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Famous Criminal Opines that Technology Breeds Crime

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-the-only-thing-that-breeds-online dept.

Security 243

jcatcw writes "In an interview with Computerworld's editor in chief, Don Tennant, Frank Abagnale spoke about his life of crime and crime prevention. Abagnale is a notorious criminal, whose exploits were portrayed in the movie 'Catch Me If You Can.' Abagnale claims: 'It would be 4,000 times easier to do today, what I did 40 years ago, and I probably wouldn't go to prison for it. Technology breeds crime — it always has, it always will ... I really think the more technology there is in the world, the more you have to instill character and ethics. You can build all the security systems in the world; you can build the most sophisticated technology, and all it takes is one weak link — someone who operates that technology — to bring it all down." This would seem to echo commentary in a New York Times article about the rise of Russian hackers in recent years.

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Nature of Things (5, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066217)

For everything that benefits society, along comes those who seek to use said benefits for personal, illicit gain. I don't think it's so much that "Technology Breeds Crime" as "Crime Feeds On Technology".

Oh fuck. Here comes the correlation != causation. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066261)

Oh fuck. Now we're going to see an endless stream of posters stating that "correlation does not imply causation"...

Re:Nature of Things (1, Funny)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066293)

Wait, I thought it was supposed to be "take a bit out of crime"?

Take that back! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066371)

For everything that benefits society, along comes those who seek to use said benefits for personal, illicit gain.

I will not stand for your impugning politicians in that manner!

Re:Nature of Things (5, Interesting)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066387)

What exactly is the difference?

Ignoring the pedantic difference of "breeds" vs "feeds" (both of which are metaphors anyway), it's essentially "technology facilitates crime" vs "criminals utilize technology", which both describe the exact same thing. You can't have one without the other.

I realize you are reacting against the fear that people will hear this and fight against technology instead of fighting against crime, but that's them being irrational. The best way to fight irrationality is not more irrationality, and the claim that technology does not help criminals is irrational. Teach them to oppose the crime, not the technology. But also accept that sometimes the best way to oppose the crime is to limit the technology.

A very good example is credit card receipts. Presently, receipts are not allowed to contain a certain amount of data. This all but eliminates one avenue of identity theft/credit card fraud.

Re:Nature of Things (2, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066609)

Here's the problem with wording: Foxnews and George W Bush.

"criminals use technology" means that technology can be a neutral thing in which can both benefit and harm society.

"technology breeds criminals" means the loopy fuckers in power will send us into another dark age, all in the name of security.

Re:Nature of Things (-1, Flamebait)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066645)

Way to sneak in a totally off-comment snipe at Fox & Bush.

Re:Nature of Things (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066835)

Here's the problem with wording: Foxnews and George W Bush.
Yes. That's exactly what I stated the problem was: the irrational people. Without the irrational people, Fox News and GWB would be impotent.

"criminals use technology" means [1] that technology can be a neutral thing in which can both benefit and harm society.

"technology breeds criminals" means [2] the loopy fuckers in power will send us into another dark age, all in the name of security.
Nice try.

You're swapping definitions.
means [1]: is defined as
means [2]: leads to

If you re-read my post, it will be *extremely* clear that I'm referring to "means [1]", and point out that the problem caused by "means [2]" is not the wording, but the irrational people.

My solution is to teach people to think. Your solution is to trick people with wording. My solution solves the problem. Your solution merely treats the symptoms.

Re:Nature of Things (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067159)

Totally agree. Education is necessary and sufficient to solve the problems.

But, I'd look at things this way:

"Complexity Breeds Crime" *and* "Crime Feeds On Complexity".

And as long as many Homo Sapiens are un-educated, they will be
able to be exploited by others using that complexity and
their ignorance against them.

Yes, Technology is Complex, But Complexity has been around
as long as there have been lawyers.

Language (2, Interesting)

ElMiguel (117685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066689)

Language attempts to convey limited information about reality. That information is not just conveyed through the explicit meanings of individual words, but also through more complex means such as context, emphasis and innuendo.

"Technology Breeds Crime" places the emphasis on technology whereas "Crime Feeds On Technology" places the emphasis on crime. I would say this is a story more about crime than about technology, so the second is more appropriate.

Re:Language (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067005)

"Technology Breeds Crime" places the emphasis on technology whereas "Crime Feeds On Technology" places the emphasis on crime.
Agreed.

I would say this is a story more about crime than about technology
I don't think so. It's equally dependent on crime and technology. Remove either one and the article makes absolutely no sense.

so the second is more appropriate.
I fully disagree, which is the exact point I'm trying to make. If you treat this primarily as a problem with the criminals, you will be less likely to make beneficial technological changes (which is, in fact, the primary motivation for slashdot-types to say, "it's not the technology, it's the criminal") for fear of the potential for irrational changes. And a very rational fear that is--after all, how many very irrational technology laws have been passed via this very route!

Instead of kowtowing to the irrationality of others, why not fight that irrationality? In this case, kowtowing to irrationality means avoiding actual *beneficial* technology laws for fear of enacting bad technology laws. This seems to be a very short-sighted and defeatist attitude. Instead of working to make society better, all you're doing is trying to keep it from getting worse. In such an effort, if you win the best you can hope for is to keep things the same. If you lose, things get worse. Given that you are highly unlikely to win every time, you're taking action that will do nothing but ratchet down, allowing things to get worse and worse.

Re:Nature of Things (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066691)

Technology breeds criminals implies that technology needs to be slowed or stopped.

Criminals use technology implies (and clearly indicates) that criminals are always going to abuse technology to facilitate crime.

There is a difference, and I'm not willing to entertain the idea that technology is a bad thing just because it can be abused.

