chapter  6
The future of cybercrime, technology, and enforcement
Pages 31

The prior chapters of this work have documented the current landscape of cybercrime research, with an emphasis on both the strengths and limitations of this scholarship. Such an assessment is necessary to understand where our knowledge of cybercrime currently lies. This information also provides a basis to consider how the types of cybercrimes may change in the near future, along with how they are committed. Technology changes frequently, and so does the behavior of offenders. The motivations and underlying causes of offending may remain (see Chapter 3), but the means and practicalities of an offense may change dramatically. In this respect, many forms of cybercrime are somewhat distinct from other forms of street crime where offender behaviors may change incrementally in response to target hardening strategies (e.g. Copes & Cherbonneau, 2006; Mativat & Tremblay, 1997). This chapter seeks to speculate on the future of cybercrime by identifying

areas for future research based on our current knowledge of different phenomena. The discussion is meant to truly probe the boundaries of our knowledge and provide direction for scholarship that will expand the scope of the field and challenge our assumptions about the nature of cybercrime. We urge readers to take the arguments and ideas presented in this chapter as an initial discussion toward the shape of the future of the discipline rather than finalized conclusions. Only through recognizing what we know and do not know can we begin to improve our basis for study. Otherwise, we will simply continue to replicate established research findings and maintain the existing

cybercrime research paradigm rather than transform it into something greater.