The Future Of Digital Crime And Digital Terrorism Research Paper Samples
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Social Issues, Crime, Law, Government, Terrorism, Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement
Advancement in technology coupled with widespread use of internet has facilitated exchange of information, ideas, and culture across nations. As a result of this, nations have expanded and developed effective communication and networking channels that enable people from to share and exchange information easily, thus promoting sustainable economic development and political stability in the region. Today, the world has become a “global village”, following the wide use of internet and various applications of information communication technologies. Documented reports affirm that there are more than 5 billion mobile connections, and about 3 billion internet users, in the whole world (KPMG International, 2011). It is also estimated that more than 300 billion emails coupled with nearly 4 billion messages are exchanged through the internet and mobile phones, daily. Most people depend on these information technologies to exchange and share vital information, ideas and opinions with others because mobile phones and internet are convenient, accurate and cost effective.
However, as the world continues to embrace technological advancement and relay on digital networks, criminals and terrorism groups continue to invent new ingenious ways to fuel digital terrorism and digital crimes, thus raising security concerns to the federal government, law enforcement agencies and the international community. Most criminals and terrorism groups employ the available hacking tools and their vast knowledge in operating computerized systems, to inflict terror on internet users and civilians, organize nuisance digital attacks on government agencies, and commit crimes related to fraud and the infringement of copyrights.
Overall Impact of Utilizing Information Technologies in Combatting Digital Crimes and Terrorism
As a result of high number of incidents associated with digital crimes and digital terrorism, the American government has developed different strategies and implemented effective policies to combat the vice. Other countries have joined America in fighting against digital terrorism and other digital crimes. Although this is the case, it is important to acknowledge that law enforcement agencies in America utilize information technologies to combat digital terrorism and digital crime. The use of information technologies in combatting this vice has numerous impacts on various facets of the society, especially the economy docket.
Arguably, the use of informational technologies to combat digital terrorism and digital crimes has played an integral role in reducing the amount of money the federal government losses every year, as a result of restoring, protecting and maintaining digital infrastructure. According to a report released by the Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2009, indicates that the American government incurs an estimate cost of about $44 billion, annually, in restoring, maintaining, protecting its digital infrastructure (KPMG International, 2011). The report also affirmed that, in 2009, the American government used more than $570 million to pay charges related to digital crime response, investigations, and to compensate people affected by digital crimes and digital terrorism. Although incidents of digital crimes and digital terrorism have negatively affected America’s economic growth and development, the use of information technologies has enabled law enforcement agencies to prevent criminals from committing digital crimes and engaging in digital terrorism; a move that has reduced government’s expenditure on combatting this vice. Therefore, reducing the amount of money the federal government losses through digital terrorism and digital crimes remains the overall economic impact of utilizing information technologies to combat cyberspace related crimes.
Challenges within the America’s Law Enforcement Agencies
Scholars affirm that land, air, space, and sea are the common battle fields where war is fought, but cyberspace provides a new platform for war. Like other nations, America has recorded numerous digital crimes and digital terrorism incidents in the last few decades; a move that compelled the federal government to join efforts with other nations in addressing and combatting this vice. In an attempt to fight against digital crimes and digital terrorism, the federal government has enacted pieces of legislations and provided its law enforcement agencies with resources to curb the vice. A part from involving the law enforcement agencies, the federal government has incorporated other governmental quotas and agencies including the America’s Department of Commerce in its efforts to combat digital crimes and digital terrorism. For instance, in 2011, the American’s Department of Commerce declared that it was planning to institute a new office that will provide internet users with trusted identity cards and enhance the use of trusted technologies. In 2010, a new enforcement unit was established within the America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, denoted as (FBI), to deal with digital crimes and digital terrorism in the country (Management Association, 2011). To a large extent, these efforts have significantly reduced incidents of digital crimes and digital terrorism in the country, but challenges within the law enforcement agencies are negatively affecting the efforts of law enforcement officers and the federal government to address this problem effectively.