Re:Nature of Things (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066875)

Technology breeds criminals implies that technology needs to be slowed or stopped.
No it doesn't. If that's what you infer, you're jumping to conclusions.

Criminals use technology implies (and clearly indicates) that criminals are always going to abuse technology to facilitate crime.
Nowhere in that statement is it "clearly indicated" or implied (in fact, it can't both "clearly indicate" and "imply". Do you know what those words mean?) that criminals will "always abuse technology to facilitate crime".

Unless you're irrational and prone to jumping to conclusions, to thinking with your gut. I propose teaching people to think with their minds, and to root out and expose truthiness for the fraud that it is.

Re:Nature of Things (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067187)

Technology breeds criminals implies that technology needs to be slowed or stopped.
No it doesn't. If that's what you infer, you're jumping to conclusions.


Actually, you're the one who is wrong. To breed means to create. Saying that technology breeds criminals means that it creates them where they wouldn't otherwise be, and that implies that technology is to blame. Therefore, if it is the cause of creating criminals, it must somehow be held in check.

It's a pretty clear implication.

By contrast, saying that criminals use technology means simply that. It acknowledges that criminals will be there whether or not they have new gadgets to use, but will use the technology that they have available.

Re:Nature of Things (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067145)

I realize you are reacting against the fear that people will hear this and fight against technology instead of fighting against crime, but that's them being irrational. The best way to fight irrationality is not more irrationality, and the claim that technology does not help criminals is irrational. Teach them to oppose the crime, not the technology. But also accept that sometimes the best way to oppose the crime is to limit the technology.
I think what a lot of people miss is that technology really only changes affects the types of crimes that are being committed. Sure forgery and ID theft are probably far easier now than they were 40 years ago, but 40 years ago it was far harder than it had been 150 years ago. These things come in waves, and it'll take some time before law enforcement and the legal system really catch up with them.

The other thing is that these are nonviolent crimes that technology is presently abetting, even though they are still serious crimes, they can at least be largely cleaned up and resolved.

I don't think that anybody would really should argue that technology is the problem, as there were far more violent crimes prior to the modern police force and all the improved investigative techniques that have been found since. Its just that people who are victimized get far more attention now than they did 100 years ago, so it seems like crimes are higher than they were.

Re:Nature of Things (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067153)

What exactly is the difference?

Come on, don't be a simpleton. You don't see the difference in the reversal of cause and effect?

If "technology breeds crime", then every sufficiently advanced country in the world would be a hotbed of criminal activity. How much crime is there in, say, Japan? In fact, their crime rate is dropping as technology advances - and that includes white collar crime. If the adage that "technology breeds crime" were assumed to be true, then even one exception would prove it false. And there's your exception.

In countries where there is already a large criminal element, technology may enable them to more easily commit crimes, or to commit crimes that were never possible before. But technology is not "breeding" that crime; that crime already existed. Russia has been basically a lawless society in a lot of ways since the fall of the Soviet Union (and probably even before; we just didn't know it) - it didn't take the internet to put it in that state. There are all sorts of forces that create criminality; technology, though, is not one of them.

Re:Nature of Things (5, Insightful)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066877)

To Abignale's credit, his solution isn't to restrict technology but to invest more in the character of people.

Lame frosty piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21067261)

I bet you thought for a whole 10 seconds about that one just to get first post. Anyways, thank you for sharing your amazing wisdom that people are selfish.
 

Tech does not "breed" crime. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066237)

It only makes SOME crimes easier.

When you had to walk into a bank to empty someone's bank account, you were limited by how far you could travel.

Now, when you can do it across the 'Web, you are not limited in the same way.

The problem is that the security model has not kept pace with the concept of "web services" offered by the banks. But if the banks were 100% liable for any loss, you'd see them focusing on the security.

Re:Tech does not "breed" crime. (5, Funny)

hnile_jablko (862946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066365)

The problem is that the security model has not kept pace with the concept of "web services" offered by the banks. But if the banks were 100% liable for any loss, you'd see them focusing on the security.

Are you a communist? Regulating business is bad you communist leftist vagina. : P

Re:Tech does not "breed" crime. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066535)

BTW my bank's interweb site says "You will receive 100% reimbursement in the unlikely event account losses occur resulting from unauthorized EasyWeb activity."

https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/ebanking/guarantee.jsp [tdcanadatrust.com]

Re:Tech does not "breed" crime. (1)

olehenning (1090423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066607)

You're saying that banks should be held responsible for everything? That's a tall order. What if the user was a dumb twit who lost his pin code and calculator? Naturally, it's dreadful that banks don't take the issue seriously enough, but to expect them to take all of the responsibility is somewhat optimistic. I've seen first hand the poor security in web-based banking services, and other web services. In fact, I've been victim of identity theft due to poor security in web services, and the lack of responsibilty, expertise and general knowledge or interest in the security issues is alarming, but the responsibility lies with everyone. Next week, we'll begin looking at BankID (a PKI for banking systems in Norway) at univeristy, and I expect to see quite a few flaws that they will be reluctant to fix because of business concerns.

Re:Tech does not "breed" crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066869)

When you had to walk into a bank to empty someone's bank account, you were limited by how far you could travel.

Now, when you can do it across the 'Web, you are not limited in the same way.


Or how about this: before, in most cases, to commit a crime you had to face your victims or intrude upon their property. More than likely a weapon would have to be brandished. The prize would be paper money or real, physical goods. The victim may have to be faced again, or the scene revisited at a later time.

It would all be very "real." That's a pretty strong deterrent and kept many a person with a consciense from commiting a crime.

