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History and Evolution of Cybercrime

During the period of 1950’s, it would be an astonished feeling for everyone who uses palmtops and microchips today, to know that the first successful computer was built and the size of the computer was so big that it takes the space of entire room and they were too expensive to operate. The functioning of these computer were not understandable to large number of people and only select people with expertise had direct access to such computers, and has the knowledge to operate them. For obvious reasons, the computer technology was extremely expensive and beyond the purchasing capacity of almost the entire population until IBM’s came into being wherein it introduced its stand-alone “personal computer” in 1981 and exposing many to the rewards of quick data access and manipulation that, up to that time, had been realized by few. The Personal computers become cheaper and become household item at the start of 21st century in India. The Internet was first started by the US department of defence, after World War II with the idea to have a network which could work in the event of disaster or war and securely transmit information. The First Network was known as ARPANET, with the development of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, World Wide Web and Hypertext the internet become rage all over the world. With the growth of Internet the quality and variety of information grew. However at that point nobody anticipated the opportunities’ the internet is going to provide the technology savvy criminals.

In India the internet services started by the state-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited in year 1995 and in 1998 the government has ended the monopoly of VSNL and market is opened to private operators. At that point, the internet users in India are 0.1% of total population, and now India has become the 2nd largest country in terms of internet users after china with 33.22% people using internet.

The process of criminalization of human behaviour judged to be harmful the public is typically one that builds slowly in common law jurisdictions. Momentum gained through problem identification and pressures exerted mg special interest groups can easily span decades before undesirable actions are classified as “crime”. In some instances, this process is accelerated through the occurrence of certain “catalyst events” that capture attention of the public and the attention of lawmakers.

The first recorded cyber crime took place in the year 1820. That is not surprising considering the fact that the abacus, which is thought to be the earliest form of a computer, has been around since 3500 B.C. in India, Japan and China. The era of modem computers, however, began with the analytical engine of Charles Babbage. In 1820, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, a textile manufacturer in France, produced the loom. This device allowed the repetition of a series of steps in the weaving of special fabrics. This resulted in a fear amongst Jacquard’s employees that their traditional employment and livelihood were being threatened. They committed acts of sabotage to discourage Jacquard from further use of the new technology. This is the first recorded cyber crime.

In the case of computer crime, legislators grew increasingly attentive is the 1980s as businesses became more dependent upon computerization and as catalyst event cases exposed significant vulnerabilities to computer crime violations. Criminals can now easily encrypt information representing evidence of their criminal acts, store the information and even transmit it with little fear of detection by law enforcement. Due to the extraordinary impact of the Internet, a computer crime scene can now span from the geographical point of the victimization (e.g., the victim’s personal computer) to any other point on the planet, further complicating criminal investigative efforts. In effect, computer technology has dramatically altered the criminal justice terrain such that enterprising and opportunistic criminals have consciously turned to the computer to commit their illegal acts in situations in which the computer serves as the instrument of the crime, the means by which the crime is committed, as well as in cases in which the victim’s computer, or computer system, is the target, or objective, of the act. And, as stated above, the presence of new computer technology aids cyber criminals in situations in which the computer’s role is incidental to the crime; situations in which the computer is used to house and protect information that is evidence tying the offender to criminal acts. A commonality among these types of crimes is that the offender, to a great degree, depends upon the lack of technological skills of law enforcement to successfully commit the offenses and escape undetected. Based upon what empirical evidence has been available on self-assessed skills of investigators in this area, computer criminals would have good reason to feel some confidence in their chances to evade detection of their crimes.

As we advance towards the 21st century, it van be observed that the technological innovations have laid the way for the entire population using computer technology today, to experience new and wonderful conveniences in their daily life ranging from how to educated, shop, entertain, to availing the understanding of the business strategies and work flow. Our day to-day lives have been forever changed thanks to rapid advances made in the field of computer technology. These changes allow us to communicate over great distances in an instant and permit us, almost effortlessly, to gather and organize large amounts of information, tasks that could, otherwise, prove unwieldy and expensive. The technological treasures that have improved the quality of our lives, however, can reasonably be viewed as a doubled-edged sword. While computer technology has opened doors to enhanced conveniences for many, this same technology has also opened new doors for criminals.

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