From day to day, people need the Internet for personal use or work more often, and the world does not seem so big any more. The Internet is a surprising phenomenon of modern life, which shortens distances between people. However, on the other hand, it gives cyber criminals access to every device connected to the Internet. Not to become a victim of cybercrimes and safeguard important information, one should use special security software. Although law enforcement agencies are doing their best to solve the problem of cybercrime, the number of digital crimes is increasing rapidly, and many companies and ordinary people have become victims of such activities.
Information technologies promote economic growth all over the world. First of all, they allow sending any amount of required data to almost any corner of the globe. With the help of automated banking machines, money can be transferred electronically in a very short time. Information technologies make the global economy more flexible. However, this flexibility promotes the growth of cybercrime and, at the same time, provides investigators with more ways of catching digital criminals. For example, to catch cyber thieves, the police should receive a permission to trace credit-card activity in case of a possible threat of cyber-attack. It affects the confidentiality of banking information, but actions of law enforcement agencies can be justified, because a cyber theft of credit-card data may cost developed countries a real fortune. By their activity, digital criminals can ruin businesses and harm technological development or economic stability around the globe. The malware does not only damage the technical sphere of the Internet technology, but also affects companies’ reputation and damages the brand. Banks’ customers lose their capital as a result of cyber theft, and companies spend enormous money on restoring the corporate system after cybercrimes.
The use of information technologies in combating cyber-crime and terrorism has a significant social impact. Computers allow people to communicate with one another 24 hours a day and to create profiles in social networks, and provide active interaction among users. Law enforcement agencies can use such information to detect potential cyber criminals, but is may affect the right of people to privacy. However, such actions can be justified because digital criminals have developed a number of schemes of victimizing the social network of unsuspecting users, for example, thievery schemes, identity theft and phishing. The number of cybercrimes increases because social network users do not use all security settings in their social profiles or tend to trust people that turn to be digital criminals. For ordinary persons, it is not easy to cope with psychological problems caused by identity theft, cyber bullying or sexual abuse, and they are usually so depressed that they have to ask for professional help of psychologists and psychiatrists.
Taking into account the independent nature of law enforcement agencies, there are some challenges in terms of cybercrimes and terrorism. The most vital is privacy. It is a big question whether investigators have the right to read someone’s e-mails, trace social network activity or listen to mobile phone calls. Some people say that they do not authorized access to one’s private life, but if obtaining some personal information will help in solving a cybercrime, than law enforcement agencies have a reasonable excuse to do so. The jurisdiction challenge can also create difficulties, especially when a crime has been committed, for example, in the USA, and a cybercriminal resides somewhere in Europe.
The only possible strategy to mitigate the jurisdiction challenge in the USA is to realize the negative effect of cybercrime and terrorism on the government and the private sector and start efficient cooperation with other countries. Governments should begin to work together, adopt corresponding laws and create the inter-jurisdictional area to combat international digital crime and terrorism.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation cooperates with law enforcement agencies to combat cyber terrorists. In addition, the FBI has started cooperation with the private sector in order to disable a number of computers that carry malicious applications, which have damaged more than two million machines around the world. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cooperates with law enforcement agencies to conduct a careful investigation to fight cyber criminals, find new ways of defeating cybercrime, train specialists and to share the experience with other countries. The specialization of the U.S. Secret Service is international digital crimes, especially in the financial sphere. Law enforcement officers receive all required information concerning digital crimes from the Secret Service.
The U.S. government supports the National Cyber Security Division, which is part of the DHS by financing its cyber security research that helps to detect digital criminal activity in ordinary and wireless networks. To align the efforts of federal agencies, the U.S. government can provide more financial resources to combat digital criminals more efficiently. In 2000, the FBI asked the government for $75million for cyber security. Now federal agencies need more personnel and capital to defeat the growing cyber menace.
Since everything is connected to the Internet, people become more and more vulnerable to cybercrime. Now the idea that a criminal group can electronically take control of a plane, flight control system or a power grid is terrifying, but all this may become a reality in a year or two. Every laptop or smartphone that is connected to the Internet can be easily hacked, and cyber criminals can steal all personal information, photos and other data. The humanity is now at the beginning of a new digital era, and it is hard even to imagine what changes it will face concerning cyber-crime and terrorism.
One of the future trends in cybercrime is mobile criminal activities. In a year or two, the number of mobile phones will be more than the amount of people in the world. Everyone has a smartphone, and the information that is stored in it may cost a lot. For example, having access to person’s mobile banking service is the same as to steal someone’s wallet.
The most efficient method of protecting the global economy is to take immediate measures in the sphere of national security and military service. Laws that allow access to personal data for law enforcement agencies should be adopted. Since cybercrime is growing rapidly like a disease, more countries fall ill with it, and it is the reason for international cooperation in combating digital crime and terrorism. Agencies from other countries should have the right to investigate and catch cyber criminals in the USA. In addition, it is important to promote the creation of innovative technologies that will defend confidential data from cyber theft.
The IT sphere is developing rapidly, and on the other side of the technological progress, there is a rise in digital criminal and terrorist activity. Like ordinary criminals, cyber thieves search for a chance to get money in order not to earn them in a more honest way. However, what is crucial, they can commit a crime staying in other country, and it is quite a complicated task to investigate the crime and to catch them. Fortunately, the U.S. government helps law enforcement agencies to catch cyber criminals, and joint efforts of federal agencies can protect data from cyber-attacks.