Now it is much, much more possible for a criminal to be completely disconnected. "Victims" can be nothing more than anonymous usernames, the stolen goods are numbers on a computer screen. Assuming you don't get caught... well, that will be that and any repurcussions will happen safely off-screen.

That's the biggest danger, I think. It's pretty clear a hell of a lot of people feel free to wallow in their own crapulence online. The number of trolls on forums is astounding, for example. Or look at online games, and how many people seem to make it their favorite sport to go out of their way to ruin an anonymous stranger's day. Not saying every Slashdot troll or Warcraft corpse camper is going to be a criminal (far from it) but the ability to travel anonymously, to be a complete dick without having to see the other person's hurt expression, does bring out the worst. There seem to be an awful lot of people with the ability to turn their consciense completely off when they log on to the 'net.

And I do think it's not such a stretch to think that someone who could never bring themselves to commit a crime in real life, would have no problem emptying out an anonymous stranger's bank account online.

Yeah, some -- like maybe 80% (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066891)

The discovery of iron led to conquests of those who only had bronze swords (arguably a "crime"). Firearms contributed to a "lawless" west... until the telegraph made it harder to get away. Domestic and agricultural pest control led to poisonings. Machine guns (along with automobiles) led to frequent bank robberies... until the Feds caught up with weaponry and radio communication, again making it harder to get away. Xerox technology led to forgery. Fine scanning and color printers, the same. Email: a way to defraud more people in less time, using the same old scams.

It is actually hard to think of a major innovation that did not spark the minds of criminals, at least for a while until law enforcement caught on. I don't know of anyone who planned crimes specifically around Teflon for example, but who knows? I question even that.

Even so, the basic concepts of criminality have not changed even a little. Only the specific methods have changed. Nor has the overall rate of crime increased... it has not. At least in the U.S., property and violent crime have both trended steadily downward for the last 20 years, according to the Department of Justice's own records.

Teflon (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066921)

I don't know of anyone who planned crimes specifically around Teflon for example, but who knows?

Some crimes have been at least dependant on teflon. Bank roberies have been planned and executed that used teflon coated bullets to go though the guard's bullet-proof vests.

Wrong way to look at it. (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066239)

It isn't that technology breeds crime; it is that technology is a form of human enhancement, and some humans are criminals. However, technology also enhances law enforcement, brings new ethical and moral issues to the table for society (or the ruling political junta) to rule on, and empowers people further and further down the economic scale as technology itself becomes inexpensive.

I don't think we ought to be "criminalizing" technology as a whole. We simply need to keep considering, and re-considering, the ethical and moral issues of the day in the light of what our current society can tolerate without infringing on the liberties of individuals and the security of the group.

If we have a fault, it is an inability to change quickly when we see social regulation - like the drug war, or the current pogrom against sexuality - isn't working. That's a political problem, and one we (speaking as a US citizen) have been roundly unable to address.

Re:Wrong way to look at it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066385)

Simply put.... just like guns don't kill - people do! Technology is no different that it may be used as a weapon, but it is the user that commits the crime, they make the decision, and to punish everyone because someone take advantage of technology in a manner that causes crime is silly and uncalled for... Sounds to me like he is getting paid to have an opinion to lock down more rights of a so called free country.

Plant the fear in peoples mind and let the rumors do the rest, is basically what I see here! Sad that society doesn't do it's own studies. They would rather listens to this junk.

And (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066847)

If technology breeds crime, do we have more crime now than we used to? I get annoyed by people who claim that "X leads to more crime," and yet don't back that up with crime stats. Is there more crime now than there used to be? I know at least where violent crime is concerned there's not.

Also, with crimes that are more common with technology, like fraud, some of them were being committed legally. Do some research in to the crap surrounding medicine 100+ years ago. People who outright lie about what their supposed medicine did, the whole "caveat emptor" concept of any transaction and so on. It seems that perhaps there was plenty of fraudulent activity going around, it just wasn't illegal. Now you aren't allowed to sell sugar pills and claim they are drugs.

More or less, any time someone says that we are worse off, like more crime, more poverty, less education, etc than we used to be, I want to see some kind of proof. Despite problems, it seems that things do continue to get better overall at least for people in industrialized nations.

Re:And (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066961)

I still see ads for "fat burners" and "body enhancement" on TV all the time. Don't even get me started on Enzyte Bob. Patent medicines are alive and well, there is just a more complicated set of rules about what you can and can't say. These rules in no way impede the basic dynamic of promising the world for almost nothing.

Re:Wrong way to look at it. (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066919)

It isn't that technology breeds crime; it is that technology is a form of human enhancement, and some humans are criminals. However, technology also enhances law enforcement, brings new ethical and moral issues to the table for society (or the ruling political junta) to rule on, and empowers people further and further down the economic scale as technology itself becomes inexpensive.
It's also too easy to say technology doesn't upseet the balance between criminals and law enforcement, or in general between attack and defense. Charging first in a knifefight is rarely a good idea, shooting first in a gunfight is. Using encryption is easier than breaking encryption. Computers make sharing information easier than restricting information. I'd also contend that technology empowers the weak - I bet the Gestapo, KGB etc. would love to have had the abilities they have today. How about the CCTV system in Britain, capable of tracking every car around the nation? Has the latest hotspot for producing tech gadgets in China led to freedom and democracy?

It's not just "ethical and moral" issues, it really changes the battlefield. It's not that morality has changed, only that people have gotten the ability. For example, notice how many people are very rude in imperonal conversation, the way they'd never speak to you on the phone or face to face. Why? Because the way we communicate has changed. Same with the respect for copyright law - I don't think the morality or ethics was that different in the days of mix tapes. They've just gotten new opportunities to carry them out. Sometimes technology enables behavior we don't want, but there's just no turning back time.

