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Following Technocrime
Technocrime 2 expands on many of the notions and concepts presented in the first book:

In April 2011 the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Marshals Service announced it had disabled a vast botnet spanning multiple countries: Coreflood. At its peak, Coreflood sent 8 million “pings” to its control servers per day. When the FBI was done with it, three days later, the few remaining zombies called home fewer than 100 000 times per day. In computer security terms this was an unprecedented success

Although dramatic, the success of operation Adeona, as it was called, did not result in the typical parade of handcuffed miscreants being brought to justice. The investigation did not involve the collection of evidence, the interviews, the undercover agents, the crackdowns, the wires, the surveillance, the informers, the forensic analysis typical of the classic, media-friendly police operation. It pitted FBI hackers and lawyers against unknown operators in unknown places. Once command servers were identified the FBI obtained warrants allowing them to seize 5 machines and 15 domain names and to replace them with their own, in order to send thousands of “exit” commands to Coreflood zombies checking in.


Though still infected, those host computers then stopped attempting to connect to the network to deliver information and accept new commands. Because the botnet software remains installed on the machines, it will restart every time the computers are rebooted, which means the FBI has to maintain its fake servers until every machine is disinfected.

But even the seizure and server swap were virtual: no hardware was bagged, tagged and dumped into a police van. The entities owning the hacked servers were simply ordered to quietly redirect all traffic headed to their domains to FBI-controlled domains.
Estonia, the USA’s new partner in international cybersecurity, also seized an undisclosed number of other Coreflood servers in the same way. After having suffered paralysing attacks on its government servers in 2007, Estonia has become a world power in cybersecurity and cyberwar. It also trains NATO’s cyberwarriors at its Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn.

As for the zombies, their owners were sent a “notice of infected computer” by the FBI, recommending that they install proper antivirus software, update their operating systems or use a new version of Microsoft’s “malicious software removal tool” in order to disinfect their machines and to prevent re-infection. They were also assured that the FBI did not collect information or use their computer in any way — which, of course, having become Coreflood’s new botmasters, they could easily have done. Alternatively, users could give the FBI permission to remotely uninstall Coreflood from their computer, if they accepted the risk that this operation causes damage to their system (the botnet’s malware package attaches itself to key parts of the Windows operating system). Interestingly, this risk was heightened by the fact that a large proportion of Coreflood’s zombies were “mission critical” components of institutional networks typical of large corporations, government organisations, hospitals, etc.

The US DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has used roughly the same approach when dealing with ...copyright infringement. To date, close to 100 websites have been partly disabled when their domain names were seized and browsers were redirected towards a threatening law enforcement message instead of the file sharing sites they were looking for. Though semi-experienced users can work around this strategy and still reach the sites, for the masses this amounts to an interruption of service, officially executed under court warrant.

In typical low-crime municipalities, multiple administrative units have adopted videosurveillance as their main security strategy. Cameras are used to monitor and direct traffic, to watch political demonstrations near government buildings, to monitor drivers, ticket booth employees and commuters in buses, subways, trains and streetcars, on ramps, stations, stops and platforms. Such surveillance has many objectives, but the regulation of behaviour, or the control of conduct deemed inappropriate, deviant, irritant, antisocial or simply out of step with the desired image of the site being surveilled are always among them. While scientists, ethicists, lawyers, politicians, community groups and privacy watchdogs have had their eyes on police videosurveillance — that operated by, or to the benefit of classic, public police organisations — it is the “non-police” systems that have multiplied in the last few years (Leman-Langlois, 2011). This negative definition exposes the embryonic nature of research on this topic. Though these systems are not private, they are not quite public either, since many private and semi-private (such as corporations owned and/or operated by governments) actors are involved. They are also quite definitely not public in the sense that they are buried in infrastructure budgets and rarely spoken of in democratic institutions. Yet these systems are clearly policing technologies: they are used to impose order, preserve the peace, control behaviour, sort out deviants and other undesirables and organise private, mass private, public and hybrid spaces (real and virtual) according to their desired purposes.

