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NCJ Number: 193331 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Corruption in the Digital Age
Journal: Journal of International Affairs  Volume:51  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 1998  Pages:605-620
Author(s): Louise I. Shelley
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 16
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper focuses on three problem areas that exemplify the changing nature of crime facilitated by the growth of high technology: corruption in financial markets, encryption, and child pornography on the Internet.
Abstract: Corruption in financial markets is facilitated by the numerous wire transfers, faxes, and Internet connections that move money with increasing speed around the world. U.S. Justice Department officials estimate that sophisticated computer techniques permit thieves to steal $10 billion annually from American financial institutions. Such offenses committed by criminal organizations and legitimate businesses motivated to maximize profits in highly competitive global markets require a re-evaluation of the severity of crime. Further, the share of the world's economy attributable to illegitimate capital has increased significantly. Illicit drug-related financial flows, for example, represent a significant portion of international economic activity. In the future, illicit capital will assume a more prominent share of the world financial markets. The ability of criminal groups to move funds through international banks, financial institutions, and corporations means that law enforcement must develop new and more sophisticated means of countering criminal methods. This is a competition that law enforcement agencies cannot win under current circumstances. The future of encryption policy is under debate as the need to protect sensitive communications moves beyond the traditional national security area. It is critical that industries, notably in the financial services sector, must secure their computerized transactions and proprietary information. In addition, law enforcement authorities must have secure communications channels to coordinate their investigations. Encryption also makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to trace the proceeds of the crime or to unravel the records required to investigate and prosecute the offense. Child pornography on the Internet is a new aspect of criminal activity that has precipitated a swift law enforcement response as well as new forms of public-private sector cooperation. Overall, the new criminal methods facilitated by the Digital Age require international cooperation and the development of creative ways to address problems that are outside the jurisdiction of individual countries. 41 footnotes
Main Term(s): Computer related crime
Index Term(s): Child Pornography; Embezzlement; Encryption; Fraud; Investigative techniques; White collar crime; White collar crime causes
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