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Cybercrime and the Law

Challenges, Issues, and Outcomes

Susan W. Brenner

Publication Year: 2012

The first full-scale overview of cybercrime, law, and policy The exponential increase in cybercrimes in the past decade has raised new issues and challenges for law and law enforcement. Based on case studies drawn from her work as a lawyer, Susan W. Brenner identifies a diverse range of cybercrimes, including crimes that target computers (viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, malware and DDoS attacks) and crimes in which the computer itself is used as a tool (cyberstalking, cyberextortion, cybertheft, and embezzlement). Illuminating legal issues unique to investigations in a digital environment, Brenner examines both national law enforcement agencies and transnational crime, and shows how cyberspace erodes the functional and empirical differences that have long distinguished crime from terrorism and both from warfare.

Published by: Northeastern University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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Introduction: Twenty-First-Century Bonnie and Clyde

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pp. 1-15

The legal, practical, and political issues implicated by cybercrime and other cyberthreats have received a great deal of attention in specialized publications, most of which are directed at corporate or government professionals who work in this area. I continue to be amazed at the extent to...

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1. Hacking

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pp. 16-35

The term “hacker” and much of what would become hacker culture emerged at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the late 1950s. At the time, the only computers were mainframes — behemoths one interacted with via a cumbersome...

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2. Malware and DDOs Attacks

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pp. 36-56

Not all cybercrimes are physically carried out by a human being — a cybercriminal. Unlike traditional crimes, certain types of cybercrime can be automated, that is, they can be carried out by computer code that has been created and designed to attack a computer system. This chapter examines...

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3. Cybercrimes against Property

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pp. 57-92

Instead of being the target of a cybercrime, a computer can be a tool that is used to commit a cyberanalogue of a traditional crime, such as theft or fraud. In tool cybercrimes, the computer’s role is analogous to either the gun used to rob a bank or the implements a burglar uses to break into a...

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4. Cybercrimes against Persons

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pp. 93-117

There are so many ways people can use cyberspace to injure each other it would be impossible to catalog them all in one chapter. Instead, this chapter uses some of the more common, and more egregious, online crimes against persons to illustrate the legal issues that arise in this context. It...

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5. Cyber CSI: The Evidentiary Challenges of Digital Crime Scenes

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pp. 118-140

This chapter examines the challenges cybercrime investigations create for law and law enforcement. These challenges arise because cybercrime investigations target conduct in the virtual world of cyberspace, where evidence is amorphous and ephemeral and the lines between public and...

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6. Cybercrime Investigations and Privacy

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pp. 141-170

An effective law enforcement reaction is essential to discourage enough prospective offenders from committing crimes that a society will be able to maintain the level of internal order it needs to survive and prosper. Modern law enforcement is, in part, predicated on the premise that potential...

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7. Transnational Investigation of Cybercrime

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pp. 171-188

As earlier chapters noted, cybercrime creates many new challenges for law enforcement. Those chapters dealt with challenges that arise under U.S. law and the structure of U.S. law enforcement; they therefore focused primarily on cases in which the commission of the cybercrime occurred...

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8. Mutating Cyberthreats: Crime, Terrorism, and War

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pp. 189-216

Crime, terrorism, and war and the distinctions between each are reasonably well defined and reasonably stable in the physical world. The definitional clarity and empirical stability of the real-world threat categories is a function of two factors: One is that the categories evolved as pragmatic...

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pp. 217-219

A professional who works in online finance made the above comment at a meeting of Infragard, an FBI initiative that brings civilian professionals and FBI agents together to collaborate in the battle against cybercrime. His comment reflects the frustration many — if not most — of those who...


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pp. 221-254


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pp. 255-263

E-ISBN-13: 9781555538002
E-ISBN-10: 1555538002
Print-ISBN-13: 9781555537982
Print-ISBN-10: 1555537987

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 816818663
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Cybercrime and the Law

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Computer crimes -- United States.
  • Computer networks -- Law and legislation -- United States -- Criminal provisions.
  • Computer viruses -- United States.
  • Computer hackers -- United States.
  • Criminal jurisdiction -- United States.
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