There is nothing new here. (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067027)

Actually, there is nothing new on the table. The basic concepts of "DRM" and easy copying of Copyrighted material go back to the days of player pianos and rolls of punched paper that played copyrighted songs.

The internet and digital music are NOT new concepts. The ONLY difference is the speed and ease by which these things may be done. The legal concepts, the morals, and the ethics are all the same as they were 150 years ago!!!

The only difference today is the degree to which the public has accepted the arguments of corporations regarding what those corporations' "rights" should be, in regard to copyrighted material. They have tried to extend it far beyond the rights that were ever allowed to individual copyright holders. And that is sad. Partly because the corporations, in general, have been full of shit. And partly because actually, corporations do not have "rights" at all. They have certain legal privileges, but rights belong to individuals, not companies. And partly because, ultimately, it is individuals working for or with those corporations who actually created the content that those corporations "bought". The reality is: the corporations have been all for them, and none for you. So the idea of supporting them at all in this endeavor is foreign to any reasonable concept of justice. They should be fought at every turn, with every angle available. Because indirectly but inevitably, their goal has been to make your life more expensive and difficult.

Semantic Nitpicking (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066945)

The simple fact, and part of the problem, is that historically criminals have had access to technology before law enforcement. So there has been a window of opportunity for criminals to think of ways to exploit technology before law enforcement catches on.

And that is the way it should be!!!

Imagine a world in which government and law enforcement had access to most technology before the public did. You would not be a free citizen very long.



"Never appeal to a man's better nature. He may not have one." -- Robert A. Heinlein

Definition of Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066245)

He's right, and I'm getting off his lawn soon, but first I want to point out that customer service rep "Tiffany" is not exactly using technology just because she's sitting in front of Windows using a vertical app rolled out by IT.

WRA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066301)

Let's use a criminal's ideas for criminal law reformation.

Yeah... (3, Funny)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066303)

... because before the Internet, folks just sat around thinking "I wish I could go steal some money, but I just can't figure out how."

Re:Yeah... (4, Insightful)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066373)

... because before the Internet, folks just sat around thinking "I wish I could go steal some money, but I just can't figure out how."

But he does have a point: today's technology separates people. I see the point of your joke: people used to rob banks. But now, if you can simply click and hack your way to a robbery, more people would do this rather than hold someone at gun point.

It is the criminal equivalent of how online discourse is so much more harsh than in real life: people do things they wouldn't think about doing in person.

Re:Yeah... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066599)

Well, the old cave dwellers were not separated by the internet. They were separated by the mountain in between them.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066707)

Yes, it is absolutely appalling how they might hack into a bank rather than hold it up with guns.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066779)

I think this argument doesn't hold water. Someone who wanted to rob a bank would rob a bank, whether at gunpoint or by drilling a hole into safes.

The difference is that today, it's no hassle to rob a bank in London while you're sitting in Sidney. There are simply more banks in reach for the average bank robber. Or, since no violence is involved, one should probably call them bank thieves.

Definition of "technology" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066395)

When did "technology" come to mean "consumer electronics" anyway? Creating fire is technology. The wheel is technology. The written word is technology. The printing press is technology. The motorcar is technology. All of these advances were beneficial to criminals too. Welcome to earth, motherfuckers. Every living being on this planet is fighting for the same limited resources, and life is tough here. Put on your fucking helmet and get on with it.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066459)

precisely. technology doesn't breed crime it exposes it. The mastermind criminals of today are very well known. The only problem is the government's red tape.

And the fact that the criminals are the government.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066773)

Indeed. Today you just go to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and you get everything you need, even with illustrations and all.

Not technology's fault (0)

chiph (523845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066321)

Society prepares the crime. The criminal commits it.

Chip H.

Sad: sometimes crime pays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066347)

Because he was a very skilled criminal he ended up getting a great job with the FBI.. Similarly, great traitors from different comntries get lots of mony from their country's enemies. Sad, Sad, Sad!
At least I am glad they dont hire former crackers for security jobs anymore. However, some of them start their own security companies.

Re:Sad: sometimes crime pays (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066629)

So once someone commits a crime - that's it for them, no chance for redemption, no opportunity to repent, no way to earn back trustworthiness?

Knowledge is valuable, no matter where it comes from.

Re:Sad: sometimes crime pays (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067029)

Of course there is but one of the consequences of a criminal act is that you limit the scope and extent of your future trustworthiness. I might trust Kevin Mitnick to test the effectiveness of my security policies by trying to wheedle passwords out of people on the phone but I'd take steps to keep him from actually exploiting that knowledge. There'd be no tour of my facilities for instance. In the same vein, I wouldn't let a convicted flasher work around children but wouldn't have much of a problem with him sweeping warehouse floors on the graveyard shift.

Criminals make bad sociologists. (4, Insightful)

yusing (216625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066349)

"The person operating the technology" ... A stick, a rock, a screwdriver, all tools. Can I kill somebody with a screwdriver? A Glock, on the other hand, is designed for a reason.

The better a tool is a doing crime, the more we need to ask: who designed it and why?

Do computers make some crimes easier? Yeah. But they also make detecting and preventing crimes easier. They're general-purpose tools.

Nothing has changed in 2000 years about how much character it takes to avoid criminality. So if there's more crime, there's less instilling or more unbridled greed.

I'd blame the latter. Leadership sets the example.

Re:Criminals make bad sociologists. (1)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066469)

> Nothing has changed in 2000 years about how much character it takes to avoid criminality. So if there's more crime, there's less instilling or more unbridled greed.

Things have changed in the last 2000 years about how much character it takes to avoid criminality. The state of being a criminal is defined solely by law. In the last 2000 years, laws have become increasingly broad. It takes an increasingly restricted character to abide by the laws of the land, where ever you are.