With these few apparently disparate stories a few characteristics of technocrime — and technopolicing — emerge. First, though this seems paradoxical, the notion of “crime” has to be understood in an extra-legal frame of reference. Though stealing money from credit card accounts is likely to be recognised as a crime by almost every code, running a botnet or swopping music files have variable, and constantly evolving, legal standings. Furthermore, technocrimes are often not as tangible as stealing a GPS navigator through the broken window of a car. Tangible actions and effects are not required for technocrimes to exist. In short, what is interesting about the stories of “crime” referred to above is not their criminal nature but their criminal representation.

Of course many criminologists prefer to define their object with the help of criminal or penal codes, but this is not productive for our purposes. Nowadays few people think that “possessing” marijuana should be a punishable offense — or in fact, according to public opinion surveys, that is it even immoral. Conversely, surveys also show that a majority of us think that those deemed responsible for the recent economic collapse — mostly, executives from major financial institutions — should be thrown in jail. Through pension fund payment adjustments made necessary by the “subprime” debacle, most working citizens stand to lose hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of yearly income. Yet anyone caught stealing a tenth of this amount from my wallet or by skimming my debit card is guaranteed a trip through the criminal justice system. In short, for those interested in the sociology of crime, deviance and their responses, penal laws are not a scientific tool, a theory or a definition of crime: they are themselves objects of study, one stream of variables among many others.

What are the rationales at work in new laws, regulations,

allocated enforcement budgets, privatisation or nationalisation of security, etc.? What were the social, political and legal processes behind the identification of new problems and new solutions? Who is responsible for that change, who benefits, who loses, who gives tacit, silent consent, who reacts in the public domain, etc. As for the crimes they are meant to identify, define and punish, they in fact share few, if any, characteristics. Consequently, what unites the crimes in the “technocrime” category has little to do with their nature: it is that they are presented, defined, studied and reacted to as reprehensible, harmful, immoral, risky, dangerous, etc.

What about the criminals? Warez hackers meet in bulletin boards and IRC chatrooms; they do not know each other and come from a variety of international jurisdictions where the copying, breaking, unlocking and redistribution of copyrighted material does not have the same legal status. They are aware that what they do is often (but not always) disliked by the copyright owners but the extents to which they are breaking a law, the nature of that law or its legitimacy are not uniform, static elements in their own conceptualisation of their behaviour. Facebook revolutionaries in Egypt, on the contrary, knew exactly that what they were doing was illegal and harshly punishable — so do Chinese bloggers criticising the Politburo or whistleblowers sending documents to Wikileaks in the expanding ultra-secret world of the global war on terrorism. What these actors have in common, besides their use of new technologies, is that governments, sometimes on their own, sometimes with prompting from powerful constituents have criminalised them. In short, technocrime is behaviour presented and treated as worthy of the responses typically accorded to crime: seizures, arrests, warranted (and warrantless) surveillance, prison, fines, community work, etc., whether we agree with this criminalisation or not.

In fact, since we are defining crime in an extra-legal way, we can also consider the distinction between criminal or penal sanctions and civil remedies to be far less relevant that they might be to a jurist. If jurisdictions allow civil remedies for music file swapping to run in the millions of dollars, they are effectively erasing the distinction, since the severity of the compensation is far more punitive than what criminal courts might impose to equivalent — or in fact far more serious — criminal offences.

Besides the coercive responses of governments and corporate stakeholders, the objective nature and universally undesirable quality of technocrimes are also consistently hammered into our culture by various powerful actors, especially by the mainstream, concentrated media and the usual parade of experts they call on to furnish their simplistic, biased portrayals of reality. Much scientific research is also conducted on unexamined notions or cybercrime, cyberwar, cyberfraud, cyberharassment, cyberpiracy, cyberloitering and the like. These authoritative sources continually reinforce the already dominant discourse about crime and technology. Symantec’s latest high-gloss animated presentation of cybercrime (Symantec, 2011) is a prime example. The report, which starts with claims that some 388 billion dollars are lost through cybercrime each year, only becomes interesting on its last slide: there the reader learns the definition of cybercrime, which includes mere irritants such as using someone’s unsecured wifi network or merely answering phishing emails (whether or not some actual financial fraud later takes place). It also has two broad categories of “other” cybercrimes, as defined by respondents. The 388 billion figure is immediately suspect, especially when the writers of the report emphasize its range by comparing it to the total value of the worldwide drug trade. Such an empty, yet politically biased comparison may inspire a few to find out how the figure was calculated. In fact Symantec simply multiplied the average loss suffered by victims who incurred financial losses and multiplied it by the total number of victims — most of who suffered no loss at all. But even that was deemed insufficient, adding up to a mere 114 billion. To this, the Symantec marketers chose to add a fictitious figure representing the “guesstimated” costs of recovering from a cybercrime, once again averaged and re-multiplied by the total number of victims. As expected, the media reported, and repeated ad infinitum, the monstrous figure uncritically.

As for the rest of us, we cannot of course write our own laws nor, usually, enforce the existing ones. Yet, the way we have reacted to the new risk of technocrime is remarkably similar to our responses to traditional crime risks. We fear for our children’s safety on Facebook, we demand or at least accept new laws purporting to enhance our safety and we adopt personal protective strategies, including new technologies of security and surveillance. Symantec’s report mentioned above also has multiple links to new Symantec anti-cyber-risk consumer products.

Second, the study of technocrime does not rest on the construction of a shopping list of objects that could be defined as “technologically aided behaviours deemed reprehensible” — those of individuals stealing credit card credentials, corporations selling or leaking private information or governments creating massive, and massively leaky, citizen databases. The usefulness of the concept lays in its focus on the social representations of the nexus of new technologies and new forms of misbehaviour. Studying a technocrime means attempting to identify the factors that make it appear as such in policy texts, in public discourse, in the general culture, etc. Therefore it makes no sense, for instance, to ask whether technocrime is dangerous or not. In reality, technologically assisted crimes have a very uneven success rate, either from the point of view of their return on investment (the work involved versus the benefits reaped) or from that of their ability to escape arrest and condemnation. In short, technologically minded criminals are not, in the main, the unstoppable, invulnerable super-villains they are often portrayed to be — especially when file-sharing “pirates” are thrown into the mix. In fact, in most cases they are rather inane. For instance, most hard drives seized during criminal investigations are not encrypted, a rather basic countermeasure. Hackers cannot help but brag about their latest attack. Bot herders get into fights with other bot herders and dedicate some of their resources to disabling one another. Yet technocrimes draw continuous attention, because they lie at the centre of some of the most important cultural symbols of our time: technology and its dangers, information as a third type of economic output (with the classic goods and services), risk, safety and justice as control and punishment (Garland, 2001).

Third, technocrime cannot be dissociated from its purported responses, which for simplicity we will subsume under the heading of “technopolicing.” Technopolicing rests upon the two separate beliefs that 1) new technologies can fight crime more efficiently, faster, or with enhanced results and 2) the world of crime has been transformed and requires entirely new forms of policing. The second argument is well illustrated by the FBI strategy outlined above, which shows the level of sophistication some crime-fighting has reached. These cybercops are now acting on a plane of reality so removed from our own that most of the details of the cases are never even suggested in the ordinary mainstream media. In a recent interview for a leading Canadian news outlet I was asked wether a good antivirus was the solution against LulzSec collective-type attacks. If computer security is such an opaque black box, it is not surprising that technopolicing can be simplistically presented as the only solution to new crimes, whether technologically assisted or not.

