Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Crime, Social Issues, Law, Criminal Justice, FBI, Internet, Enforcement, United States

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/03

Since the emergence of technology and the public’s usage of the internet, cyber and digital crimes have become the fastest growing types of crime, not only in the United States, but across the world. Due to the large amount of information that is posted on the internet on a daily basis, and the fact that everything on the internet is free for any person to use at their will, criminals believe that the computer screen stops them from being identified. In many cases the internet can conceal a person’s identity and it will become almost impossible for a law enforcement agency to track down and find that user. Many cyber or digital crimes include personal information such as social security numbers or birthdates of others being used. Other times the crimes are used to “hack” into a victim’s bank account or take other monies that are owed to them. Some of these crimes can be handled by local law enforcement agencies, but due to the crimes being committed outside of law enforcements jurisdiction, or outside of the country, the FBI and CIA have taken the task of leading the enforcement in cyber and digital crime.

The FBI has a vast cyber crime division that has been tasked with all types of digital crime that occur with suspects inside the United States of America. The first type of digital crime they are tasked with fighting are those people that try to take down cyber systems being used by companies or agencies. These include software programs in banks that are used to house customer’s information, or law enforcement agencies that are using computer automated dispatch systems such as 911. The FBI has a specialized group called the Computer Intrusion Section which handles these types of crimes onto various different organizations. The second kind of digital crime that is heavily investigated by the FBI is identity theft. Due to the last decades surge of every application for every governmental agency being online, the first type of crime, computer intrusion, has lead to the second crime of identity theft. Criminals can go online and steal every single type of information from your birth date and home address to the type of car you drive and license plate. With the investigation into identity theft the easiest way to make sure it doesn’t happen is education. “We use both our criminal and cyber resources—along with our intelligence capabilities—to identify and stop crime groups in their early stages and to root out the many types of perpetrators, which span our investigative priorities. We also tap into our investigative partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement (including dedicated task forces in major cities) as well as our information-sharing partnerships with every sector of business, government, and education.” (FBI, 2010) The third type of crime that the FBI conducts investigation on is the broad crime of fraud. This can include online banking fraud, internet scams, or usage of a victims IP address to commit other crimes. While these are only three of the kinds of digital crime that the FBI handles, there are several more they are heavily involved in, including digital underage pornography.
The FBI teams up with local and state law enforcement in over 93 different task forces to combat these crimes. They have an almost unlimited amount of resources when trying to combat these crimes, unlike local law enforcement. One of the biggest cyber or digital crime takedowns conducted by the FBI and their task force was called “Dark Market Takedown”. In this operation agents were able to make over 56 arrests and stop the lost of approximately $70 million dollars in funds and assets through the use of the internet. The FBI stated that, “A discerning group of cyber criminals established a forum on the Internet called “Dark Market,” where they bought and sold stolen financial information such as credit card data, login credentials (user names and passwords), and even electronic equipment for carrying out financial crimes.” (FBI, 2008)
In the past couple of decade’s law enforcement agencies across the country have noticed a dramatic change in organized crime, and their shift to cyber or digital crime. These criminal organizations are making this shift to digital or cyber crime due to the high reward and low risk that is associated with it. The congressional reports for organized crime have show that the Italian, Russian/Eurasian, Balkan, and South American crime syndicates have slowly moved towards cyber crime. (Finklea, 2012).

CIA

In regards to the CIA and cyber and digital crime, they have been tasked with combating and investigating these types of crimes from those suspects all over the world. The CIA works hand in hand with the FBI, in tracking down and hopefully extraditing those individuals that are involved in any crimes against United States victims. While the CIA is based throughout the world, they have multiple different divisions, or offices that help combat cyber and digital crime. Some of the offices that help with the investigations of cyber or digital crime include: Crime and Narcotics Center, Counterintelligence Center Analysis Group, Officer of Terrorism Analysis and Office of Transnational Issues. (CIA, 2014)
As mentioned above there has been a large shift by organized crime units throughout the world, switching to digital and cyber crimes. The CIA is able to help investigate, mainly through their Office of Transnational Issues office, the people in different countries that are making online Americans victims. The CIA has stated that there are six major crime syndicates arcoss the world that are using cyber crimes against those person s in the United States. These groups include: The Italian Mafia and their associates, the Khun Sa, Manuel Noreiga (General in Panama), The Russian Mafia, Yakuza, and the Mexican Mafia and associates. (Richards, 1998) Richards has stated that, even back in 1998, the big six crime syndicates were all moving to transnational cyber crimes in efforts to keep the risk very high, and the rewards very low. While the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are able to track down those victimizing American who live in America, they are having an extremely tough time tracking down those that are victimizing them from across the world.
The CIA has been focusing on the cyber attacks from across the world that are affecting the systems of government agencies, like the one seen in North Korea. In many instances countries and organizations that want to do harm to the United States and citizens, are trying to infiltrate the computer systems of governmental agencies. In a recent news article, the CIA is attempting to boost its cyber capabilities to combat cyber crime and attacks on the United States. The author stats that 10 new centers have been set up to help share information between departments to better allow the communication between them. “The new centers will ‘bring the full range of operational, analytic, support, technical and digital personnel and capabilities to bear on the nation's most pressing security issues,’ Brennan said. Each new center would be led by an assistant director who would be accountable for overall mission accomplishment in the field or geographic region assigned to their unit.”(Security week, 2015) These centers will help stop the inevitable cyber attacks that could stop the banking systems or governmental agencies from running properly.
Both the CIA and the FBI differ from local law enforcement agencies due to their vast amount of resources. As mentioned above jurisdictional boundaries restrict many of the state and local law enforcement agencies since cyber and digital crimes are conducted from other computer terminals in an unknown location. Many states are playing “catch-up” with their statues due to the evolution of the internet and privacy laws.

References

CIA Information (2014) Retrieved March 27th, 2015 from http://www.cia.gov/intelliganceandanalysis/whatwedo
CIA to Boost Cyber Capability in Sweeping Overhaul | SecurityWeek.Com. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.securityweek.com/cia-boost-cyber-capability-sweeping-overhaul
FBI Overview (2010, August 26). Retrieved March 15, 2015, from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cybercrime
Finklea, K. (2012). Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress.Congressional Research Service, 7. Retrieved March 15, 2015, from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40525.pdf
Richards, J. R. (1998). Transnational criminal organizations, cybercrime, and money laundering: a handbook for law enforcement officers, auditors, and financial investigators. CRC press.

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