Cyb Cyber crime, since the late 1980s to the early 1990s, has become an increasingly dominant form of crime throughout the world; however, we are just recently beginning to create solutions to these growing epidemics in the world. The solutions we have to these rising problems are created to help the victims, their families, and the communities around the offended persons. In the year 2001 “the FBI opened more than 1,500 cases involving Internet child sexual exploitation, compared to only 113 cases in 1996” (Hansen). These exploitations involve cyber bullying, embarrassing or hateful images, and verbal assault, as well as many others.
So now the questions are: What are the risks adolescents face using the Internet? Are the youth of America and the rest of the world safe from online predators? Through research we have tried to help answer these questions. Obviously, there are many risks, no matter what age you are, that you will face if you use the Internet in an unsafe way. As with any other part of your social life, there are many precautions you should take when you surf the web. A big solution to cyber crime would be the precautionary steps that you take for yourself to avoid unwanted situations on the web.
So now the task society has ahead of them is to find a way to protect our communities and our identities without sacrificing the technological advances that have opened new doors and given us the world at our fingertips. As research shows, many people throughout the world have suffered immensely from cyber crimes, and victims of these crimes are now learning how to cope with their past experiences and are being taught to solve future cyber dilemmas. These crimes have become a huge part of culture, threatening the lives and wellbeing of teens and adults alike.
The Internet itself has created a portal for anonymous predators to enter your home, invade your privacy and take advantage of today’s youth with the click of a button. It is because of this that I strongly support cybercrimes as being illegal and inhumane. As each year passes, our knowledge of these crimes grows as well as the number of victims and predators of these cyber crimes. For instance, “With more than 560,000 registered sex offenders in the United States (over 100,000 of them living in California) it should come as no surprise that one-in-five girls and one-in-10 boys are sexually exploited” (Greenblatt).
These statistics tell us that when we are using the Internet we really don’t know who we are talking to. We really should be more careful with whom we give out our personal information to and whom we confide in on the Internet. “ Fifteen-year-old Amy had been hounding her mother to sign up for Internet service at home. “I kind of had a fear of it,” said her mother Sara. “I’d come home with newspaper articles I’d read about kids being lured by adults they’d met online. ” But Amy was already using the Internet at the public library and school anyway. “She set up her own… account with a password and free e-mail. ”
Sara found out that Amy had been sharing many personal conversations with Bill, whom she had “met” in an online chatroom. They discussed her desire to live her life differently. Bill was “sympathetic” to Amy’s dreams and desires. By getting to know and sympathizing with her concerns or fears, Bill was able to break down her inhibitions. When Amy didn’t come home one night, Sara knew something was wrong. So she began a search of Amy’s room. “I found a note Amy wrote saying she was 98 percent sure she was going to do this trip. The note said she’d be getting on a bus. ” At this same time, Amy was at the bus station on the telephone with Bill.
He was saying, “You can’t go home now, because I’ll get caught. ” Amy felt compelled to keep him from getting apprehended. Sara said, “I went to my local police station and tried to get them to go and get her. At that point they really didn’t want to do anything. They were thinking she had run away. We had the man’s real name and address… though at that time I wasn’t sure it was the real name. I couldn’t get anyone to go and see if this was a legitimate address. I found out that in our state runaways don’t have to return home if they don’t want to. ” Sara called the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Sara said it was that call that got the police to check out the address on the ticket and “find out whether… this person actually existed. ” A detective had called to say the man’s address was a computer dating service. “It turned out this is where that man worked, and he lived upstairs,” Sara said. The police said they’d watch the location. About midnight an officer called in and said, “A taxi just pulled up, a guy and a girl got out of it, we think it’s them. ” He said, “We need to find out from Amy if she wants to stay. In order to get her without her consent, we’d have to get a court order showing the reason why we wanted her out. Sara had to talk to Amy on the telephone and promise not to press charges before Amy would agree to go home. “We had a 36-hour bus ride back home…. At first she was really upset. She definitely wanted to be with this man. He’d been telling her, ‘I’m in love with you, you’re the only one I’ve ever done this with, you just have to come with me and when I put you up it’s going to be great. ’ We learned a lot. I learned a lot. I thought I knew a lot about my child. ” But something told Sara the ordeal wasn’t over. She said, “Three weeks later this man came to our home. Amy slipped out… with him.
He had continued to contact her, and it wasn’t until this meeting that the man assaulted Amy, in a motel in our own town. ” NCMEC contacted the police department who sent a detective to intercept Amy and Bill before they boarded a bus. It wasn’t until police approached them in the bus station that Bill told Amy she was not the first girl he’d contacted on the Internet and lured into meeting him in person. This was the turning point for Amy, what she’d needed to hear. Not until then could she tell her mother, “I can’t believe I got suckered into this. ” Bill was convicted and sentenced to a year-and-a-day term in federal prison.
Bill was released in April 2001 to the United States Probation Office where he was placed on probation for three years. Sara told us they still get calls with no one at the other end of the line. We asked Marsha Gilmer-Tullis, who is the NCMEC family services advocate and familiar with Amy’s case, why she thought Amy succumbed to this predator — the death of a close step-grandfather, feeling sorry for Bill, adventure-seeking, fears about the new millennium? Marsha said, “All of the above. There are lots of issues, usually. Being a teenager is a very difficult time, and there are issues and concerns that teens are struggling with.
It’s often so much easier to get online, where you’re anonymous and the other person is anonymous, and talk. You’re feeling dejected and unattractive, and someone’s telling you how wonderful and beautiful you are. They’re a teen and immature, and the adult knows that and takes advantage of it. ” It’s still difficult for Sara to tell this story. She’s doing so, “To keep other families from going through what we went through. Amy’s feeling is the same as ours. She wants to help other kids. Predators catch teenagers at their weakest moment, and they prey on that” (Collier).