As for the first argument, it can be heard in almost every aspect of modern life. From the first “sabotages” and the luddites movement, the adoption of new technologies were already perceived, by their adopters as well as their opponents, as a more efficient way to produce goods and services. In security, policing and elsewhere, technologies are still mobilized to replace decreasing traditional capabilities, such as cutbacks in the workforce. Sometimes they are introduced as ways to do more, faster, more safely. When it is used to control technology-aided behaviours, technopolicing may involve locking “codes,” as Lessig (2002) would put it: modifying technologies in order to make rule-breaking impossible, or, failing that, to make it impossible for rule-breakers to hide their identity. Circumvention is often possible but until it is, breaking rules becomes akin to violating the law of gravity. For instance, set-top HDTV boxes are deliberately made in a way that makes recording on a 3rd party device impossible, in order to stop “piracy.” If there are other reasons not to modify technologies, technopolicing can involve the surveillance and control of the use of non-crippled technologies. Police now routinely infiltrate social networking websites when they feel that undesirable public demonstrations are being prepared. Some current cybersecurity programmes revolve around both the mandatory identification of users in order to access the net (code modification) and the creation of more powerful monitoring devices and pertinent new laws and regulations (surveillance and control of behaviour). Yet in all the examples above there is no evidence that significant criminal phenomena exist, or that they are likely to be curtailed by these strategies. In short, technopolicing responds to technocrimes, or with technology to conventional crimes, but does not imply the existence of a correspondence, be it technological, strategic, legal or objective, between the purported crime and the chosen response. Any such correspondence is purely representational or rhetorical and argumentative. The only certainty here is the mountainous budgets being allocated to technopolicing and the involvement of a growing number of international institutions in the movement. The botnet war above is quite telling, with multiple, semi-explicit, semi-secret cooperative work between the FBI, NATO ...and Estonia. Cybercrime is the new frontier of global, unsupervised, unchecked, secret, hybrid law enforcement.

In all cases, responses are said to have been made necessary or inevitable by a transformation of our risk environment or in the operational context of the established private, public or hybrid authorities. However, often times the chronology is reversed and the solutions precede the problems. There are a few ways in which this apparently reverse chronology may occur. Some technologies designed for various other uses may be diverted to new functions when it is found that they can be instrumental in tackling new priorities. Typical of this “function creep” is the use of commercial databases for policing and surveillance. In 2009, cell phone provider Sprint supplied more than 6 million phone records (including geolocation) to various police agencies in the USA. Packet sniffing appliances, designed for traffic shaping and to allow ISPs to give their clients an illusion of speed on aging infrastructures, can be used to trace documents, applications, persons and machines over the web. Another factor of inverted chronology can be found in the engineering and innovation process that gives birth to new technologies. This process rests on financial mechanisms that encourage commercialisation and the creation of markets for products, and (in)security markets for security devices. Security problems are redefined to match new technologies, as was the case of the proliferation of X-ray and millimetre-wave body scanners after the failed bombing against Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in December 2009 (Leman-Langlois, forthcoming). Though the devices were already in use in some penitentiaries, scanner sellers created a new market when they managed to present them as underwear bomb-proof.

More often, technocrime and technopolicing are constructed together. New technologies allow the identification of new threats and vulnerabilities, or engender new interest for the conducts they can detect. New abilities and increased resources for computer forensics have made the number of disk analysis requests skyrocket. In turn, “cybercrime” has been integrated into the “new” environment police must adapt to. The multiplication of street level cameras has made it possible to police previously unseen “incivilities.” It is difficult to imagine what at-a-distance identification and behaviour recognition will bring. We may see emerge a new concern for the whereabouts and activities of social security beneficiaries and persons on medical leave. The crime of “loitering” may become as much of a concern as it was in the 19th century.

