chapter  3
Applications of criminological theory to cybercrimes
Pages 41

Around the turn of the last century, researchers began to discuss the ways that cybercrime differed from traditional crime (Grabosky, 2001; Wall, 1998). These initial debates were largely informed by both the novel nature of the Internet at that time and the increasingly ubiquitous presence of technology in daily life. David Wall (1998) argued that some forms of cybercrime have direct analogues to real world crimes like fraud. In these cases, cybercrimes may be considered “old wine in new bottles,” meaning that the offense is consistent but the medium in which offenders operate is new. The development of crimes like computer hacking and computer intrusion

via malicious software, however, are totally dependent on the advent of computer technology and the Internet. These offenses may constitute “new wine in new bottles,” meaning that both the offense and the space where they operate are unique (Wall, 1998). At the same time, it was observed that the access afforded by computers and the Internet to virtually any population of victims around the world, coupled with the anonymity provided by virtual spaces, radically altered the process of offending. This led Wall to suggest that cyberspace may be considered as neither old nor new bottles, but instead “its characteristics are so novel that the expression ‘new wine, but no bottles!’ becomes a more fitting description” (Wall, 1998: 202).