This book is an outstanding contribution to the interdisciplinary series on Crime, Media, and Popular Culture from Praeger Publishers. Because of the pervasiveness of media in our lives and the salience of crime and criminal justice issues, we feel it is especially important to provide a home for scholars who are engaged in innovative and thoughtful research on important crime and mass media issues. It seemed essential to include a book in the series that examined the dynamic nature of cybercrime.
Many of us have a limited knowledge of the crimes that occur in the world of computers and the Internet, known as ‘‘cybercrimes’’ because they occur in ‘‘cyberspace.’’ These crimes run the gambit from scams and fraud to stalking and even terrorism. These crimes have the potential for extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and on society as a whole. Although many people fear street crimes involving face-to-face interactions with violent strangers, they are unaware of the predatory possibilities of an e-mail solicitation.
Cybercrime: Criminal Threats from Cyberspace is intended to explain two things: what cybercrime is and why the average citizen should care about it. To accomplish that task, the book offers an overview of cybercrime and an in-depth discussion of the legal and policy issues surrounding it.
Enhancing her narrative with real-life stories, author Susan W. Brenner traces the rise of cybercrime from mainframe computer hacking in the 1950s to the organized, professional, and often transnational cybercrime that has become the norm in the 21st century. She explains the many different types of computer-facilitated crime, including identity theft, stalking, extortion, and the use of viruses and worms to damage computers, and outlines and analyzes the challenges cybercrime poses for law enforcement officers at the national and international levels. Finally, she considers the inherent tension between improving law enforcement's ability to pursue cybercriminals and protecting the privacy of U.S. citizens.