As is the case with technocrime, however, technopolicing is far from the all powerful Big Brother some have been fearing. In fact, most police organisations are late adopters and find it difficult to merge new technologies with old practices (Manning, 2008). Many surveillance techniques, such as datamining for terrorist behaviour, are logically flawed and rest on false assumptions, non sequiturs and backward-looking deductions about the future (Brodeur and Leman-Langlois, 2006). One problem, of course, is that in this world mistakes can be extremely costly to bystanders.

Fourth, the examples above show that both technocrime and technopolicing easily cross national borders. This of course follows some of the characteristics of the technologies involved. In the case of technopolicing, laws are currently being changed to allow police to do what communication and sharing technologies already make possible (while for the ordinary users, all recent laws have aimed at the exact opposite effect). European discussions about PNR exchange between countries shows how “information wants to be free” in the sphere of policing too. Contrary to what is often claimed, the phenomenon at work here is not the disappearance or the diminished relevance of national borders. In fact in much of the cybersecurity public discourse the notion of a “national cyberspace” has become central and is a structuring element of every new policy and law. As national governments seek to establish sovereignty over portions of computer networks, talk of “national firewalls,” “kill switches” and “cyberwar” is reminiscent of virtual Maginot lines — and may of course prove equally ineffective. The trend leaders here are China, Iran and Cuba, but most western countries are following their lead in some respect. In this light, international agreements for global technopolicing are in fact aimed at the reinforcement of national jurisdictions and the reinforcement of state power, through the use of shared information.

Finally, this discussion raises the question of whether the technocrime and technopolicing discourses, images, metaphors and tropes are being caused by the appearing technologies. Such determinism has often times been dismissed summarily or rejected by sociologists who like to think of the social as the main engine of human transformation. Of course, technologies do not design themselves (though some prototype systems can already “evolve”) and do not force people or organisations to adopt them and to use them in their natural, reified or objectively defined function. For one thing, function is a result of use, and therefore of users. Clearly, we are not the puppets of our techno-toys.

However, if one adopts what I would call a “thin” version of technological determinism the picture looks a little different. Here we might borrow a few tools from actor-network theory (ANT; Latour, 2005; Law, 2003) and Foucault’s governmentality. For ANT, human and other “actors” form into temporary “networks” around “matters of concern,” the objects they are actively in the process of defining and acting upon. Neither the network nor its actors are actual, real objets. The network is a way to account for the production of meaning and actions; its actors are infinitely small intersection points where continuous interactions and information flows happen to meet. Put another way, each actor exists because other intersection points in the network act upon it, give it substance, shape and the possibility to re-act. This also means that actions take their source in the network rather than in the individual.

Under such a view, technological devices are allowed as “actors” within a human-machine network and participate in networked action. As information within the network revolves more and more around matters of technology, innovation, measured effectiveness and computable risks, machines appear as ever more central to any representation of reality. In particular, any network organized around the machine-assisted governance of crime and policing, deviance and control, surveillance and intervention, becomes a technocrime network, where machines participate in shaping action. This is not the same as arguing that machines make decisions instead, or in cooperation with humans. In ANT decisions and actions are the product of the network, which happens to revolve, at least in part, around the real, known, assumed, invented, feared, etc. characteristics of its machine actors.

To go back to the initial question, we can respond that it is unlikely that machines determine our worldviews, discourses or actions in the usual, primitive sense, as they are merely actors in wider processes of the production of meaning. But so are we. When approached this way the matter of “determinism” or, more usefully, the role of technology in our individual and collective behaviour, must be resolved on a case-by-case basis and may differ from one observation site to the other, or from one moment to the next. To begin this exploration is the central objective I have tried to give this book, as well as its predecessor (Leman-Langlois, 2008): to present some sites, among thousands, where technology as a concept and devices as objects have become meshed with social action.

