threateningto destroy computers and compromising confidentiality (Quinlan,2012). These offenses were taken to be criminally punishable whencommitted against computers and systems that are defined by beingexclusively under use for financial institutions or the government ofthe United States of America, systems under the interstate, foreigncommerce, and communication. (Quinlan, 2012).
Besides,in 1986, the United States Congress enacted the ElectronicCommunications Privacy Act (ECPA) to extend government restrictionson wiretaps from telephone calls to incorporate electronic data,prohibiting unauthorized data access.
Othercrucial steps taken against cybercrimes involved the enactment of thecyber security act of the year 2010 that sought to increasecollaboration between public and private sectors to addresscybercrimes. This move enlightened the globe by bringing to light thecriticality of the cybercrime level and evolutionary trends.Henceforth, many acts have been created to blend with the previousacts with the aim of sealing loopholes that have been allowing thecrime to grow roots. Some of the acts that has been enacted to fightcybercrime include National Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996,Cyberspace Electronic Security Act of 1999, Digital MillenniumCopyright Act (DMCA) 1998, Patriot Act of 2001and the Cyber Safeservice project which helps in educating internet users about theneed for personal computer security (Messner, 2012).
Technologicalmeasures involve designing and creating steady internetinfrastructures by including features and applications that reduceany unauthorized access to personal data and systems, for instance,cloud computing, encryption and surveillance systems.
Coldcomputing, for example, creates a backup for data and makesinfrastructures more resilient against attacks. Besides, encryptionmethods were developed to curb vices such as phishing, smishing, andunauthorized interceptions of data. More so, the federal bureau ofinvestigations of the US developed a computer surveillance systemthat is capable of intercepting data packets that can be deployed onthe internet to study traffic and identify cybercrimes.
Telecommunicationcompanies serving on both national and international fronts have beencoerced onto a common ground to enable them to fight cybercrimes.Several pacts and partnerships have been agreed upon to form abenchmark that all parties should adhere to. Both public and privatepartnerships have emerged for the purpose of consultation, naming andnumbering statutes. For example, in 2006, the Internet Corporationfor Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signed an agreement with theUnited States Department of Commerce (United States Department ofCommerce as partners in the multi-stakeholder model of consultation.In 2008, the second annual cyber storm conference consisting of 4foreign governments, nine states, 40 private companies and 18 federalagencies was held. Nevertheless, U.S. Department of Homeland Securityand the Federal Trade Commission launched the campaign termed theNational Cyber Security Alliance`s public to champion cybercrimeawareness. Continued sentiments have been aired to Internet serviceproviders to fight cybercrime to earn trust from consumers (Thiel,2012).
TheRole of International Cooperation
Variousinternational agencies are agitating for international cooperation tocombat cybercrimes. The notable examples of these organizations areUnited Nations and the Council of Europe.
Forinstance, the United Nations general assembly adopted a resolution in1990 for computer crime. It followed up with recommendations forcombating criminal misuse of information technology and criminalmisuse of information technology during it general assembliesin2000and 2002 respectively. Similarly, The Council of Europe is aninternational organization that concerns itself with the developmentof democracy and human rights among its 47 member states. Itenvisions providing the basis of a sound legal framework for thefight against cybercrime. It participated in the first internationalconvention on cybercrime draft in 2001that included USA, Canada, andJapan, though only 25 countries of the European Union ratified(Quinlan, 2012).
TheRole Regional Responses
Apartfrom international agencies, various regional bodies are also engagedto combat cybercrimes. Examples of the local response examplesinclude Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Organization forEconomic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Forinstance, The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aims topromote open trade and enhance economic cooperation in theAsia-pacific region. It has spearheaded reforms through creatingdeclarations among its member states. It participated in the Shanghaideclaration in 2002 to enable interaction of economies of its membersas well as streamlining information sharing, legal development andsecurity and technical guidelines, training and education and publicawareness (In Defense of Data, 2013).
Organizationfor Economic Cooperation and Development, on the other hand, is a34-member organization on the international that traces its root backin 1961. It adopted and implemented the guidelines for informationsecurity that was drafted by a committee from Computer Communicationand Policy (ICCP). In 2002, OECD announced the completion ofimplementations that would help member states forge a journey towardsa culture of security.
ChallengesIn Dealing with Cyber Crimes — The Case Of The Us Against The World
Likeother technologically advanced countries, the United States has beenat the forefront of leading the world in combating cybercrimes on theglobal front. The United States has ratified various conventions onCybercrimes, including participating actively through accessions toG8/OECD/APEC/OAS/U.S.-China cooperation to eliminate cybercrimes.Apart from the regional and global cooperation, the US has alsoengaged in taking radical actions in dealing with cybercrimesperpetrated against it.
