Over the past several decades, the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes has become more prevalent. We continue to develop technology for everything from governmental interactions, commerce, to entertainment, which in turn affects individuals and the global community as a whole. With an immense span of technologies comes an equally immense spectrum of so-called “Cybercrimes.” On one side of the spectrum, there are crimes that attempt to disrupt the inner workings of the internet. These range anywhere from hacking to acts of cyber-terrorism. In the middle of the spectrum there are transnational crimes such as fraud, trafficking, money laundering, etc. On the other end of the spectrum there are fundamental breaches of individual security such as identity theft and blackmail.
Most forms of cybercrime exploit information taken from individuals, corporations, or governments. These attacks aim to strike at the corporate or personal virtual presence. In this digital age, virtual identities are essential elements of everyday life. As such, attacks on these virtual identities have led to increasing international response. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been tasked with creating a number of measures to help member-states cope with the rising dangers of cybercriminal activities. A number of GA resolutions have already been passed authorizing solutions ranging from the creation of a group of experts to establishing the Global Programme on Cybercrime. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of addressing the issue cybercrime, though, is its truly global nature. Some create extortion schemes targeting anyone regardless of physical borders and perpetrators are capable of organizing illicit acts from halfway around the world, using further technologies to cover their tracks almost completely.
The internet offers those wishing to conduct malicious acts a sense of anonymity. In order to identify such acts and actors, international cooperation is essential. Some questions to keep in mind when doing your research, how do data breaches impact the security of civilians, their rights, and their livelihoods? Is big data sentiment analysis a valid tool to fight cybercrime? What are the biggest trends in cybercrime currently? What are the risks of social media in relation to cybercrime?
UN Global Programme on Cybercrime:
GA Resolution 74/247: