A New Adventure

Posts tagged ‘cyber-crime’

The Home Straight

 

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March 16, 2016

There has been a long gap since I last wrote any updates. Without going into too much detail here, I had to break off from this assignment for a while. I have been busy behind the scenes and normal service has been resumed.

The travel feature on Antarctica makes for an unusual holiday, definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is something for the traveller who wants to push boundaries and encounter an extreme travel adventure. As I wanted to use photographs of the aircraft and Union Glacier camp, I sent an email to Leslie Wicks, the Marketing director of Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE). She very kindly sent me the images I wanted to include in my piece and asked that I give credit to the photographer/ALE. It is important to respect copyright laws. It’s not just courteous, it’s the law. I think that my feature would be suitable for publication in Sidetracked Magazine, an adventure travel brand interested in breath-taking adventures, or Wanderlust, who focus on special interest travel to off-the-beaten-track destinations.

The crime feature has evolved into a comment piece as the informal tone was more suitable to convey my own experiences over time. I wanted to draw attention to the whole scale of cyber-crime and include some facts and figures but I didn’t want it to be too dry or dull. I also didn’t want this to be a lecture on how to use the internet, more of an awareness piece. So I focussed on a couple of examples of scamming and hacking using recent media articles for reference and some mind-blowing statistics of the extent and cost of cyber-crime. The targeted publications for this piece would be the Huffington Post Tech Section, which has a more casual style of writing and would be useful for promoting my specialism online. I think the Daily Express Comment Section has a quite relaxed tone while still being informative. A traditional newspaper with an online version will be appropriate for the age demographic I would like to access.

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Specialist Correspondent?

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November 26, 2015

If I have one complaint about this module, it is that I would have preferred when writing as a specialist correspondent, to have one specialism. So far, with my enthusiasm for cyber-crime, I have chosen to write my essay and one feature on this subject. However, I have to choose another specialism to write in and that seems inconsistent and has been distracting me. I understand that I must demonstrate different styles of writing, but it seems silly to say I am specialising in crime but here is a travel feature I wrote.

Anyway, moving on, I have seen a rather interesting article on travel to Antarctica. A specially adapted Boeing 757 aircraft has landed on the blue ice runway at Union Glacier camp to test the feasibility of commercial flights in the future. It is currently possible to fly to Antarctica but the aircraft are not luxurious due to the requirements of transporting cargo. I am amazed at the number of travel opportunities that are available for adventurous travellers to this barren icy continent by sea and air. It is even possible to camp overnight at the South Pole. How cool is that? I think this is a good starting place for a travel feature. Antarctica is such an isolated location with a challenging environment, but it is attracting (wealthy) holiday-makers.

I am still narrowing down ideas for a feature on cyber-crime. I have tons of statistics which is so confusing. Also different countries have different definitions and legislation so I have decided that I will target my feature (and essay) on the UK. It appears for every traditional crime there is a cyber-equivalent, theft, harassment, fraud. I particularly like Yvonne Jewkes definition:

With the right equipment and sufficient technical know-how you can – if you are so inclined – buy a bride, cruise gay bars, go on a global shopping spree with someone else’s credit card, break into a bank’s security system, plan a demonstration in another country and hack into the Pentagon – all on the same day… Anonymity, disembodiment, outreach and speed are the hallmarks of internet communication and combined, they can make us feel daring, liberated, infallible.”

JEWKES, Y. 2003. Dot.cons: Crime, Deviance and Identity on the Internet. Collumpton: Willan.

Of course, I do not advocate that you try any of those suggestions, I am just demonstrating what an extensive subject this is.

Feeling Inspired

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October 23, 2015

Following this week’s lecture, I am feeling inspired to continue writing about crime. We had a guest speaker in class, Carl Eve from the Plymouth Herald. He was a most interesting character, full of great anecdotes from his experiences writing as a crime reporter and covering court cases. It was a most interesting and informative talk with lots of practical advice and a quick recap on media law.

I am more drawn to writing a feature on crime for my portfolio rather than a series of news stories on one or more court cases. I am getting more curious about cyber-crime and have been gathering information from websites, academic papers and government statistics. It is a truly vast topic and I want to write about so much, but I will have to be very selective to meet the criteria and word count of the assignment.

Yesterday was by far the best day this week. We had another guest speaker, Paul Weall, who works alongside the police in a forensic digital hi-tech crime unit. He demonstrated how much of our personal information is available online and how criminals can access this for unlawful purposes. We also learned how within his job he was able to track down a missing teenage girl from an email message she had sent. It was a most fascinating talk and I feel motivated to continue studying the subject of cyber-crime.

First Thoughts

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October 8, 2015

While thinking about a specialism to write about, I decided quite early that it had to be a subject I had some knowledge of, or felt passionate about. It was also important to me to feel that my writing would educate and inform others and make some sort of contribution to the subject.

I have a great love of literature in particular crime fiction. Anything from a medieval who-dun-it to a Nordic noir gruesome serial killer. I also enjoy this genre in films and television, so this seemed like a good place to start. Of course real crime is not so easily solved as those within a 400-page book or a six-part series, where justice is served and the hero wins the day. Real crime is messy and hurtful with victims affected by the wrongdoing of others. Cyber-crime is equally as damaging.

It is a misnomer that cyber-crime is a victimless crime. Perpetrators of those offences may try to convince themselves of that, after all, nobody got hurt and all that. But we are all affected, directly and indirectly by cyber-crime. To use an analogy, if I was walking down the street and somebody took my handbag off me without my consent, that is theft. If there was a policeman nearby, the thief would be arrested and my possessions returned to me. Not so easily achieved when the thief is hiding behind layers of encryption and may even be in a different country.

We all pay for cyber-crime. When our government departments such as pensions and benefits are hacked, it is our taxes that will make up the loss. When utility companies and online shops are hacked, it is us who will make up the loss by paying more for goods and services.