Lack of cooperation between various the law enforcement agencies and the private sector remains one of the key challenges, which result from the independent nature of America’s law enforcement agencies, and one that derails the government’s effort to combat digital terrorism and digital crimes. Like in other countries, the America’s law enforcement agencies do not share sensitive security information with the private sector and other non-governmental agencies. As a result of this, the law enforcement agencies lack adequate information that may be essentially in identifying, arresting and prosecuting criminals who commit digital crimes and digital terrorism. In certain instances, the law enforcement agencies may have the necessary resources and information to curb this vice, but lack of cooperation between law enforcement officers; within the varied law enforcement agencies interferes with the whole process. In most cases, lack of cooperation among the law enforcement agencies emanates from the fact that there are specialized law enforcement units, which deal with issues of digital crime and digital terrorism.
As a result, other law enforcement are deprived the power and authority to deal with such issues it is not under their mandate, and this makes it difficult for the federal government to combat digital terrorism and other digital crimes.
Additionally, there is an acute shortage of skilled and experienced law enforcement officers and experts to fight and implement measures to address the issue of digital crimes and digital terrorism within the America’s law enforcement agencies. Although this is a challenge affecting many nations, the America’s law enforcement agencies, as a result of their independent nature, fail to collaborate with the private sector that recruits and hires more experts and professionals with e-forensic skills to combat digital crimes and terrorism. As a result, there are many unresolved cases and investigations related to digital crimes pending in courts because of shortage of experts and professionals with e-forensic skills in the country (Rosenzweig, 2013).
In order to address these challenges, the federal government should adopt a strategy that promotes collaboration between the private sector and the law enforcement agencies. Currently, the private sector owns, manages and regulates a large portion of the cyberspace network. As a result, the private sector is in a better position to identify criminals fuelling digital crimes and can take appropriate measures to prevent and counter cyberspace threats (KPMG International, 2011).
Aligning the Efforts of the Federal Agencies
A part from formulating and enacting policies and laws to curb and combat digital crimes and digital terrorism, the federal government can design and adopt a new strategy that is anchored on aligning the efforts of federal agencies to address this issue effectively. In essence, aligning the efforts of federal agencies can play an integral role in combatting digital crimes and digital terrorism in the country. In order to achieve this fundamental goal, the federal government should formulate policies and procedures, which evaluate and assess efforts of each federal agency, uphold the principle of separation of power, and promotes cooperation between the federal agencies. At the moment, the federal government has instituted different federal agencies, which are assigned varied roles and responsibilities in respect to combatting digital crimes and digital terrorism, but lack of clear guidelines on separation of power negatively affects their efforts and determination to fight against cybercrimes. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security, denoted as (DHS), and the Office of Management and Budget, denoted as (OMB), perform different oversight roles in addressing cyber security issues, but OMB has delegated some of its oversight roles to DHS, thus creating confusing among the officials of various federal agencies (Wall, 2008). In this regard, there is a need for the federal government to formulate and enact policies and procedures to align the efforts of federal agencies to combat digital crimes and cyber terrorism.
Future trends in digital crimes and digital terrorism
It is difficult to project how the digital crime domain would look like in the near future, but it is obvious that the current trends in digital crimes and digital terrorism will evolve and new ones would emerge. As technology advances, criminals will design new ingenious ways to fuel digital crimes and digital terrorism. In the future, criminals would mainly employ cloud technology to execute their criminal activities, and use advance hacking tools to facilitate fraud, money laundry and other forms of digital crimes. Although this is the case, I believe that law enforcement agencies and other national cyber security bodies would design and employ sophisticated measures to counteract digital attacks and combat digital terrorism and digital crimes in the country.
The federal government can adopt a strategy that involves the use of media and other communication channels to enhance public awareness and education about digital crimes and digital terrorism. The strategy will equip the public with relevant knowledge and skills, which will help them to identify and address cyber-related crimes.
Management Association, (2011).Cyber Crime: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications. New York: IGI Global.
KPMG International, (2011). Retrieved March 16, 2015, from https://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/cyber-crime.pdf
Rosenzweig, P. (2013). Cyber warfare how conflicts in cyberspace are challenging America and changing the world. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger.
Wall, D. (2008). Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social Science Fiction (s) and the Production of Knowledge about Cybercrime. Information, Communication & Society,, 11(6), 861-884.