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| Digital Crime in Crime Theories Essay

Over the last century, the possibility of free exchange of information, as well as access to its transmission has been rising steadily. The number of internet users reached the level of 50 million in just 4 years after its appearance. However, the effect of a global information space forming which gave a strong impetus to human progress, at the same time had an adverse effect. Today “cybercrime” and “cyber-terrorism” are not just words, nowadays they have become a real threat to humanity. Almost all daily news reports from different countries attract the world’s attention to these phenomena.

Thus, in late 2011 the hackers of group Anonymous hacked the site of private American analytical and research firm Strategic Forecasting. As a result, e-mail addresses and passwords of thousands of U.S. and British military, intelligence, police and NATO advisers and politicians were published on the Internet.

Theoretical possibility of a crime and attacks on the Internet has long been known. The beginning of the 70’s can be considered as the date of birth of cybercrime. Thus, in 1973, the cashier of the New York Citibank, transferred into his account $ 2 million, using the office computer. In 1989, the American student blocked about 6,000 computers of Pentagon.

However, so far there are no clear criteria by which one can rigorously define cybercrime or cyber terrorism to weigh the distinction between these concepts. However, the above phenomena have one thing in common – namely, almost all of them are done through the computer attacks as a means to achieve their aim.

Researchers dealing with cybercrime suggest various classifications of cyber crime. Cybercrimes are divided into categories depending on the object and the subject of abuse, etc.

The most common option is a division on computer crimes and crimes committed on or through computers, computer networks and other devices of access to cyberspace. This classification is used by the United Nations, dividing this type of criminal activity on cybercrime in the “broad” and “narrow” sense. In this context, computer crime – is a crime, the main object of which is to abuse the confidentiality, integrity, availability and safety of the computer data and systems. The rest of cybercrime, in addition to computer systems that impinge on other objects (as key): public safety and human (cyberterrorism), property and property rights (theft, fraud, committed through computer systems or in cyberspace), copyright (plagiarism and piracy).

Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime originally subdivided cybercrimes into four groups (later an additional protocol was adopted, and now there are five groups), emphasizing in the first group “computer crime”, calling them offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems. These include, in particular, illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, etc.

The second group includes crimes related to the use of computer resources. These include fraud with the use of computer technology, fraud with the purpose of improper economic benefit for themselves or others.

The third group includes crimes related to content (data content). We are talking about child pornography, and the Convention explains in detail how actions of dissemination of child pornography should be prosecuted (production, supply or making available, distribution or transfer, acquisition, possession). The fourth group includes offenses related to infringements of copyright and related rights. Types of such crimes in the Convention are not allocated: the establishment of such offenses is classified by the document to the competence of national legislations.

In addition to the classification proposed by the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, there are other formal and informal classification of cybercrime, developed by experts and researchers (classification of the Interpol Working Group in 1991, the classification proposed by the American researcher D.L. Schindler, etc..

Computer crime can include also the types of crimes that are committed in the economic sphere, covering the production of computers, computer sales, computer services, etc. We are not only talking about crime with the use of computer technologies. We can talk more widely – about crime in the sphere of functioning of computer and information technology, and related technologies, about crime in the production, trade, distribution and exchange of computer hardware and related services. For example, in areas of legal responsibility such as taxes and copyright it is very difficult to distinguish, which refers to computer-related crime in the narrow and broad sense.

Speaking of digital crime, we should mention the relation of this type of crime to the shadow economy. Computer crime is closely connected with this sector of the economy of the state. The presence of the shadow economy is considered one of the defining features of modern society. The shadow economy can be divided into two large groups. First – this is a criminal business, based on violence, on the production and distribution of drugs, weapons, including the use of computer technology. This part of the shadow economy can be described as criminal economy. Another part of the shadow economy – is the financial-economic and other income-generating activities in the computer field, which is hidden from statistical and evading tax. This type of activity can be called a tax offense. There is no violence, no prohibited activities, but a regular civilian economic activity, which, for various reasons evade its responsibilities to the state.

The following methods of tax avoidance in computer and information domain can take place.

1. Hiding of objects of taxation, i.e. providing computer services activities without registration.

2. Understatement of taxable items, i.e. distortion of accounting of services, tax base.

3. Illegal use of benefits in commerce connected with computers and other information technology.

4. Evasion of income tax by the non-submission of the data, which the tax authorities cannot calculate.

5. Complex array of tax evasion due to the shortcomings of the tax legislation.

Thus, criminal responsibility for the use of information technology for crime covers a fairly comprehensive list of public relations, which is much larger, in our opinion, than the relations in the field of computer information, but less extensive than the information relations.

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