Establishing a Theory of Cyber Crimes
developed a theory called ‘Space Transition Theory’ in
order to explain the causation of crimes in the cyberspace. I felt the
need for a separate theory of cyber crimes because the general
theoretical explanations were found to be inadequate as an overall
explanation for the phenomenon of cyber crimes (Jaishankar 2008). I have
published this theory as a chapter in a book titled “Crimes of the
Internet” edited by Frank Schmalleger & Michael Pittaro, published
by Prentice Hall (2008: 283-301). "Space Transition Theory” is an
explanation about the nature of the behavior of the persons who bring
out their conforming and non-conforming behavior in the physical space
and cyberspace (Jaishankar 2008). Space transition involves the movement
of persons from one space to another (e.g., from physical space to
cyberspace and vice versa). Space transition theory argues that, people
behave differently when they move from one space to another.
postulates of the theory are:
with repressed criminal behavior (in the physical space) have a
propensity to commit crime in cyberspace, which, otherwise they would
not commit in physical space, due to their status and position.
Flexibility, Dissociative Anonymity and lack of deterrence factor in
the cyberspace provides the offenders the choice to commit cyber
behavior of offenders in cyberspace is likely to be imported to
Physical space which, in physical space may be exported to cyberspace
Intermittent ventures of offenders in to the cyberspace and the
dynamic spatio-temporal nature of cyberspace provide the chance to
Strangers are likely to unite together in cyberspace to commit crime
in the physical space.
(b) Associates of physical space are likely to unite to commit
from closed society are more likely to commit crimes in cyberspace
than persons from open society.
conflict of Norms and Values of Physical Space with the Norms and
Values of cyberspace may lead to cyber crimes.
criminology has started viewing the emergence of cyberspace as a new
locus of criminal activity, a new theory is needed to explain why cyber
crime occurs. The space transition theory presented above provides an
explanation for the criminal behavior in the cyberspace. There is a need
to test the Space Transition Theory to see if it explains cyber
criminal activity (Jaishankar 2008).
The second issue of the journal
has a varied range of articles written by emerging and established
experts in the field of Cyber Criminology. The first article by Russell
Smith is about how advances in information and communications
technologies (ICT) have created a range of new crime problems but it has
also facilitated prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution and
punishment of crime. This paper identifies the principal areas of human
rights concern which the digital age has created. The paper concludes
with the ways by which the infringement of human rights in the digital
age could be prevented.
They suggest that
rigorous evaluative research needs to be conducted once new technologies
have been introduced in order to monitor their potential for denigration
of human rights and infringements of international and national laws.
The second article by Michael L. Pittaro is an introduction
to online harassment and intimidation which is termed as cyber stalking.
In this paper he has discussed about how internet has facilitated
criminal activities. He states that cyber stalking is an extension of
traditional stalking but is not as predictable as the traditional
stalking. The author gives some cases of cyber stalking and how things
have become very easy for the criminal to harass his victim. The crime
of cyber stalking is linked with mental abnormality and gives a clear
picture why such incidents happen. Author states ways to avoid being a
victim in such cases which are suggested by the law enforcement
officials. Author concludes saying that though the problem is in its
infancy stage, it’s growing rapidly.
article, entitled, ‘Are We Protecting Our Youth Online?’ is written by
Catherine D. Marcum. This paper starts with a brief introduction of
origin of internet and the protective measures taken by the Government
to prevent online victimization of youth. This paper discusses the use
of filtering and blocking software as one of the major proactive
measures. Success of proactive prevention programs and other types of
online safety measures is limited. The first and most imperative step to
protection of children online is educating them on why it is important
to avoid certain behaviors and places on the Internet. Through the use
of protective tools and other informative measures, it is a must to make
internet a safe place for the youth and young, as it was intended.
