Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Special Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice I. (a)  Since the invention of the superhighway, now known as the internet, there are growing threats concerning any computer user.  This includes individuals and businesses.  There are threats of online predators, website attacks, viruses, computer hacking, and identity theft (Qazi, 2010).  The types of crimes being committed via technology are affecting persons and businesses on a financial and more personal level.  The types of criminals committing these crimes are young juveniles and older middle-aged persons without any prior criminal history.  Other criminals are committing these crimes as part of a group or a domestic terrorist organization.  Some of the new crimes include homeland security violations, online predators and stalkers, and illegal stock trading. (b)  Several infrastructures and systems are more vulnerable to the new age computer crimes.  These include homeland security, telecommunications systems, networks controlling water, energy, and food supplies, and computer systems operating treasuries, banks, and other businesses (Bennett & Brian, 2007).  Several radical groups have encouraged and devised risks to these infrastructures.  Domestic terrorist groups like Aryan Nations (AN), The Order, and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) have developed their own websites that not only produce hate speech, but encourage hate agendas towards the government.  Other grassroots organizations protecting the earth and animals have taken to the World Wide Web as well.  Although these groups seems ultimately harmless, they have crashed and hindered the computer functioning in businesses whom they felt were working against their group’s agenda.   II. (a) The Social Theory and Ogburn’s theory of cultural lag define the current wave of computer crimes threatening individuals and businesses within society.  The Social theory essentially blames society for the lack of legislation and order in place to prohibit certain behaviors.  The Ogburn theory of cultural lag simply stated means that changes are taking place at a rate that far surpasses society’s ability to keep up (Hagan, 2010).  In the USA Today newspaper, it recently reported that a juvenile under the age of 18 was the ringleader of a group that ultimately created dysfunction and havoc within the computerized business world (Jones, 2007).  The youth was said to have worked with other individuals worldwide and infiltrated the working computer system in a Pennsylvania university and altered the stock trading system. (b)  A hacker’s subculture is quite different than one might imagine.  Many hackers are students or working individuals.  They are socially functional and carry on a life outside of their hobby for hacking.  Anyone who has hacked into a computer may suggest that it was done so out of boredom, on a dare, or as a personal challenge just to see if it could be done (Springer, 2005).  This country is wonderful in the new innovations and technological advances that it has made, but it is also faltered in that security issues are often compromised in the midst of premature technological celebrations.  While much time and effort is spent on developing new software and computer programs, an equal amount of time should be invested on making these programs more safe and secure for the individual and business user. III. (a)  Those that are guilty of corporate espionage are quite similar whether they worked from the inside or from the outside.  Espionage, simply put, is an act of spying which can cause CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             4 serious and sometimes unrecoverable circumstances to a government or a business.  Insiders of the business or governmental organization who provide other foreign governments or officials information are guilty of espionage.  The same is true of an insider working for a business provides private and confidential information to a competing business.  Outsiders perform the same actions, but they usually do so through an informant working from the inside who provides the needed or requested information.  SC Magazine reported of an incident involving an employee of DuPont who wished to resign and begin working for another company.  Gary Min, the employee of DuPont, was found guilty for stealing over 400-million dollars worth of intellectual property from DuPont in order to provide his new employer with the illegally imported information (Chickowski, 2007). (b)  Money laundering refers to money that is placed into an account under false pretences.  This illegal act is used as a way to hide the origin and ownership of the money in order to avoid reporting it to a state and federal government (Garner, 2001).  The money is usually obtained illegally and used for illegal purposes such as illegal drug importing and exporting.  The act of money laundering has been accelerated via electronic-funds-transfers (EFT) whereby one can link a faux bank account to another banking institution in another country.  The money can be exchanged via the two accounts with the click of a computer mouse without ever having to appear in person at a banking location.  Through an investigation conducted through Homeland Security and the Department of Treasury in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Wachovia Bank was recently found guilty and ordered to pay two fines due to its role in drug money laundering from Mexico (Perez & Mollenkamp, 2010).   CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             5 The federal court ruled that Wachovia failed to identify or even report the repeated activities and failed to have implemented a program designed to detect suspicious money laundering practices. IV. (a)  Public use of the World Wide Web has enabled many people to do a great many things.  Some have been able to keep in touch with relatives all around the world, and it has allowed many students the quick accessibility to information needed to complete homework and research assignments.  