5.1 - In the United States those that investigate and...

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In the United States, those that investigate and attempt to prosecute cyber criminals are well acquainted with the tendency of the courts to view cybercrime as a less serious, white-collar offense, typically resulting in very light sentences. Why do you think that is? Do you agree with this trend, or do you think courts should reassess the seriousness of cyber offenses in the 21st Century? Whatever your opinion, discuss and support your answer. Respond to at least two other student’s posts with something they may not have mentioned. A reassessment is badly needed but I believe it will not likely gain the traction it deserves. Having personally conducted online criminal investigations into credit card fraud and identity theft I have seen firsthand a lot of hurdles. One of the biggest problems for the investigator who can get past jurisdiction is time. The amount of time spent versus the return on investment in a case and the time between the report of the crime and case start. The first (time allocation) has the investigator and their department looking at is the time spent on the case worth the conviction and outcome (sentencing). A closure of the case might be enough to satisfy the police department but doesn’t always equal enough for the prosecution to move forward. We are encouraged to move on and balance our time. For a small department this may not be an issue as they have time to spare but when I had 50 other various open cases there was a lot of pressure to move on. The second time-related issue is that often the crime is not discovered until weeks or months later by the victim before it is reported. This is changing as technology advances and people better monitor their accounts but it still is a large issue. Important evidence is often lost in that first few weeks such as the CCTV video from locations. Businesses video often overwrites itself and is gone by the time we identify a location. A common scam I ran into was where stolen card information was cloned onto gift cards. This makes detecting stolen card information very hard. The suspect can simply say he found the gift card and we can not prove they knew it was loaded with stolen information or that after he found the card he tried to see if there was any money on it. Kind of a digital version of finding $20 bucks laying on the street. Once in the courtroom we also fall at the mercy of the jury attention span and competency. Jurors can have a difficult time understanding the crime and it can take weeks of testimony from experts to instruct them on how and why things occurred.

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