The fourth paper by Michael Bachmann from University of Central Florida
talks about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which
is a lawsuit that was set up to prevent the illegal sharing of music
files. Despite these legal efforts, results show that the majority of
music downloaders show little awareness of wrongdoing and in turn the
popularity of P2P networks has been steadily increasing. Paper provides
the data, results and conclusions of various studies on this topic that
have been carried out. Apart from that the implications for the music
and video industry as well as future research are discussed. Future
studies should examine the successfulness of the efforts employed by the
MPAA and the role that increasingly popular legal download alternatives
have for the pirating of copyright-protected material.
In Article five, Kasun Jayawardena and Roderic Broadhurst
talk about the online exploitation of children. This paper provides an
initial exploration of the role Web 2.0 network technology may play in
providing access to underage victims who may be vulnerable to on-line
sexual predators. They have presented their research on the topic with
proper methodology adopted for the study, the data and conclusions. They
conclude that it is essential to empower children to police the Internet
and to recognize their rapid absorption of the changes released by Web
2.0 and the relentless privatization and commercialization that is now
two book reviews in this issue. The book entitled, “CYBERCRIME – The
Reality of the Threat” written by Nigel Phair, is reviewed by
Nicholas Chantler of Queensland University of Technology. He opines that
this book is an easy read introductory text on Cyber crime, which is
based on the authors work experience as a Federal Agent in Australian
High Tech Crime Centre in Canberra and as a member of the Australian
Federal Police. He mentions about the possibility of fading of trust on
the e-commerce by the internet users who get tapped in the web of online
crimes. He also briefly mentions the profile of cyber crime criminals.
Geographical overviews of the cyber crime elements are also presented.
The book addresses the cyber crime activities under the broad headings
like Unwanted Software, Identity Crime, Phishing, Critical
Infrastructure Protection, Intellectual Property, Communications,
Terrorism and Enforcement - recommendations and perspectives relating to
the law enforcement response.
review of James Bowers, Jr., is about the book entitled, “Cybercrime:
How to avoid becoming a victim” by H. Thomas Milhorn. He
feels that this is a book that educates its readers about the different
types of cyber crimes and ways in which internet users can protect them
from becoming victims. Special emphasis in this book is given to
defining what constitutes each type of crime, poignant examples of
actual crimes, and finally, useful tips for protecting yourself from
each type of crime. The chapters cover a broad range of topics. Auction
fraud, job scams, charity scams, child pornography, copyright violation,
cramming and slamming, credit card fraud, credit repair scams, cyber
bullying, and cyber extortion Also, immigration fraud, investment fraud,
laptop theft, loan scams, lottery scams, Nigerian fraud, overpayment
scams, predatory scams, predatory behavior, pyramid schemes,
prostitution, sales fraud, and spam, are dealt. Lastly, travel scam,
viruses, and hoaxes are discussed. In a nutshell, the book covers all
the types of cyber crime and ways to avoid being a victim.
I am grateful to Mili M.
Krishnan, the editorial assistant, for assisting me in proof reading the
articles, a voluntary work she undertook, in spite of her busy regular
work. I am happy and proud to mark that,
of Cyber Criminology (IJCC) is now abstracted/indexed in
Directory of Open Access Journals,
V Barry Library Australian Institute of Criminology,
Australian Institute of Police Management
University of Portsmouth Library,
Index of Information Systems Journals.
I thank all those Managers/Librarians involving in abstracting/indexing
all the Editorial Advisory board members who sincerely reviewed the
articles and for contributing to the continuing quality of articles. My
earnest thanks are due to Dr. Robert G. Morris, University of Texas at
Dallas, who recently joined the International Editorial Advisory Board,
for significantly assisting me in reviewing articles. My special thanks
go to the outside reviewer of this issue, Dr. Prapon of Bangkok Police
Department. My heartfelt thanks go to the authors for their continuous
support in making IJCC as one of the leading journals of the dynamic
field of Criminology.
Jaishankar, K. (2008). Space Transition Theory of cyber crimes. In
Schmallager, F., & Pittaro, M. (Eds.), Crimes of the Internet.
(pp.283-301) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.