Internet For Crimes And Conducting Terrorism

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Internet to be a useful tool for perpetrating crimes? conducting terrorism

Internet to be a useful tool for perpetrating crimes? conducting terrorism


The Swedish National Criminal Investigation Department stated that “as the number of Internet users increases? so does the criminal usage of the Internet”? indeed there were “clear indications that the Internet and other IT structures are to an increasing extent being used in criminal contexts” (SNCID? 1998). The FBI recently declared that cyber crime (crimes perpetrated with the assistance of Internet services):

… represented the most fundamental challenge for law enforcement in the 21st Century. By its very nature? the cyber environment is borderless? affords easy anonymity and methods of concealment and provides new tools to engage in criminal activity (Vatis? 2000).

The Chief Constable of Fife Constabulary (in Scotland) commented on the difficulties investigators face as they tackle criminal exploitation of the Internet. He pointed out that (Hamilton? 2000):

continents may separate crimes with offenders and victims at different locations;

offences could be measured in seconds yet they occur in different time zones;

political (national) boundaries were usually ignored;

new crimes were emerging (i.e. on-line harassment? cyber stalking and hacking); and

encryption techniques enabled offenders to securely communicate worldwide.

In May 2001? the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice discussed international cooperation to combat transnational crime. The use of technologies that supported criminal activities were described:

Dedicated security products such as firewalls and encryption software shield criminal communications from interception or intrusion just as effectively as they protect legitimate communications (CCP? 2001).

The commission recognised that Internet technologies were enabling new forms of criminal organisation and cited paedophile offenders (with their ability to locate another and exchange materials anonymously) as an example of a new form of cooperation not covered by existing definitions of organised crime:

Sophisticated criminals can readily use the easy anonymity that the Internet provides to hide their crimes (Holder? 2001).

For example? in an effort to hinder a police investigation of drug organisations in Holland? criminals from an information warfare division established to support organised crime collected information via eavesdropping and decrypting communications of attorneys? police officers and government officials. By analysing the data collected? the criminals were able to determine which law enforcement and justice units were collaborating on the investigation (Denning? 1999). The information warfare division was reported to work in loosely-coupled cell structures that were illusive and difficult to capture - a common trait of organised criminal groups.

This paper aims to raise the awareness of criminal uses of the Internet. By focussing upon the Internet facilities and practices used by both the paedophile and hacker communities? it is obvious to see how organised crime groups can use global communications facilities to aid anonymity in their activities. The paper concludes with a realisation that individual rights to privacy may have to be subdued in an effort to reduce cyber crime and use of the Internet for criminal activities.

Individual right to privacy

An individual's right to privacy provides an ongoing obstruction to law ...
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