Unfortunately, the internet can also bring with it some negative disadvantages.  Online predators, pedophiles, have engaged in using the internet in order to find and stalk young, unsuspecting children who do not realize what is happening.  Pedophiles use public chat rooms by creating fake profiles with catchy usernames in order to gain the trust of a perspective victim.  A pedophile often uses a proxy server making it virtually impossible to find where he or she is located (Leace, 1999).  Another difficulty created by a pedophile is that many pedophiles make sure that their information is encrypted data.  This data is difficult to ascertain and investigate without the aid of a computer expert (Leace, 1999). (b)  Law enforcement encounters many obstacles when attempting to investigate crimes of cyber exploitation.  Encrypted information and the use of proxy servers are just a few.  Jurisdiction becomes a difficulty since the offender is usually from another state or another country.  Many law enforcement agencies are devoid of the proper training, equipment, and expertise needed to thoroughly investigate these types of crimes (Fried, 2009).  Law enforcement needs to step-it-up and get into the current technological age.  This can be done through training seminars, studying the use of cyber-nanny programs, getting educated or furthering their personal education, and providing the public with useful and pertinent information needed.  This CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             6 information is essential to parents who have children who have a need to use the family’s computer. V. (a)  In past years, law enforcement has relied on traditional tools as a means of conducting surveillance during investigations.  These tools included tax reports, phone taps, the use of informants, and literally placing an individual under surveillance without his or her knowledge.  The routines and activities of the suspected individual were monitored closely as a means of gaining information with regard to suspected criminal activity or criminal involvement.  In the new age of technological advances, law enforcement has enlarged its tools used for watching and monitoring a suspect.  The new tools include DNA analysis, computer monitoring, the use of video cameras and digital cameras, bugs, telephone and cellular phone wire taps, and the use of GPS devices installed in newer cars (Marx, 2004).  While these new innovations provide law enforcement with much needed and useful information, some would argue that it directly violates their Constitutional right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.  The government has ruled that certain search warrants no longer require the actual warrant in order to conduct a search.  Some have referred to this as communist behavior.  In actuality, some of the newer innovations are unconstitutional and bear redress by the United States Supreme Court (Marx, 2004). (b)  Left wing politicians and right wing politicians have almost always been on opposite sides of the spectrum.  The only commonality currently existing between the two pertains to their ability to maintain websites addressing their issues and concerns and their concerns with regard to the economic crisis in the United States (U.S.).  Aside from these rare parallels, there are CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             7 many differences.  The left wing extremist groups have been known to incorporate and support cyber attacks.   Incidentally, a left wing animal right support group is responsible for a 1.4 million dollar loss to a company who disagreed with their humanitarian and political views (Marx, 2004).  The right wing extremists believe that social factors such as the right to bear arms and racist superiority should be indoctrinated due to their personal beliefs.  While their level of violence has lessened over the years, their prior crimes speak volumes.  Both the left wing and the right wing use their websites for reporting pertinent information relating to their organization’s cause and mission as well as being a source for recruitment.  Recently, in Roanoke, Virginia, a federal court found neo-Nazi Bill White guilty on four counts of intimidation and threats via the use of his right wing extremist website (Hammack, 2009).  He was ultimately sentenced to thirty months in federal prison, three years supervised probation following his release, and prohibited from running a website or using the internet for employment or as a hobby (Hammack, 2009). VI. (a)  A single crime location refers to one crime having been committed in one specific place.  A multiple crime scene can mean one of two things.  It can mean that either more than one crime was committed in more than one specific place, or it can mean that multiple crimes were committed in one specific place (Hagan, 2010).  A networking investigation pertains to an investigation ongoing via the use of forensic technology.  This may include digital fingerprinting, DNA analysis, hair sampling, or blood samples.  It may also include the use of forensic experts trained to examine computer hardware, cell phone text messages even though they were deleted, telephone and cell phone records, and so on.  Forensic technology has enabled CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             8 law enforcement to basically recreate a crime scene in order to have a better understanding of the nature of the crime and to know how it really happened. (b)  One current program designed to desist the current rise in computer related crimes was developed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).  The DOJ designed a Computer Crime and Intellectual Property (CCIPS) section within their regulations for operating a computer.  This program has been implemented as a means of combating computer crimes worldwide, prevent electronic penetration, stop data shifts, and halt cyber attacks (DOJ, 2001).  