Just don't attribute crime as a fault of character. It is not. Crime is always a result of law.

Re:Criminals make bad sociologists. (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066637)

A Glock, on the other hand, is designed for a reason.

Um-hmmm. To make money for the manufacturer by creating an object that will be highly desired such that people will pay well for it as compared to what it costs to put it together. From the consumer perspective, to shoot bullets. And going by what said Glock is mostly used for in that regard, that is, shooting bullets, said #1 reason would be target shooting, #2 would be gun collecting, and a very, very distant #3 would be putting a bullet into a living, breathing animal. Sometimes for entirely appropriate reasons, I might add.

For instance, if someone enters my house but chooses not to ring the bell and wait for an invitation to enter by an authorized member of my household, I'd just as soon put a bullet in their kneecap as not. But the fate of their knee isn't in any way a product of technology; if I didn't have a gun, I'd be perfectly content to shatter that same knee with a bat instead; using a "technology" that has literally been around since man lived in caves. Even failing that, as a martial artist, I could simply use my hands, weight and leverage and destroy their knee that way. Each of these technologies requires that I come closer and closer to my target, and enhances my risk in the order presented. Which leads me to ask: Why should I suffer such risk enhancement for the sake of a home invader, or the offended sensibilities of people who are not in any way authorized members of my household?

The problem here is the failure of the interloper to observe the social boundaries of "this is not your house", and, if you like, that I have grown to consider unauthorized intrusions into my home to be every bit as unacceptable as an actual physical assault. Not that a Glock can put a bullet into a knee. If you want to solve the actual problem, either convince me it's OK for someone to enter my home without my permission, or convince all members of society not to enter my (anyone's) home without permission. This is a social problem, a human problem, a problem of boundaries, ownership, privacy and liberty. The Glock is irrelevant.

Re:Criminals make bad sociologists. (0, Troll)

Oldav (533444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067191)

Thanks, You make the case for gun control very well, your attitude to violence clearly shows why you should not have any form of weapon.

Glock (0, Flamebait)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066757)

A Glock, on the other hand, is designed for a reason.

To get people laughed at by the owners of real pistols?

Re:Glock (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066991)

Would you be laughing if staring into the wrong end of one? I understand that you think you have a "Real Gun" of some sort but I suspect a Glock could become one if you found yourself in the wrong situation.

Re:Glock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21067063)

It doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of say, a Colt 1911 (or clone) or a .357 revolver - big, famous guns made of wood and steel that just shout "I'm going to hurt you - badly." Glocks, the new Walthers, and all those plastic pistols look like children's toys, not the weapons that win wars or bring justice.

It is not a function of function, its a function of aesthetics. Glock fails miserably on this count.

Re:Criminals make bad sociologists. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067249)

What makes a good sociologist?

If only we had good leaders, we wouldn't need good leaders! This is, of course, ridiculous. People are capricious, short-sited, self interested animals. Surprise should come at behavior that falls outside this description, not the other way round.

Technology may make crime easier... (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066353)

...but it also makes it far more traceable (along- sadly- with more legitimate activities). The potential intrusiveness of technology into our lives and the trail of electronic fingerprints we leave is far greater than most people are aware of, and it's going to get worse before- if- it gets better.

For one simple example, what about the trail that your mobile phone leaves with the network when you leave it switched on and are travelling somewhere?

This isn't even counting the fact that with future improvements in technology, it's quite feasible that activities that you can "get away" with today could leave a trail that is inciminating with tomorrow's forensics and analysis technology. I'll bet that people who committed murders 30 or 40 years ago didn't even consider the possibility of their getting nabbed by DNA tests in the future.

And in all honesty, even if the data we have available to us today isn't able to tell us much, this might change with improved data mining/analysis tools. Something that someone does today might not be enough to get them prosecuted immediately, but what happens when improved tools come along in the future and spot things that had been missed previously?

Re:Technology may make crime easier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066791)

mod parent up

Technology also breeds capture (1)

BarlowBrad (940854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066355)

I would agree with him that technology breeds crime. But I would add that technology also breeds capture. With so much technology at their fingertips today's law enforcement has a much higher rate of capture.

Of course, the question remains unanswered if the crime that is bred outpaces the crime that is captured and/or deterred.

This is absolutely true.. (1)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066367)

Unfortunately. It is not helped by Judges who have to ask "What is a web-page.."

http://shadowofadoubt.wordpress.com/2007/05/19/law-and-tech-intersection-a-dark-corner-for-judge/ [wordpress.com]

Reminds me of dear old Peter Cook's Judges who prefer it to Coal mining..

Re:This is absolutely true.. (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066435)

Unfortunately. It is not helped by Judges who have to ask "What is a web-page.."

To be fair to the judge, it is a vague term, bandied around rather loosely. What's a web page? What's the difference between that and a web site? Is it still a web page if it's not just static HTML, but is dynamically generated from a database and might never display the exact same content twice?

In a court of law, it's important that everyone be clear on what is being discussed. Plenty of people use the internet every day and never even become aware that there's a distinction between 'web' and 'internet'. The media consistently used to refer to Napster as a music-sharing website - despite the fact that no music was ever shared on the website, only via the P2P application. So you can't expect judges necessarily to have a clear understanding of the terminology, and even if the judge does have such an understanding he'd still raise the question to make sure the lawyers were using the same definitions.

Re:This is absolutely true.. (1)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066549)

Which I understand, and a Judge, in a case where this matters, should understand too. I suggest we are employing the wrong people as Judges.. As a general point, I think law-enforcement is well out of its depth on a lot of these issues..

Re:This is absolutely true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066895)

>> So you can't expect judges necessarily to have a clear understanding of the terminology....

