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Introduction

Computer crime also termed as cyber-crime is used to refer to any kind of crime with the computer and the Network as the main tool of perpetration. The issues that surround this type of crime have become highly sophisticated, particularly those that involve hacking, the copyright infringement, and child pornography, computer crime also involves the loss of privacy where the available confidential information is misplaced or intercepted, unlawfully (Swetman, & Michael, 2001).

Advanced computer crimes are a new breed of white-collar offenses that can be singular or ongoing and typically involve the theft of information, resources, or funds online. High-tech computer crimes the cost on line consumers of goods, services and information. Millions of people access the Internet on daily basis both in the United States and Canada alone, and in the whole world the number of people entering the cyberspace to get the services is growing rapidly. The fraudulent acts on the internet are extremely dangerous to the clients. The effort of enforcing the law on the Internet falls for a number of different agencies. In the United States the agencies include; The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Secret Service, and the state attorney general are offices. These assign the personnel to act as the cyber cops. The Federal government in the United States has attempted to introduce legislations which proscribe the use of a computer for extortion purposes as well as the use of the computers in a way that intentionally harasses the recipient of information.
Analysis of the criminal intent and the methodologies involved in the utilization of information systems to perpetrate that specific type of crime by individuals or organizations.

Cyber terrorism

According to Swetman & Michael Cyber terrorism is the use of the Internet based attacks in to perpetrate terrorist activities which include the acts of deliberate disruption of the computer networks, especially the personal computers with internet connections; this can be through the software based tools such as the computer viruses. Cyber terrorism involves the deployments of renowned terrorist organizations; this disruption attacks the information systems with the aim of creating widespread alarm and panic.

Cyber terrorism is a computer crime that targets the computer networks without necessarily affecting the real world computer infrastructure. There is much concern from different governments of the world and the media sources about the potential damages caused by cyber terrorism; consequently this prompts the official responses from the government agencies.
In one such case, in May 2007 Estonia was exposed to mass cyber-attack as a result of the attempt to remove a Russian World War II war memorial from downtown Tallinn. This attack involved the distributed denial-of-service in which some sites were bombarded with heavy traffic that tended to force them offline, the Estonian government ministry networks and two major Estonian bank networks rendered inaccessible. Under the same instant the political party website of Estonia's current Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was attacked by terrorist groups which published a counterfeit letter of apology from the Prime minister for having removed the memorial statue. In response to the widespread speculations that the Russian government to this scandal the Estonian defense minister confirmed that he had no evidence that linked the cyber attacks to the Russian authorities. Following the investigations by the government agencies, In January 2008 a man from Estonia was convicted for having masterminded the attacks on the Estonian Reform Party website (Colarik, 2006).

The impact of these crimes

The computer crimes such as cyber terrorism can cause simple propaganda in the Internet. This causes negative impacts on the economy through disruption of the economic activities such as tourism activities and e-commerce. Hacking activities that are directed towards the individuals, the families by the organized groups within the networks, tends to cause fear amongst people through the demonstration of power, collecting of private information that can ruin the peoples' lives and fuel robbery activities or blackmailing.

Federal laws and enforcement mechanisms designed to discourage computer crime. Laws have been set up which aims at increasing the internet privacy protection, the federal laws set up in the United States is based on the following legislations in the case of United States.

USA Patriot Act

This Act was enacted in October 2001 by former US President Bush, it enhances the law enforcement investigatory tools to investigate online all the on line activities, and discourage the terrorist acts within the United States networks and around the world. This act helps to reduce the restrictions in order to allow the law enforcement agencies to search for various means of combating computer crime and investigation of the various tools of communication such as the telephone, e-mail, and the personal records which include the medical and financial, it also paves the way to obtain the foreign intelligence (Colarik).

Electronic Communications Privacy Act

This act outlaws the individuals from revealing of electronic information that contains a few exceptions. Under this Act the ISP is allowed to view private e-mail messages in case the sender is suspected of having made attempts to damage the computer systems interconnected through the internet system or attempting to cause harm to another user. The ISP is also allowed to reveal information in the message if the sender or recipient has disclosed it. The information on personal information can also be revealed for the court order or the law enforcement agencies' requirement.

The US Department of Justice has significantly progressed in the international area; it has been found that there are deviations in the cultural and legal contexts between the United States and other world nations in relation to the disclosure of data, especially the sharing of information by the online consumer transactions. Mechanisms have been set to protect the legitimate privacy and the interests of individual citizens in various countries to allow only critical information to be shared among law enforcement agencies. The recognition of the anonymity and pseudonymity in transactions ensures online protection against the criminals to encourage the development of solutions.

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