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lisa muthoni

Senior Banking Loan Consultant, Bank / Financial Services

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How will crimes in cyberspace challenge traditional approaches to the investigation and prosecution of crime?

Information is increasingly being produced in digital format. New communications technologies bring unprecedented opportunities for improving access to information and technology has the potential to improve communication and access for those disadvantaged by distance or economic circumstances. However, we also know that if reasonable access to copyright works is not maintained in the digital environment, a further barrier will be erected which will deny access to those who cannot afford to pay.

Kindly give your answers/ illustrations from the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking, computer viruses, online economic espionage, cyberterrorism, national sovereignty, and civil liberties online.

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    Oct 20 2012: The main way cybercrime challenges traditional approaches to investigation of crimes, is in terms of annihilating our own personal privacy. Our governments have adopted the stance that the best way to investigate a crime, is to constantly (24x7x365.242) record every digital signal on the planet - every email, phone call, text message - and now, 1000's of drone aircraft flying in U.S. airspace spying on U.S. citizens. Allegedly, our security agencies record this just in case there's a terrorist we might pick up, or if we discover something in the future and want to go back over the records. And sadly, our federal government is happy to share this data with state and local agencies.

    You might be thinking, "hey wait - that doesn't challenge a traditional approach to an investigation - it turbo charges it!". Yup, it does. The challenge is to us citizens, not to governmental agencies.

    I am personally dismayed at how most people don't seem to care about our loss of privacy - adopting the attitude of something like "Hey, I have nothing to hide" or "if it makes us safer..."
    • Oct 21 2012: I agree with you that this invasion of privacy is outrageous. However, in the current sorry state of the world I think the governments are going to continue to gather all the information they can, from every possible source, regardless of the wishes of the citizens. I am afraid that the best outcome we can realistically hope for is to make all of this information available to the public. If the government keeps all of this information secret it provides them with a huge source of power. By using selected parts of it they could mislead the public to go in any direction they chose. If we can all share all of the information, the people will be able to make wiser decisions.
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      Oct 22 2012: The thing the "i've got nothing to hide" crowd don't understand is the amount of information going in and out of your computer overwhich you have no control (cookies spam malware auto updates from everyone) but I'm sure the authorities wiouldn't hesitate to hold you respnsible for if something bad happens.
  • Oct 20 2012: The global reach of the internet makes it a very different problem for detectives and prosecutors.

    It still might help to put this in perspective by researching the changes caused by other technologies such as the telegraph and telephone.

    One effect of the automobile was speed, but it also let us go farther. In the USA this meant it was much easier to cross state boundaries to escape the local police.

    I wish I could answer your question more directly, but I find this issue overwhelming. I hope some detectives and prosecutors will contribute, but I suspect they might be too busy.
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    Oct 18 2012: The main difference prior to "cyberspace" is in the change of geographical scope the crimes can be commited. There are other issues too, but prior to the entire world having "access" to everybody else, crimes were commited within geographical borders governed by the laws of those borders. If somebody was going to steal my money, they had to physically assault me and take it from my body (most of the time). Now, somebody with a laptop in Outer Mongolia could access my bank account using "cyber crime", and the laws of my country may not be able to prosecute them.

    The nature of "warfare" has felt the same changes. If you wanted to conduct espionage against a country, you had to do it through outside surveillance techniques (or plant a "spy" inside the country) to gather information, but still had to put "somebody" within the borders of the country to actually carry out the destructive act. Not so today...some incredible damage could be caused to a country's economy, public infrastructures, and a variety of other things with a laptop half-way across the world.

    International Law is still struggling to catch up to these changes. Of course, International Laws only work if somebody wants to follow them. So, if you are attacked today through cyberspace, you need to have other "options" available to you to try to defeat the attacks, both now and in the future. The "traditional approaches to the investigation and prosecution of crime" are in many ways not applicable to cyberspace crime.

    The above is just one aspect of your question. I'm sure many other aspects will get posted by other members here.
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    Oct 17 2012: a very relevant discussion.

    i think the law must change because things ain't happening like they once used to. the internet is a consumer's tool not a producer-owned means of making more money.

    the change is happening across the board (music, films, IP) and if the law doesn't change, i think we can expect to be tracked and surveilled in the very near future. not a good situation for the next generation.
  • jey li

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    Oct 17 2012: nice post