WTF, you suggest to allow somebody to rule over somebody else's life without a 100% understanding of what he/she is ruling on..... this is common practice in the USA but it is wrong!

Oh, FFS (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066377)

All the intelligent criminals are already at the top. They simply made what they do legal.

 

It's scarry (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066723)


  A little history lesson: If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers below. Who said it? (there are only six, you can do it!)

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We)...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Jose f Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own...in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Answers:

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Re:It's scarry (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066927)

What a funny way to make perfectly ordinary statements seem moonbat extremist.

Notrious Criminal? (3, Funny)

MissionAccomplished (951344) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066401)

Anyone know what it means to be 'Notrious'? Is that 'not nutritious'? Damned editors...

they meant 'nitrous' (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066853)

he either steals fertilizer, or always has a canister of laughing gas with him whenever he commits a crime, kind of like the joker

Rubbish (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066407)

Technology doesn't breed crime, it facilitates crime (as it does massive election fraud and bad customer service, but that's for another /. story).

Amazing how many people (1)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066493)

are making the same comment... most of whom don't realise that that is Frank Abbagale's entire point for the length of the article, and they're arguing a nitpick argument over a single poorly chosen word in the opening line.

Uhhh Actually... (2, Insightful)

neuromancer23 (1122449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066411)

Uh actually, technology breeds prosperity which sadistic sociopaths view as more opportunities to commit crime.

logic flaw (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066425)

He seems to have a logic flaw in his way of viewing the world. On the one hand, he considers that the world has no ethics:

we live in an extremely unethical society....so today you have a lot of young people who have no character, no ethics and they find no problem in defrauding somebody or stealing from somebody or cheating somebody.
but then he goes on to say that people are basically honest:

The problem is that most people are basically honest, so they don't sit back and think about how someone would do this.
So what is his point of view here? Does he think people have ethics but don't manage to pass them on to the younger generation? Does he think the only way to pass on ethics is in classes? I'm not really sure. But he seems to have gotten himself into some sort of problematic way of seeing things.

Re:logic flaw (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066899)

That's because he's not a good person to ask for insight in to the human psyche. Basically, all that I read about him points to him being a sociopath. That's more or less a person who's incapable of empathizing with others. They cannot "put them in someone else's shoes" so to speak, they can't consider how their actions might make you feel. As such, they generally see it as perfectly acceptable to commit crimes, lie, cheat, steal, whatever so long as it enriches them since in their world, they are the only ones that matter.

Well, since people are quite good at taking their own situation and projecting it to the world, you can see how he'd figure that others have no ethics and that it has to be taught. After all he has no ethics. To the extent he's gotten any it is because he believes that obeying these rules is better for him.

While I think he's got a bit of truth overall, in that the Internet in particular is making it easier for certain kinds of sociopaths to commit crimes without fear of being caught, I wouldn't give his analysis of humans any weight.

Re:logic flaw (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067039)

He's talking about an intergenerational difference in people, which is why he mentions youth having no training in ethics, while most people can be said to be "basically honest". His main thrust is the following:

"So today you have a lot of young people who have no character, no ethics and they find no problem in defrauding somebody or stealing from somebody or cheating somebody. Until we change that, crime is just going to get easier, faster, more global, harder to detect."

I think he's focusing on the symptoms rather than the underlying causes, especially as it applies to the USA.

Take a cage of social animals (e.g. primates, lions, wolves, deer, bison etc) at the zoo. Within their cage, they will have a subset of behaviors within the realm of possible behaviors. That subset could be said to be an ethic. We remove the boundaries to each cage, competition to the same finite set of resources commences, and then we wonder why the set of observable interspecies behaviors is larger than the subsets formerly displayed within each cage, by a group of animals whose genetic code has been selected over millions of years to increase the frequency of their own genes.

He is right in a sense, that technology enables competition for finite resources. But as to his half-baked idea of a solution? i.e. Papering over the underlying reality of the USA with mandatory ethics classes in schools, and a 4 year course that only an idiot with no concept of earning enough money to provide for a family would take? It's a joke.

Re:logic flaw (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067049)

There is no conflict in his words because he chose them carefully. It is true that *most* of the people are basically honest. Out of the remaining part of the society *a lot* are totally devoid of ethics. If we go down to numbers, I'd say 80% are basically honest, 5% are ready to steal, and the remaining 15% are driven by the circumstances.

From this we can conclude that his main concern is with those 5% (or however many) that don't see anything wrong in stealing a child's lunch money or setting a puppy on fire (or blowing up frogs - reportedly a favorite pastime of a well known strongman.)

But I would not be too fast in following his call to educate those 5% better. I saw my share of people like that (and who hasn't?) and I believe any lessons would just bounce off of them. Is it a genetic setting somewhere in their brains? Maybe. I do not know. But I do know that even jail does not always manage to teach those people to stay honest. Besides, he himself started his criminal life as a child, when he had very limited opportunity to try other ways, and when he had virtually no knowledge of the world (the theft of cash from his father's credit card proves that.) Many criminals start this way, they are just not wise enough to understand what they are doing, and their ideas about "trusted authority" is somewhat inverted. They'd ignore a teacher but listen to a gang leader. It could be because teacher talks about matters (ethics, morality) that are far more complex than the subject of gang leader's talk (as in "go there, beat them up, steal, drink, repeat.") To make matters worse, a decent civilization requires an exchange of favors between an individual and the society; however children are genetically programmed to take everything from everyone and give nothing to nobody. In a caveman's world that would be beneficial to their survival, but in a modern human society this is bad.

Re:logic flaw (1)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067093)

we live in an extremely unethical society... most people are basically honest...