TheUS Federal cybercrime provision code 1030 gives jurisdiction toprosecute any activity that targets the Federal Government. TheUnited States has made various legal amends for authorities to coverall incidents of cybercrimes across borders. However, certainsubstantive issues challenge the process (Caney, 2005).
Mostnotable of these actions is the case of Alexey Ivanov and VasiliyGorshkov, the Russian natives who hacked the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation (FBI) system. The FBI deployed intelligence to trackthem, luring them to come to the US with a job promise ruse. The twowere eventually arrested and their personal computers confiscated asthe evidence of the committed cybercrimes. The issue elicitedcriticism, questioning the legitimacy of the action.
Anothersimilar incidence that brought United States decision in the lamelight was the 2000 Lovebug Virus, which originated from thePhilippines. Within a short time after its launch, it hadsignificantly affected over 20 countries. FBI investigations pointedto Guzman as the virus creator. However, arrests and extradition werehampered by the fact that the action was not illegal in thePhilippines. Guzman was only charged with credit card fraud inPhilippine a court, and later acquitted for lack of evidence.
Inthis regard, it is worth acknowledging that various countries haveinstituted measures to address different forms Cybercrimes. However,all these efforts have been challenged by the fact that the world ishighly globalized, making it relatively easy for perpetrators from tocommit a crime to any region, from any position on the earth. Whilesome countries have instituted legal measures, they do not applybeyond borders. International communities have also ventured ondeliberating and initiating legal action (Messner, 2012).
However,agreements on substantive issues are particularly limited (Messner,2012). For instance, activities of concocting worms and launchingthem on the internet are illegal is some parts of the world. As such,a person found to engage in cybercrime activities that spread wormsis likely to be prosecuted in various courts of countries affected bythe worms. In some cases, the prosecution can be consecutive.However, in practice, few countries are in the position of claimingjurisdictions (Nnap, 2014). This is partly because some assume othercountries would have incurred severe damages to consider it apriority to prosecute. These reflect how tricky dealing withcybercrimes across the borders is. Certain actions that are done onthe internet may be legal in countries where they are initiated, butillegal in other countries that have access to the web content.Clearly, there are various conflicts pertaining jurisdictions. Ifanything, there are no explicit stipulations on what may be aconstituent of the jurisdictions. One of the problematic question iswho and what do cybercrimes attack. Is it the place in which the actis carried out that is attacked, the location of the effects, thenation or the users of the attacked computers? Every country appearsto have different approaches (Quinlan, 2012). Indeed,the statutesthat have been enacted in the past years are highly divergent.
Jurisdictionis a constituent of various concepts that revolve aroundadjudication, prescription, and enforcement. All the types ofjurisdictions have been outlined based on territories. As such, anation owns the authority in prescribing what is not wrong, andactions to take against the violators. This concept is a derivativeof the fundamental sovereignty identity principle, which stipulatesthat a sovereign country have the authority to take legal actionsagainst perpetrators, excluding the role of other states (In Defenseof Data, 2013). This has been the basic principle that governs UnitedStates` jurisdiction on cybercrimes. This is depicted by the decisionin the case UnitedFruit Company Versus American Banana,which stipulated that the country affected, and not the source of thecrime decide an act of the offense, but countries may always havedivided interests (In Defense of Data, 2013).
Currently,a nation possesses jurisdiction of prescribing law based on conductthat takes place within its territories, the status of interests andperson within its nations, the events beyond borders that may affectit and actions of individuals beyond borders that are not necessarilydone by citizens.
Inconclusion, the aim of this paper has been to explore the issues inthe globalization of cybercrimes. It has been established that thereare various forms of cybercrimes, cyber bullying, identity theft,phishing, and spoofing, which are all-rampant and are having farreaching consequences on the society. It has also been establishedthat various countries have instituted measures to address differentforms Cybercrimes.
However,all these efforts have been challenged by the fact that the world ishighly globalized, making it relatively easy for perpetrators tocommit crimes to any region, from any position on the earth, yetthere are disagreements among countries on the issue of cybercrimes —agreements on substantive matters are particularly limited. The 2000Alexey Ivanov and Vasiliy Gorshkov arrests by the US, steering sharpthat felt the international law had been contravened, is an exampleof challenges that countries have to contend in dealing withcross-border cybercrimes. Another example that brought United Statesdecision in the lame light was the 2000 Lovebug Virus, whichoriginated from the Philippines and which the perpetrators could notbe arrested because the cybercrime was not considered illegal in thecountry.
Thearbitrating principle is that based on sovereignty identity, whichstipulates sovereign countries have the authority to take legalactions against perpetrators, excluding the role of other states.This has been the fundamental principle that governs United States`jurisdiction on cybercrimes, which is particularly limited because itcannot assure collaboration between countries. In this regard, thereis still a lot that needs to be done to address rampant cybercrimes.
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