While this program was started in 2001, it is constantly being reviewed in order to keep up with the recent and sudden changes in the computer designs and newly developed software programs.  The DOJ works conjunctively with other government agencies both foreign and domestic, academic institutions, and members of the private sector (DOJ, 2001). VII. (a)  Verifiable integrity of digital evidence is of the utmost importance when attempting to prosecute an offender whereby a computer crime has occurred.  This evidence must be handled with extreme care.  This preservation should only be conducted by an expert in the field of forensic technology.  The first step in preserving any and all digital evidence is to modify the operating system so that no information is overwritten or lost (Stephenson, 2000).  The second and most important part of extracting information for evidence is to back-up the data by using a bit stream.  The bit stream creates an image, like a cached image, of the hard drive without changing any information.  It is certified to be authentic (Stephenson, 2000).  Following this process, the evidence must follow the proper chain of command in order to secure its safety and authenticity. CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                             9 (b)  A good forensics package follows several rules.  The first is to secure the crime scene in order to prevent contamination.  The second is to perform a walk-through with only the investigators.  Next, the investigators take pictures, followed by another walk-through.  In the event that computer evidence is to be extracted, a forensics technology expert is assigned to perform the investigation.  The computer, acquired at the scene and labeled for evidence, is then taken to the expert.  Programs such as Safeback and Snapback are used to protect the evidence contained therein.  Criminologists and forensics examiners all concur that the CRCMD5 program creates a complex bit while securing a signature certifying that the files are in the original state (Stephenson, 2000).  The only pitfall to this type of investigation is not using a program properly whereby losing all the evidence. VIII. (a)  No one can foretell the future despite what infomercials may claim at three in the morning.  With regard to computers and crime, three crime trends can be forecasted to be on the rise.  Hacking, terrorist attacks, and espionage are the three crimes predicted to see a rise in severity and frequency.  Of these three crimes, the crime of terrorist attacks is expected to see the most activity due to the low economy, too much leniency being given by the U.S.to terrorists, and the country being unprepared for such a catastrophe (Vacca, 2005).  Hacking will continue as a means to acquire another person’s identity or credit card information.  Espionage will continue as a means of insider trading, blackmail, and trade secret violations. (b)  Computer hacking will continue to be on the rise, but not at the rate of computer terrorist attacks.  Hacking will become a means for survival for some, especially with recent corporate downsizing, soaring unemployment rates, unavailability of jobs, and desperation CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                           10 among human citizens.  This desperation will cause anyone to do things not normally of their character.  Unless the U.S. government has a magic wand, these problems are not going to simply go away.  The state and federal governments need to work together to resolve the employment issues in order to combat the future rise in computer crimes (Vacca, 2005).  By working together, there is a greater likelihood that these problems will be maintained and under control. Critical Analysis of Criminal Justice Public Policy I. (a)  A symbolic policy is a plan of action without the intent to be exerted, and a substantive policy is an outline for future implementation (Oliver & Marion, 2006).  A substantive policy informs while a symbolic policy threatens.  In this respect, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is substantive.  This act advises the citizens of the United States of what is acceptable and what is intolerable.  It also suggests the possible repercussions for any deviation thereof.  Other examples of substantive policy are: the state and federal laws of the United States, prenuptial agreements, licenses to obtain a driving permit or marriage certificate, and divorce documentation, and restraining orders issued by a court.  Symbolic policy can be seen in product owner’s manuals, no trespassing signs indicating that violators will be shot on sight, and product warranties. (b)  There are five stages of the public policy process.  These stages include: the origination of a proposed policy, the development, the implementation, public feedback, and the redefining of the public policy (Peters & Pierre, 2006).  In the first stage, a problem is examined and a policy is proposed and discussed as a means to effectively deal with the problem at hand. CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                           11 The second stage is the actual development of the policy where pen is put to paper.  This new policy is then put to a vote.  In the third stage, the public policy is then added into law.  During stage four, the public has the opportunity to provide feedback to the proper authorities with regard to concerns, ineffectiveness, and problems as a result of the newly implemented policy.  Those charged with enforcing the new policy implementation are also given the opportunity to provide feedback in reference to the legitimacy, ineffectiveness, and problems derived from the new policy.  During stage five, the originators of the new policy go back to the drawing board and either correct and revise the policy, or they begin fresh by creating a new and more effective public policy.  The entire process is one of trial and error. II. (a)  The President of the United States has a very powerful and unique position of influence over the American people.  