This story is a case about what can happen to just about any minor that uses the internet in an unsafe and naive way. In their minds they see the internet as a new tool to use that is fun and exciting, filled with games, and different web pages that include many interests. Susceptible minors however, do not see the risks that are at stake. By using this resource, you give predators a trail to follow. Giving personal information out on the internet, talking to strangers, or even signing up your e-mail account to subscribe to a website can all be dangerous things
As technology grows, we face more risks as a society and as individuals in the community because the use of the Internet is at a steady growing rate. “Of the estimated 28 million American children who use the Internet, nearly one out of five say they have been sexually harassed or solicited while online, usually in Internet chat rooms or via instant messaging and e-mail” (Hansen). With this statistic we can clearly see that we risk our identities everyday with the growing informational sites online that give anyone the means to locate and identify any one person at any given time. The actual point of origin of the term ‘cybercrime’ is unclear, but it seems to have emerged in the late 1980s or even early 1990s in the later cyberpunk print and audiovisual media” (Wall 864). No longer does the sexual predator have to hide behind anything or in the dark shadows of an alley way or park. Now all they have to do is enter your home under the disguise of a chat buddy through cyber space, unknown and undetected. Since the late 1980s, reports on crimes have become more about the growth in younger victims who are being found by their offender through online sources.
In many cases though, we have found that the victims realize that they are talking to and sharing personal information with people that are much older than them. While unsuspecting victims chat freely in cyber space, they have no way of knowing if the person on the other end of this cyber relationship is really the person that they thought that they have been getting to know. Police surveillance has been working on expanding Internet monitoring to create safer technology and fewer opportunities for cyber crimes. Police have been posing as teens online more frequently to help communities catch online predators and online pedophiles.
Also, since the late 1980s the U. S Customs Service and the U. S Postal Inspection Service have been key players in helping the police find other related crimes to sexual exploitation of children. Research tells us “postal inspectors have arrested nearly 3,500 people for either distributing child pornography or trying to engage a child in sexual activities using the mail, the Internet or the telephone” (Hansen). This statistic is scary, but true. Throughout this whole digital media revolution, the entire infrastructure of society has changed. No longer is interpersonal communication relegated to the telephone or occasional letter.
Person-to-person meetings are no longer necessary for a relationship to be created and carried out. Cyber space has opened the doors to newer and easier forms of communication, such as video chatting, through systems such as Skype and instant messaging, which has displaced the personal level of communication in young teens. Younger people no longer have to meet face-to-face or introduce and involve their parents in their social networking. The secrecy of these communications endangers the welfare of minors. Secrecy is also due to the level of maturity one adolescent has. Although adolescent immaturity may play an important role in the victimizations these youths experience, it is undoubtedly a different type of naivete than that of the preadolescent children” (Wolak 115). This quote reminds me of a friend I had in high school. She was consumed with facebook, and myspace, and would lead a separate life online than the one she actually lived. In the privacy of her home she developed a relationship and an emotional attachment with an unknown predator putting herself in unwanted and unforeseen dangers and cast out of sight from her parents and guardians.
The United States Government has attempted to police certain aspects of the Internet to capture these online predators. However, the anonymity of these predators makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint their exact location. “To this end, law enforcement and other state agencies have been extending the reach of the state by establishing ‘policing’ networks with elements of the private sector (from local community watch programs to private security companies and insurance agencies) that have the tools and capacity to achieve desired results beyond the state” (Huey 597).
These measures that have been taken by law enforcement have included expanding government’s authority to intercept private communications and giving the police the authority to collect and review transmission data from possible suspected online predators. This topic of cyber crime has become more and more important to our societies as our technological advances keep on growing, making the value of this subject a key concern for every community and individual. While the world has benefited greatly from advances in technology, the protection of the innocent and vulnerable people in society is a major concern.
Online predators target the most defenseless people in the world, specifically those adolescents who are either socially disconnected or intellectually and emotionally challenged. These types of victims give their predator something to feed off of; their emotions, weaknesses, or even family problems. The Predator can now put themselves into children’s lives by pretending to be their only support system. “The youths most at risk included those with a diverse range of problems, including rule-breaking behavior, depression, and social problems that may manifest in different respects in interactions with unknown people” (Wolak 343).
For many of these adolescents, the existence of a strong adult or parental figure to guide and protect them from these online predators is either absent or ignored. For this reason, it is essential that government agencies respond to the increasing need to police and safeguard the use of the Internet by the law-abiding citizens in the community. A solution to this growing problem would help the world and its communities substantially; keeping their children and other vulnerable citizens safe from online predators.
In conclusion, the advances made over the last two decades in technology have resulted in not only extraordinary progress in communication and information gathering, but have also led to a new way for criminals to prey on innocent and vulnerable people. Because of these growing crimes we need to be more careful and know every option that we have. We need to take our lives into consideration, and watch our own backs when interacting with others through Internet sources. The fact that the computer has become such a vital part of today’s life has led to an opening for possible online crimes targeted towards our adolescents.
Many times susceptible and unsuspecting adolescents are tricked into believing that they are chatting with or texting someone who truly cares for their well-being, while the whole time they are being targeted by licentious predators plotting to take advantage of their gullible prey. Predators no longer have to enter your home anymore to take advantage of their victims. The Internet itself has created a portal for anonymous predators to enter your home, invade your privacy and take advantage of today’s youth with the click of a button.