The InfoSec Blog

“Cybercrime” is still Crime and “Cyberfraud” is still Fraud

Posted by Anton Aylward

This says it all:

At the end of the day, cybercriminal activity is not all that different
from more traditional forms of organized crime. Obviously, the way the
crime is perpetrated is new, but the ways in which cybercriminals
operate is not all that different from anything that has gone on before.

Heck, once upon a time there was no telegraph, no "Royal Mail" (or whatever the equivalent in your state/nation). But when those came along they offered new opportunities for fraud. Most places have laws in place again fraud perpetrated by mail or telegraph and telegraph
includes the telephone.

And this is where I get to wonder at how our politicians work, the knee-jerk "something must be done NOW" attitude.

Here in Canada we have a criminal code. It covers fraud. We don't need new laws to deal with cybercrime because the ways our laws are written they are general and not reductionist. They specify the crime, not the technology used.

I get the impression that in the USA (and possibly other places) its the other way round. That's why they need lots of new laws to address every fine-grained detail as the technology advances. Personally I don't think this is a good way of working since it piles laws upon laws.

In science we was that in astronomy before Newton. The classical "Ptolemaic" system piled epicycles upon epicycles as corrections because the underlying model based on a geocentric approach and the idea of 'perfect spheres' was fundamentally flawed. Piling human laws upon human laws to deal with special cases of what is really a general
situation is no less flawed in approach.

Cover of "Paper Moon"

Fraud is fraud is fraud. It doesn't matter if its perpetrated by a hustler in person as in the scenes in "Paper Moon", by mail, over the phone or using the Internet. Fraud is fraud is fraud.

We don't need new laws; we just need a better understanding of how criminals use technology. We perhaps we security droids don't, perhaps the public, the police, the legislators and the managers of the firms and organizations impacted by such criminals need that understanding.

But that's not what detailed, reductionist legislation is going to achieve, is it?


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The wedge gets thicker

Posted by Anton Aylward,1000000085,39909136,00.htm,1000000567,10014530o-2000331761b,00.htm

The thin edge of the wedge was when pubs were fined or letting patrons get drunk, drunk enough that they shouldn't drive.

Now that wedge is being driven further.

Motive isn’t necessary to convict

Posted by Anton Aylward

There's an old joke about a man brought before the court for breaking and entering, not because he was caught in the commission of a crime but because he was found in possession of housebreaking tools - crowbars, glass-cutter and so forth.

When found guilty by the judge he said "well you better convict me for rape as well since I have the tool for that".

Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School. This case is neither new nor precedent setting as Alan Dershowitz pointed out ... back in 1988 in this book "Taking Liberties". Some of his orther books at Amazon are listed here.

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