This week we have been tasked with answering the following:
Please discuss organized crime both local, federally, and nationwide and what challenges does technology pose to law enforcement when investigating international organized crime. Please ensure that you make appropriate use, in-text citation, and reference to available source information to support your perspective (be sure to include why you consider these issues important).
Organized crime at the local, federal, national, and international levels affects everyone from the baby being born to the man who is working the Mom and Pop’s shop to the elderly. That is because of the fact that criminals are taking advantage of the technology that currently exists and are employing it for their personal gain against their targets. “The council noted that international organized criminals have and may penetrate the energy and other strategic sectors of the economy; provide logistical and other support to terrorists, foreign intelligence services, and governments; smuggle/traffic people and contraband goods into the United States; exploit the United States and international financial system to move illicit funds; use cyberspace to target U.S. victims and infrastructure; manipulate securities exchanges and perpetrate sophisticated frauds; corrupt or seek to corrupt public officials in the United States and abroad; and use violence or the threat of violence as a basis for power” (Finklea, 2010). An example would be spam emails where the receiver would have to input his or her credit card number or Paypal information, etc in order to support a certain organization against animal cruelty, etc when in reality that money goes to a criminal’s bank account(s) (Bjelopera & Finklea, 2012). Other means of employing technology for criminal activities include penetrating companies economic sectors, committing credit card fraud by cloning cards as well as stealing people’s identities and applying for credit on their behalf (Bjelopera & Finklea, 2012). Recruitment for criminal networks also occur through cyberspace where individuals belonging to a certain criminal organizing attempt to recruit individuals through social media or by creating videos, blogs, or other online media in order to target ethnic diaspora and increase their numbers to further their criminal agendas (Bjelopera & Finklea, 2012). Corruption is another method that criminals employ through technology. Criminals can wire transfer funds to corrupt individuals in exchanges for warnings them about police checkpoints or police raids through email or phone calls or text messages or through a social media account (Bjelopera & Finklea, 2012). Law enforcement could face challenges to include certain laws concerning if and how law enforcement can access technology (i.e. Apple iPhones messages, and other content, or Android phones, etc.). An example was when the FBI attempted to break into an iPhone for an investigation and due to the settings within the operating system created by Apple, they were not able to. In turn, they had to work with Apple to take those settings off which delayed their entire investigation. Similar situations can occur and thus delay everything. This can happen in other countries where certain laws exist pertaining law enforcement infiltrating technological means for investigations.
Finklea, K.M. (2010). Organized crime in the United States: Trends and issues for Congress. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service
Bjelopera, J.P. & Finklea, K.M. (2012). Organized crime: An evolving challenge for U.S. law enforcement. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service
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