The authors in this collection do not all follow this view of course and were free to adopt any theoretical framework they deemed fit for their particular subject and within their own scientific discipline (sociology, criminology, political science, forensic science). What they do have in common is an interest for the intersection of technology, surveillance, crime and social control. In chapter three, Dupont shows how the slow disappearance of cash and cheque transactions, as those old modes of payment are replaced by faster, more effective card payment schemes, has given rise to new forms of fraud, almost always misleadingly labelled, “identity theft.” The dominant discourse of identity theft shows how concerns with the perceived failings of misunderstood yet unstoppable technologies, financial and personal security, the ability to partake into the consumerist ethos and the status of personal data and identity in the information society merge to produce a specific object of concern and a new mythology. Yet at the same time fraudsters do steal credit card credentials and use them for their own benefit. Credit card technologies allow that to happen. The process by which this becomes “identity theft,” with the attached cultural meanings, however, is another matter, and is best described as a collaborative effort between a series of technologies, business interests, consumers, politicians, police, private security firms and the media.

In the following chapter, Rachel Finn and Michael McCahill reach into the core of the subject of the book by exploring media constructions of technopolicing. Their chapter highlights the systematic use of language to represent new police surveillance technologies (DNA collection, ID cards, videosurveillance) as desirable or abusive. These technopolicing strategies are presented as effective and legitimate when targeting the criminals, the deviant and the marginalised and, in stark contrast, abusive or ineffectively used when overstepping the bounds of the active control of those minority groups (“others”). That majority group deviance can become the object of technopolicing appears as a contradiction in terms: policing, in its popular definition, is legitimate and only truly effective when targeting the unruly, dangerous classes. Media representations make this clear by perpetually referring to the proper targets of technopolicing not by name or occupation but by the name of their offence, while the improper targets are spoken of as citizens, executives, motorists, etc. Targeting the deviance of majority groups (speeding, littering, failing to pay fees, etc.) also runs counter to the popular understanding that “good citizens” have nothing to fear from technopolicing and police surveillance in particular.

In chapter 4 I introduce a methodology and a method we are devising for studying individual and group responses to various strategies and techniques of surveillance. The Virtual Surveillance Lab (VSL) is situated within the Canada Research Chair on Surveillance and the Social Construction of Risk at Laval University, Quebec. It consists of four virtual environments (a city street, a park, a shopping mall, an office tower) that can be modified in various ways in order to immerse participants into different surveillance and security contexts. The main objective is to measure the impact of specific transformations of the environment (increased lighting, added cameras or identifiable security personnel, etc.) on the behaviour of individuals who have a series of “missions” to accomplish. In a series of experiments, our participants’ relationship to security strategies, whether technological, human or architectural, will be explored via the statistical analysis of their progress within the virtual world and the subsequent participation in focus groups on their experience.

Lemieux and Bales look for “intelligence-led policing” in cybercrime investigations in the next chapter. They find that for the most part, cybercrimes are investigated in the traditional way, influenced by administrative necessities rather than by the characteristics of the offences. This, even though the target and the context of cyberpolicing are especially suited to the ILP model. In fact the — also traditional — organisation of the workload and the prioritization of cases proceeds largely on a case-by-case basis rather than on a strategic view, and is heavily dependent on, and shaped by, institutional capacity and productivity standards (in terms of prosecutions) rather than being “intelligence-led.” Only when the authors interview military investigators did the need to prosecute take a backseat. They saw their work as centred around the need to gather intelligence through surveillance and control of perceived national security threats. But in both cases, any “technopolicing” followed only from the nature of the crimes it attempted to tackle. All interviewed investigators argued that the nature of their work had not been modified by the new technological environment, which they bent to the needs of their conventional products and production methods.

In the following chapter, Laura Huey and Johnny Nhan tackle police work from a slightly different angle. Though crime and police fiction continuously (with few exceptions) represents contemporary policing as a high-tech, scientific enterprise, the near totality of day-to-day policing is conducted with an extremely sparse use of technologies. Interviewed police officers repeatedly stress the fact that good policing has not changed and that engineers, scientists and technicians are peripheral players in most investigations. Of course these respondents have stakes in this particular image, which places them in the centre of their universe. Yet, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of the crimes police are called upon to tackle are low-tech affairs. As an institution, Anglo-American policing is still devoted to the types of urban disorder that were already salient when it was invented.

