Edited by Adam Graycar and Russell G. Smith
Chapter 14: Corrupt Misuse of Information and Communications Technologies
Russell G. Smith and Penny Jorna INTRODUCTION Computers have not only provided an efficient means of communication for individuals, businesses and government agencies alike, but have also allowed criminals to plan and execute their illegal activities more quickly and with reduced risks of detection. Since their development in the 1970s, computerized technologies have developed rapidly and in imaginative ways (Smith, 2010), not only with respect to their speed of operation and capacity for storage of information, but also in relation to the physical size of devices which are now highly portable – and even attractive as fashion accessories. One area of criminal misuse of information and communications technology (ICT) that has been identified as of growing concern is the use of electronic devices in connection with corrupt practices – both in government and in the private sector (Heeks, 1998; Bell and Zipparo, 2001). Under the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force on 14 December 2005 (United Nations, 2004), corruption includes not only the conventional activities such as bribery of public officials and embezzlement of public funds, but also trading in influence and acts of concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corrupt behaviour. Corruption in connection with private sector business activities is also included. Each of these areas of risk intersects closely with modern use of ICT, both in terms of the facilitation of the commission of corrupt acts, and in relation to technology being the target of offending. In this sense, risks of corruption...
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