Social Control Of Cyber Space


s that someone from a remote terminal using telephone lines had attempted to enter the vast campus computer facility system to destroy the volume table of contents of all the data that was stored in that facility” (Nycum, 4). Luckily, an alert operator forestalled the attack and they were not damaged, but if they had been, $50,000 in 1970 U.S. dollars would have been necessary for the repairs towards the system and recovery of modified or lost data. Since then, institutions around the United States have scattered for solutions to protect themselves from unlawful intrusions and the borderless threats from cyber space.In 1991, the Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University, also known as C.

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E.R.T., reported more than 500 incidents of computer account attacks. Five years later, Carnegie Mellon University would report 2,500 incidents of such attacks.

Frightening enough, University of Delaware faced its first experience of cyber crime with nearly 2,000 students’ and professors’ passwords were compromised and had to be changed. This matter was reported to C.E.R.

T. security specialists and it was later discovered these attacks were part of a larger pool of experienced online vandals, which involved other computers around the country terrorizing databases and fragile unsecured networked computer systems. Now, not only the schools, banks, businesses, and the military are feeling this terror, but also the federal agencies and local police departments are experiencing the work of computer attacks. Awareness grew of a new form of crime striking the nervous system of courts and the criminal justice sector. A push for secure software protection became the solution for most law enforcement agencies, corporations, and the government. Firewall programs were developed to protect server Internet protocol or “i.

p.” numbers to secure the integrity of data.Unfortunately, programs can only protect specific intrusions, but still, there are forms of viruses that exploit systems by transferring codes through wireless, phone, and fiber optic cable connections. For example, e-mail acceptance of an effected file can cause an over-depended system to become paralyzed, disabling total access and reconstruction of a network. Usually this form of an attack is produced with the intention to break a system, test, or challenge in search of flaws in the application or system by a hacker. Very knowledgeable computer engineers or skilled users write programs like viruses or exploit codes. We can simply call them hackers because they have successfully broken into a file or the gate that secures company information.

Those who have broken through this gate and have altered this data are considered crackers because they have not just successfully broken into the system, but have exposed malicious behavior on their property. Examples of a cracker is negligence to deface a website, alter, or erase valuable information from their file management, and/or sell, transfer information, such as funds into other accounts for withdrawal. Therefore, crackers are considered dangerous, possess a lack of computer skills, knowledge, and usually are profiled as juveniles by federal authorities. Recently, authorities apprehended a 16-year-old cracker who perpetrated the CNN database deleting files, also known as a procedure in hacker lingo as modifying the residue in the kernel memory of the system. The juvenile cracker is believed to have struck several worldwide websites, dropping Dow Jones for more than 500 points and losing more than tens of millions of investment dollars. This case is an example by the U.

S.Justice Department to send a message across to the hacker community -announcing the act will no longer be tolerated. As authorities heighten their investigations, more and more companies like Sprint, MCI, Abovenet, and Exds are all working together to put the flow of suspicious information together. Furthermore, they are able to assist law enforcement agencies in correlating information from a number of different sources as logging access lists off layer four connections and routers to pin point who recently visited the network system (Master, 1). As well, information off chat rooms, direct i.p to i.

p. matchmaking, unique remote file transfers, and suspicious transactions made by users over cyber space are being reported. This is all possible by the advancement of technology and the participation of all government agencies and private corporations coming together.No doubt, authorities have had to adjust to two decades of a new crime trend by educating themselves and hiring knowledgeable computer specialist to assist them in controlling the intrusions and wrongful acts caused by cyber criminals. As more cyber crimes surface, supreme court judges will have to depend on the severity of the crime and carefully interpret the law giving the proper consequence for the illegal act. In addition, governmental control over Internet usage can only go so far. This has been noticed recently when three judges on the U.

S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati ruled in favor that computer encryption programs are a form of expression and therefore are protected by the First Amendment. Does this mean it protects virus programs and or applications that can do harm to computer information systems? Chief Judge, Boyce F.

Martin Jr.of the Sixth Circuit wrote in favor stating that this protects computer programs: Because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, we hold that it is protected by the First Amendment” (Kiernan, 2). Shockingly, now, composers of computer programs are protected by actual case laws for reasons that it falls under free speech, and raising the possibility that restrictions on such programs may be deemed unconstitutional. If three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeal ruled that computer programming is a form of expression, then where are we headed? Certainly, we have two points of the spectrum attempting to circumvent the issue, and the other side protecting the technological epidemic.

In conclusion, we clearly see the social control in our society of how our government whose interest is to protect information, contradicts itself by saying it is right to produce computer scripts or program codes that increases harm to our nation’s infrastructure. Furthermore, I am convinced the crimes of tomorrow (cyber perpetrating), and its consequences are not fully enforced, but I accept that we as a nation are doing our best to learn from this fascinating transgression of events.We are learning from it and we are creating limitations, while at the same time, out-dates the rapid advancement of technology making today’s legislation obsolete while the hacker’s vulnerability assessment tools become more sophisticated. Lastly, our hopes, as the criminal justice community, is to quickly detect and predict these modernistic attacks, investigate individually, and circumvent this new trend of cyber criminology and understand its sociological behavior.

Class: Social Control (Sociology 313) Grade: A+ Sociology Issues.