I read that as saying "the group lacks ethics" and "the individual posesses honesty". I.E. The property of the individual doesn't scale to the community.

To me, that makes a good deal of sense. Look at how our most visible officials (US Executive--now and then), personas (Ms. Spears & Lohan, Mr. O'Reilly), and social structures (Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adephia, Monsanto, Halliburton, Walmart, (MP|RI)AA, etc.) operate or have operated.

people have ethics but don't manage to pass them on to the younger generation

If I read it correctly, yeh. Children are growing up surrounded by an unethical society. Children learn ethics from society. Thus, our children are becoming unethical people. (Proving postulate 2 is left as an exercise to the reader.)

Re:logic flaw (1)

diseasesofseamen (816416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067097)

The society and the people in it are two different things.

As I understand him, our society doe not foster a reasonable set of ethics, and thus people who could just as easily behave well instead do not, as they don't have a strong ethical sense to buttress any natural tendency toward honesty.

His worldview seems based on his view of himself - a good kid at heart who was never given a proper foundation in ethical behavior.

I wonder if he addresses the messy politics of teaching ethics in one of his books.

disagree... (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066453)

BS! Technology just boast your inner self. You can always be more efficient when you have access to better technology, even if you're a criminal. If the world is breeding criminals, that's for a different reason.

So are you saying... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066457)

If you took away all technology that crime wouldn't happen?

Re:So are you saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066555)

What would be left to steal if you removed all the technology? The food you had foraged?

Re:So are you saying... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066809)

Basically I'm fairly certain that most crimes would become impossible. Not because people suddenly got peaceful but because certain crimes are simply no longer possible.

Imagine we got mind reading powers and it was illegal to read someone's mind without his consent. Now take that power away. Will someone break the mind-reading laws? How could they?

Re:So are you saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066951)

That is EXACTLY it!

While we are at it,
- get rid of ALL guns, as we know guns kill people, not people
- get rid of all computers, as we know (now) technology is breading criminal minds
- let's put the entire world on house arrest, as we know, gathering in large groups encourages the exchange of opinions which leads to unrest, crime.
- finally we need to allow the governments COMPLETE access to our information, after all they are only trying to protect us.

Kids these days... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066461)

...have it so easy! I remember when I was a young criminal, we had to walk uphill to the bank to rob it! Both ways! Through six feet of snow! Fending off lions and tigers with our BARE HANDS!

4000 times harder in the "old days" huh? Boo hoo.

technology as an afterburner (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066491)

Technology breeds governments and control as well: The more technology there is, the more control governments seek to have over their subjects.

Technology also breeds more effective community action: The more technology there is, the more easily people can form communities and co-operate more effectively.

So, technology is an afterburner: It speeds up all existing social processes, including law enforcement, community cooperation, crime... anything.

Therefore saying that 'technology helps X' is devoid of meaning. The correct thing is to say 'technology assists in everything, including X'.

Re:technology as an afterburner (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066827)

In other words, what you say is that technology increases government corruption. Yes, that matches my observation.

(Just to give you the feeling how it is when you're paraphrased out of context :)

Interviewer is a Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066511)

Suppose you'd been born in 1980. How much of what you got away with 40 years ago do you think you'd be able to get away with as a 17-year-old today?
Probably none at all, because if he had been born in 1980 he'd be 27 years old now, not 17. It's hard to read much past that.

Russia may be a particular problem... (2, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066517)

This would seem to echo commentary in a New York Times article about the rise of Russian hackers in recent years.

The Russians may be especially vulnerable to this, coming down as they are from a fully-controlled society. Under Communism, individuals must be taught from childhood to ignore their inner moral voice and instead follow the orders coming down from above. Inner sensibility is bred out, because it can only interfere with a command economy.

But then the command structure toppled, and all of its cogs were set loose in "freedom, horrible freedom". No more orders coming down from above... and no inner voice (or at least an abnormally quiet one) and not much of a national religion to forcibly install one. Perhaps such people are therefore more likely to become free-riders, or worse, as the opportunities arise.

Doesn't technology benefit everyone? (1)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066523)

I would imagine that with improved communication and information gathering technology, _catching_ frauds would be easier, too.

whiners (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066527)

Yeah, there is a lot of "criminal" activity involving technology. But that criminal activity consists mostly of moving numbers around and rarely results in people getting hurt in a physical way. Overall, we're still a lot safer and better off than we were. And if you don't like the technology or the crime related to it, just don't use it. And if we, as a society, decided that some technologies might be too risky (on-line banking, e-voting, whatever), we could go back to paper.

Re:whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21067057)

Where I come from paper is a new technology you insensitive clod!

Here we say "If paper is abused we go back to counting raised hands."

Laws breed crime (1)

little1973 (467075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066573)

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." ('Atlas Shrugged' 1957)

Re:Laws breed crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21067011)

Aren't you a little too old to be quoting Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises?

Police use Technology Too (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066603)

It might have become easier for criminals to get away with things but it has also become easier for the police to catch them. Computers can scan thousands or millions of fingerprints for matches, driving and passport records can be immediately displayed, police, financial etc. records from around the world can be viewed or transmitted instantly, automatic face recognition is becoming possible etc.

I don't see, once the technology is stripped away, that things have really changed regarding criminals vs. the police: the smart criminals are still a step ahead just as they have always been. The difference is that for the rest of us our privacy is a casualty of the tactics the authorities are using to keep up.

Interesting (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066611)

I'll admit that when I saw the TV series, The Pretender, I always assumed that Jarod's ability to fake believable nametags and other elements of an identity were highly unrealistic. From what Abignale is saying here, maybe that isn't the case.

