- Online grooming, exploitation and sexual abuse of children
- Cyberstalking and harassment
- Responses to cybercrime
- Unsolicited bulk email ('spam')
Online grooming, exploitation and sexual abuse of children
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have created a new space in which children can both learn and play. It is a space of both opportunity and risk where they can develop but where they may also become the victims of crime or engage in illegal behaviour themselves.
ICT enables offenders to target children individually or collectively. Possible motives include personal gratification of the offender, often by way of sexual exploitation; making money; or enticing children to gain access to email or websites from which viruses may be launched or the security of the child's computer may be compromised.
ICT can also support criminal exploitation of children without the child being directly involved. For example, it may be used to facilitate access, storage, trade or possession of child pornography; to support information sharing among pedophile networks; and to assist with the organisation of illegal activities such as child prostitution. Such activities can be done in relative secrecy.
Cyberstalking and harassment
Cyberstalking is analogous to traditional forms of stalking in that it incorporates persistent behaviours that instil apprehension and fear. However, because by definition cyberstalking takes place in a 'virtual' environment, it draws our attention to what is distinct about the world of the internet and the way it incorporates dimensions never envisaged by those seeking to control behaviour though legislation.
Source: Ogilvie E 2000. The internet and cyberstalking, paper presented at the conference 'Stalking : criminal justice responses', 7-8 Dec 2000. (PDF 24kB)
In today's world, where computers and communications systems are linked, it can truly be said that "everything depends on software." It is bad enough that this has proven irresistably seductive to pranksters. The potential damage which can be inflicted on our infrastructure - systems such as air traffic control, power, telecommunications, and the like, by a malicious person sitting at a keyboard on the other side of the planet, is mindboggling. So significant, in fact, that considerable attention is being given around the world to its military applications.
Source: Grabosky P 1998. Crime and technology in the global village, paper presented at the Internet crime conference, 16-17 Feb 1998. (PDF 21kB)
Responses to cybercrime
The information superhighway does have benefits for law enforcement agencies. Although its potential has yet to be realized, the use of technology for general public relations, for the communication of basic information for crime prevention, and for the exchange of information in furtherance of criminal investigation may be expected to increase dramatically in years ahead. Already photographs displayed on the Internet have led to the arrest of fugitives. The activities of pornographers and software pirates (as well as innocent criminologists) may be traced effectively using information available on the Internet.
This raises the question about prevention of internet crime, and the extent to which the principles of terrestrial crime prevention may be applied in cyberspace. Opportunity reduction and target hardening, which have become key elements of situational crime prevention, would appear to be as applicable to information systems as to residential dwellings. Whether principles of developmental crime prevention will be similarly generalizable is open to question.
It does in any event appear that technological solutions will play a significant role in ensuring security and prosperity in cyberspace. Few would argue that computer security will be one of the growth industries of the next century. In addition to more rigorous management practices and the introduction of more sophisticated password and verification procedures, new technologies such as biometric security devices and anomaly detection computer software help alert users to system weaknesses and enhance the security of computer systems themselves.
Grabosky P 1998. Crime and technology in the global village, paper presented at the Internet crime conference, 16-17 Feb 1998
Unsolicited bulk email ('spam')
Traditionally, there were few controls on advertising conducted by mail and direct marketers inflicted a barrage of advertising material on unsuspecting, and often unwilling, recipients. The electronic equivalent, known as 'spam', entails the same idea carried out through the use of Email. Its future equivalents may be even more invasive with self-opening attachments which could carry viruses into the recipient's computer hard drive causing damage and loss.
Source: Smith R 2000. Deceptive and misleading on-line advertising and business practices, paper presented at the Communications research forum 2000, 4-5 Oct 2000
- Computer security threats faced by small businesses in Australia
07 February 2012
- Misperceptions about child sex offenders
30 September 2011
- Cyber threat landscape faced by financial and insurance industry
21 February 2011
- Online interactions involving suspected paedophiles who engage male children
10 December 2010
- Cloud computing: Challenges and future directions
18 October 2010
- Covert and cyber bullying
26 February 2010
- Crime risks of three-dimensional virtual environments
23 February 2010
- Online child grooming: a literature review on the misuse of social networking sites for grooming children for sexual offences
06 July 2009
- Responding to online child sexual grooming: an industry perspective
06 July 2009
- Top 10 computer security tools used by Australian businesses
09 June 2009
- Industry sector and the prevalence of computer security incidents against Australian businesses
09 June 2009
- Computer security incidents experienced by Australian businesses
09 June 2009
- The Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security (ABACUS) survey: methodology report
09 June 2009
- The Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security: a national survey
01 June 2009
- New methods of transferring value electronically
25 May 2009
- International Serious and Organised Crime Conference 2013
29-30 July 2013
- International Serious and Organised Crime Conference 2010
18 October 2010
- Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce Agency Forum 2009
08 October 2009
- Anti money laundering symposium
30 September 2002
- Internet Crime
16 February 1998