Examining State and Local Law Enforcement Perceptions of Computer Crime

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Crime On-Line: Correlates, Causes, and Context: Second Edition




The ubiquity of computers and the Internet have drastically changed the landscape of crime and deviance. Computer technology enables offenders to anonymously target victims around the world, connect with others who share their interests, and participate in various crimes. The Internet and cellular telephony are increasingly incorporated into real world offenses like prostitution in order to connect sex workers and clients with minimal risk of detection. At the same time, new forms of offending have emerged as a direct consequence of technology, such as computer hacking, which can be used for both beneficial and illegal purposes. The Internet has also become an important environment for extremists and terror groups to communicate their beliefs globally in order to recruit others and generate funds.

In light of the increasing adoption of technology, it is critical that researchers explore the complex effects of computer technology on human behavior and the intersection of real world and virtual experiences. Crime On-Lineprovides detailed criminological explorations of multiple forms of cybercrime, including phishing, hacking, and sex crimes using empirical tests and unique data. This text also includes a comprehensive exploration of cyberterrorism and activism in on-line environments. The law enforcement and policy responses to cybercrimes at the local, state, and federal level are also discussed in detail. This work provides practical policy discussions that will benefit academics, law enforcement, legal counsel, and students at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Specifically, the second edition includes updated sections on child pornography, cyberbullying, and cyberterrorism. There are also four new chapters by well known authors in the field including: a qualitative exploration of the computer hacker subculture; a content analysis of spam based work at home schemes; an assessment of the tactics employed to combat music piracy over the last two decades; and an exploration of vulnerabilities in and attacks against SCADA systems and critical infrastructure on-line.

These revisions expand the scope of the second edition and make it an extremely valuable text for cybercrime scholars and students alike.