chapter  10
15 Pages

The language of cybercrime

WithMatthew Williams

The study of computer-mediated communication has primarily been the privilege of media and communications disciplines, yet over the past decade or so the pervasiveness of new communications technology upon everyday life inevitably stirred up interest in other fields of study. It seems only recently that criminology and legal studies have taken an interest in these new forms of communication, identifying them as contemporary vehicles for criminality. To date the majority of interest has been in the ability of these new forms of social interaction to facilitate and expand upon existing criminal activity – the extension of paedophile networks (O’Connell, 2000), the dissemination of subversive hate-related propaganda (Whine, 2000; Mann and Tuffin, 2000), the facilitation of financial crimes (Kaspersen, 1988; Denning, 1995; Holland, 1995; Neumann, 1995), and the forging of hyper-criminal networks, such as the Locksmith newsgroup identified by Mann and Sutton (1998). However, there has been little interest and a paucity of empirical research into the more subtle or hidden forms of deviance on-line.