His position provides him with the wonderful opportunity to suggest new implementations with regard to the current crime control policies.  The President can request current research be done in specific areas of crime so that the current statistics can be used comparatively against research from years ago.  The changes, increases or decreases, in particular areas of crime and crime policy can then be examined for their effectiveness and needed change.  The President has access to many departments of increased intelligence and is afforded with the latest in technology.  The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Juvenile Justice, Treasury, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are all easily accessible to the President and can enable him with providing the latest in crime trends and research data.  By all working together at the President’s request, a new and more effective form of crime control can be developed and later implemented. CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                           12 (b)  The President is in an executive position within the government infrastructure.  With respect to the five stages of public policy, he also has a very important and influential position with the development and implementation of new public policies.  In the first stage, the President can bring to the attention of the department heads the need for the development of a new public policy.  In stage two, development, the department heads can sit down with the President as a means for strategizing and developing the actual policy.  Issues of Constitutionality should be thoroughly discussed so that each American citizen’s constitutional rights is protected within the policy.  The third stage, implementation, allows for the President to sign the new public policy into law.  The fourth stage gives the public the opportunity to voice their opinions whether for or against the policy.  The President’s role in this stage is to give public speeches and radio addresses in order to provide a thorough understanding of the policy and regain support.  In the event that the new policy proves to be ineffective, the President can then make an attempt to review, revise, and re-implement the policy. III. (a)  Certain crimes have been federalized by the government as a means to reduce the commission of some crimes and deter individuals from committing such offenses.  Specific crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, and computer related offenses have been federalized as the penalties for such offenses is greater in a federal court than a state court system.  One who transports drugs from one state to another state within the United States is guilty of drug trafficking, a federal offense.  One who kidnaps a child and transports them across a state border is also guilty of a federal offense.  Another reason that some offenses have been federalized is due to the increase in criminal activity.  A good example of the federalization of crime includes CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                           13 the issues of medicinal marijuana.  California has ruled under state law that patients can be prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes for specific medical conditions.  The federal government does not adhere to the state’s law, and therefore enforces its own laws against the possession of an illegal substance (Crouch & Streeck, 2006).  Medicinal marijuana pharmacies and patients have been raided and arrested by the DEA because of the federalization of the crime of possession of marijuana, a Control I substance. (b)  There are differences in local, state, and federal laws with regard to how they are developed and passed into law (Siegal, 2009).  A local municipality simply presents its concern and proposed solution to a city council.  After the city council takes a vote, the new law is either passed or vetoed.  A state wishing to implement a new criminal justice policy is a little more detailed.  Legislators work together to create a new bill.  The bill is then put before a vote in the state house of delegates, and if passed, it is then moved up to the state Senate.  If the bill passes in the Senate, the bill is then put before the state Governor to sign the new bill into law.  The federal justice system is similar to that of the state.  Bills are created by state representatives and once a policy or bill is deemed ready, it is presented to the House of Representatives for a vote.  If the bill passes, then it moves up to the Senate floor for a vote.  If the bill does not pass in the House of Representatives, it dies.  The Senate, upon receiving the bill, discusses and argues over the validity of the bill and certain issues contained therein.  Finally, the bill is put to a vote.  If it fails, then it is returned to the House of Representatives for revision.  If it passes, it then moves to the President of the United States for his signature which will make it a new law.  If the President does not support the bill, then he can veto the bill.  In doing so, the Senate can then exercise its right to perform a veto override and make the bill a law anyway. CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                           14 VI. (a)  The United States Supreme Court is the highest and most revered court in the land.  The cases that are presented are often later interpreted as landmark decisions that carry much weight in the lower practicing courts.  The Supreme Court, however, does not hear every case put before them.  The Supreme Court hears cases concerning original jurisdiction, cases from state courts with no other foreseeable remedy, and cases requiring review for constitutionality (The Supreme Court Historical Society, 2010).  Cases pertaining original jurisdiction generally include matters involving a state court versus a federal court or a state versus another state.  The cases are presented either summarily or by oral argument.  The Supreme Court justices review the cases as a group.  Sometimes, the justices’ clerks will prepare simplified briefs or summations