I'll admit that ever since I discovered the television series, real-life Pretenders according to the series' definition of the word have fascinated me. Abignale is an interesting man, as was Ferdinand Demara, the Pretender that the series was inspired by.

Does anyone know of any more examples of these types of individuals, and whether or not, given what security is like these days, they are still able to operate to the same degree?

Technology doesn't cause crime (2, Insightful)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066663)

Criminals do. The fact that we have gunpowder and pistols make it where an asshole requires a lot less in the balls department to rob a liquor store. I suppose you could try to pass photocopied 20 dollar bills, but you would be not only an asshole, but a stupid asshole. The world is always going to have a complement of assholes, but the cost of crime generated by most technologies is much less than the productive value.

Whole article on one page (1)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066667)

for your convenience here [computerworld.com]

Where's the anonymous cowards I know and love (1)

pravuil (975319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066699)

You can build all the security systems in the world; you can build the most sophisticated technology, and all it takes is one weak link -- someone who operates that technology -- to bring it all down.

I'm still waiting for someone to say, "and that's where I come in..."

Technology is a tool (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066713)

And a tool is neither good or evil. It only empowers the one able to wield it to use it for good or evil. Take whatever invention ever created and you will see that it can be used for both.

Weapons are of course an easy example, but everything human ever invented works. It is something that gives the one able to use it a power edge over someone not equipped with it. Knowledge works a similar way, but to a lesser degree.

And having more power than someone else can be used to exploit him. Ever been that way, ever will be. Technology is power. Superior technology allowed the exploitation of Africa and Asia as colonies. Superior technology (or rather, superior knowledge of technology) allows a trojan writer to exploit the "clueless" user with his infected machine.

But that doesn't make technology a device for more crime. It makes technology a device of power. Not more, not less.

2 thoughts (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066911)

1. what technology does is increase the number of attack vectors. a lock box full of money has only a certain number of ways to steal the money inside. meanwhile, a complex intercontinental banking system has orders of magnitude more ways to steal that same amount of money

that's why i've always said we should never have electronic, or even mechanical, voting systems. that even the most technologically advanced society should still use paper ballots. yes, you can still mess with paper ballots, but only in a small number of ways. anything more complicated than that, and you've just introduced 1,000 more ways to tamper with voting. the trust in the voting system is just too vital to imperil and be technophilic about it just to make it more "convenient"

2. technology, yes, makes crime smarter... and this, on its flip side, is actually a GOOD thing. bear with me here:

say you want to steal a guy's horde of gold in rome in 100 BC. ok, you have to actually kill a few people to get to it. bloody, messy, ugly, brutish. but the criminal doesn't necessarily want to kill to get the cash, but he will if he has to. now fast forward to the 20th century, a criminal just wants some money, so, like frank abignale, he merely manipulates the trust system of the technology involved in financial transactions. ie, he forges checks, and gets people money without actually causing a drop of blood to flow

in other words, more technology turns crime from a game of violent sociopathic brutal physical force to one of subtle mind games and con artists. not that it's ok that you are left without your money, but it's better to be penniless and alive than penniless and dead

it's still stealing your dough, but it's stealing it without turning you into a corpse. so it is progress, in a twisted way

How about this? (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067041)

Wealth in its own way breeds crime of the sort we're talking about. I'm excluding "pure violence" that is not at least in part a means to an end of acquiring something; the 911 hacker is in this exclusion.

Banks, in a high trust society that allows their existence, breed wealth; putting your money in a bank has great benefits to you and the economy (for as long as that trust remains).

Wille Sutton is famously said to have answered the question of why he robbed banks, "That's where the money is." So in a sense you could say the concentration of assets that is necessary for a bank to function "breeds" various sorts of crimes against them (more types of crime now that banks do more things).

Technology in various direct and indirect ways makes us more wealthy, e.g how many of us have gained and/or maintained long distance friendships through the net? This can of course be used against us in direct (social engineering attacks, e.g. the worms that read address books) and less direct ways.

Although there's one key ingredient that not having read the fine article may not have been touched upon. Many sinners need temptation, but it takes more than just that for them to sin. Lowering the barriers to entry, lowering the chances of getting caught, increasing the payoff, all increase the temptation, but it still takes a fallible human to give in to that temptation to then commit a crime. (Some of course are sociopaths for whom the only question may be "can I get away with it?" (such people often have difficultly thinking ahead, so even that can be an issue).)

Hmmm, and if one goes so far as say without qualification that "technology breeds crime", well, that's not too far from saying "Any clothing that reveals more than face and hands breeds rape." I'm uncomfortable going that far....

Bullshit. (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067127)

Technology does not feed crime. Technology makes it easier for criminals to do their thing using the new technology for a few years while the law catches up.

Remember, neither lawyers, judges, nor police officers are experts in the Internet, computers, etc., and it takes a while for them to ramp up those skills.

As an aside, I wish they would ramp up on those skills BEFORE making stupid decisions that allow cartels like the RIAA to come to power.

I see the problem with technology as it relates to crime to be instead the fact that to catch criminals who are using technology deliberately designed to cloak them you have to make necessary modifications and allowances to the laws protecting civil liberty. And tampering with those laws at ALL is a bad idea because someone always sticks some shit in the bills that has nothing to do with protecting civil liberty.

Old and untrue (2, Interesting)

kryten250 (1177211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067135)

He said this years ago, but in any case it was in fact easier for him. There were no video cameras and no dna evidence and he was not fingerprinted ever before conviction. IE, no paper trail and no way to say it was him until he slipped up, had he changed certain elements he could have continued. He was only caught because a stew recognised him, too bad he didn't go to a country where he couldn't have been extradited first. I'd say it was easier for him, the only easy thing today is that the tools he had to find are now downloadable.
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