• Graeme R. Newman
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

The word cybercrime, an invention of the late twentieth century, is popularly thought of as crime that occurs in cyberspace, a strange, virtual world populated by mysterious comic book-like characters who have magical powers, abilities to manipulate reality in ways that ordinary mortals cannot. Cyborgs (half-man half-machine) fight humans, transform themselves into strange creatures, and move effortlessly through time and space. Only superheroes of magnificent proportions can fight such crime. The practical result of this view is to imagine that cyber criminals are brilliantly talented hackers who can sneak into our homes via our personal computers and steal or vandalize our personal information. Like all myths, there is a little truth to this conception, but on the whole the reality of cybercrime is that it is not a new phenomenon, but simply traditional crime with a different face. In fact, crime constantly changes in response to evolving technologies; it is new to the extent that technologies are new. However, it is also “virtual” (as the prefix cyber suggests) to the extent that our everyday lives are virtual. As it turns out, the virtual nature of our everyday lives is considerable – and has been for thousands of years.


Credit Card Bank Account Internet Service Provider Chat Room Child Pornography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graeme R. Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.University at Albany, SUNYAlbanyUSA

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