Cyber-Crime

April 12, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 14
Should penalties be tougher?
By Brian Hansen

Introduction

David L. Smith, a computer programmer from New Jersey, admitted he created and unleashed the “Melissa” e-mail virus, which caused damages estimated at $400 million. Smith was sentenced in 1999 to five years in prison.  (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)
David L. Smith, a computer programmer from New Jersey, admitted he created and unleashed the “Melissa” e-mail virus, which caused damages estimated at $400 million. Smith was sentenced in 1999 to five years in prison. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

Cyber-crime has reached epidemic proportions. More than 90 percent of the corporations and government agencies responding to a recent survey reported computer-security breaches in 2001. Disgruntled employees and hackers commit many cyber-crimes, and others are committed by con artists using the Web to perpetrate auction fraud, identity theft and other scams. Credit-card users are only liable for the first $50 of fraudulent charges, but financial institutions get hit hard. Identity thefts cost them $2.4 billion in losses and expenses in 2000. Some policymakers, wary of Internet-facilitated terrorist attacks, call for tough, new laws to prevent computer crimes. Others fear that such initiatives will trample on civil liberties. Still others want legislation to make Microsoft and other computer-software companies liable for damages caused by their software-security failures.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Computers
Oct. 06, 2017  Cyberwarfare Threat
Feb. 26, 2016  Virtual Reality
Feb. 12, 2016  Video Games and Learning
Jan. 15, 2016  The Dark Web
Feb. 15, 2013  Improving Cybersecurity
Apr. 13, 2012  Internet Regulation
Sep. 16, 2011  Computer Hacking
Sep. 24, 2010  Impact of the Internet on Thinking
Feb. 26, 2010  Cybersecurity
Aug. 01, 2008  Internet Accuracy
May 02, 2008  Cyberbullying
Jul. 28, 2006  Cyber Socializing
May 12, 2006  Controlling the Internet
Jun. 10, 2005  Identity Theft
Sep. 17, 2004  Cyberpolitics
Sep. 26, 2003  Cybersecurity
Apr. 12, 2002  Cyber-Crime
Oct. 27, 2000  Computers and Medicine
May 26, 2000  Future of Computers
Jan. 28, 2000  The Digital Divide
Feb. 05, 1999  Digital Commerce
Jun. 30, 1995  Regulating the Internet
May 21, 1993  Software Piracy
Sep. 30, 1988  Management's High-Tech Challenge
Jan. 09, 1987  Power Surge in Personal Computers
Feb. 13, 1981  The Computer Age
Nov. 03, 1978  America's Information Boom
Jan. 06, 1978  Computer Crime
May 12, 1971  Reappraisal of Computers
Jul. 25, 1962  Approach to Thinking Machines
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Computers and the Internet
Crime and Law Enforcement
Internet and Social Media