Olivier Ribaux and Tacha Hicks examine the accelerating expansion of police databases and their actual use in day to day policing activities. Though such databases, and DNA profile databases in particular, have been instrumental in solving many high-profile cases, and have automated and simplified the exchange of information between organisations, by and large they have introduced a new series of mechanical routines that are throwing police back into a reactive stance, alienated from the realities of their operational environment. Instead of using technologies to think about crime and to devise security strategies, technopolicing has transformed its agents into clerks, whose main mission is to fulfill machine-determined tasks. The mountainous backlogs accumulated almost guarantee that this state of affairs will last in the medium, or perhaps long term. In short, information technologies have been used to produce an exponentially increasing quantity of information, with no strategy to make sense, organise or even prioritise information. One might argue that this was entirely predictable, since the technologies being developed and adopted by police organisations are too inflexible to adapt to policing: instead, policing has adapted to the technologies.

Chapter 8, by James Byrne and April Pattavina, examines the extents to which technologies have entered the world of corrections, and especially offender re-entry programs. One immediately thinks of GPS enabled ankle bracelets, which are already heavily under use in countless jurisdictions, but many other types of both hard (devices) and soft (information systems) technologies are being adopted everywhere. Like many other technopolicing strategies, this adoption usually rests on a very narrow, and inadequate, measure of their effectiveness: it is often sufficient to prove that they “work” at the technical level — meaning for instance that GPS devices can in fact locate individuals. On the other hand, their capacity to facilitate re-entry (to make it more secure, faster, more durable, or less resource-consuming) is rarely evaluated. And though the authors show careful optimism for some types of technologies, by and large their capacity to produce the final objective, re-entry, is rarely decisive in the adoption process.

James Schepticky, in chapter 9, revisits Marshall McLuhan and recalls McLuhan’s phrase, “invention is the mother of necessities,” which frames technocrime precisely in the “soft determinism” approach sketched above. Taking a much wider view that crime and crime responses, he manages to situate both in their cultural and social setting, where technology are an unstoppable force set to penetrate all aspects of life. Though policing is among institutions taking up technologies more slowly, its future is already perceptible. What remains to ascertain are the ways in which policing, as a whole, will be transformed, not simply by available technologies but by the new language constantly being generated by are collective use of these technologies. Ultimately, policing will be transformed by new technology even if it never uses any of its tools.

In a previous book (Technocrime: Technology, Crime and Social Control, Willan Publishing, 2008), a number of trends in the uses of technologies in crime commission and crime fighting were identified and analysed. Collaborators explored the militarization of cyberspace (Gagnon), the day-to-day function of science and technology in criminal investigations (Brodeur), the local social effects of videosurveillance (Leman-Langlois), the modalities of private-public cooperation in policing copyright violations (Nhan and Huey), the control of deviance in Second Life (Whitson and Doyle), the transformation of privacy into a form of property (Leman-Langlois), the technological enabling of citizen surveillance (Brin), the effect of new technologies on police intelligence (Lemieux), the use of surveillance technology by the police (Manning) and the social sorting functions of databases (Lyon). In this new book the list of trends is growing and some new theories and concepts are introduced. In particular, special attention is given to technopolicing, or new trends in the responses to technocrime, while the first one focussed more clearly on the crimes. This book is not an updated version of the first and both should be read as a series of new, and interrelated, explorations of technocrime.







Benoît Dupont


James Byrne


Laura Huey and Johnny Nhan


Frédéric Lemieux


Stéphane Leman-Langlois


Rachel Finn and Mike McCahill


Peter Manning


Olivier Ribaux and Tacha Hicks


James Scheptycki