Posts Tagged ‘computer’

The Birth of Internet Crime

December 9th, 2011

The birth of the internet has transformed the world as we know it. It has clearly grown to astronomic proportions since it became a household name in the mid 1990′s. If you were born before 1980, you have watched the world change from using rotary telephones to iPhones. These days nearly everything can be controlled by the touch of a button.

Bills can be paid online, movie tickets can be purchased online, you can talk to your loved ones online, and you can take a complete college course – without having to step foot on campus. The possibilities of the internet are endless – and technology is changing more rapidly than we can learn to understand it.

Today, teens and individuals in their twenties are grasping and exploiting computer technology like never before. Children are already known for their marked ability to learn and assimilate information at a very young age – absorbing and utilizing the internet and computer systems are no different than learning how to build a tree fort. For some families, their 13-year-old can build an entire computer system as his father built a model car the generation before.

With the advent of the internet, came an entirely new way to commit crimes. The terms internet crime, cybercrime and computer crime are used interchangeably. Simply put, internet crime or cybercrime is a form of crime where the internet or computers are used as a medium to commit crime.

Internet crimes are vast and expansive and can include anything from downloading illegal music files to stealing someone’s identity. Cybercrime can also include stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts to distribution child pornography. One of the most common forms of internet crimes involves identity theft which is commonly done through phishing and pharming. These methods set up fake websites (that appear legitimate) to lure unsuspecting victims. People are asked to give out personal information such as name, address, phone numbers and bank accounts. Criminals then take this information and “steal” the person’s identity.

Internet crimes are not limited to targeting the consumer; cybercrimes have gone so far as to take on global proportions. Cybercrimes can also encompass criminal activities such as espionage, financial theft, and sabotage. In May 2010, the Pentagon established the new U.S. Cyber Command, which is headed by the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), to defend American military networks. It also serves to attack the computer systems of other countries. » Read more: The Birth of Internet Crime

Hazardous Waste Disposal Law

October 20th, 2011

Thoughtless disposal of computer hardware contaminate our entire ecosystem. The hazardous materials such as lead, metals, cadmium and mercury found in different computer components have severe impact on environment and the consequences could be far detrimental. Over 30 percent of Monitor’s weight consists of dangerous lead materials. Depending upon the size of the monitor, it could be up to four to eight pounds of lead. Considering upon the damaging factors, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has felt the necessity of making the computer disposal law quite intricate.

Recycling Laws

As of 2010, EPA has not specifically set up any parameter for computer recycling; but many countries such as the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan etc. have shown their concern for recycling old and obsolete computers. The Environmental Protection Agency spreads awareness about comprehensive range of hazardous chemicals that computer equipments and other electronic items contain, and their dangerous consequences on environment as well as on human health. Moreover, EPA has published some significant guidelines such as if CRT monitors are less than a year old and still is in working condition then they can’t be treated as hazardous waste; rather, they should be made reusable after bringing specific changes. EPA urges the manufacturing companies to ask their customers to exchange their old monitors if they are purchasing new ones. Such strategies will definitely help reduce the rate of pollution.

Dangerous Waste Disposal Laws

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) implements the strategies to deal with old and obsolete computer components as hazardous waste. For example, RCRA instructs the recyclers to consider shredded circuit board waste to be extremely hazardous, and also that it should be kept it in tight containers. RCRA warns against leaving it in open since it’ll cause tremendous damage to environment.

Implementation of waste disposal law also depends on the quantity of hazardous waste that an organization creates. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act has declared certain exemptions on recycle companies. For example, the waste out of recycling will not be considered as waste. The same is applicable on individual users.

EPA Enforcement

Considering over the seriousness of the situation, there are three kinds of penalties, known as CRT guidelines that have been set by EPA. These are: ‘Cost saving’ that accounts for avoiding the law, ‘Gravity component’ that accounts for the damages caused by the person, the group of people or the company, ¬†and ‘adjustment factor’ that accounts for the violator’s environmental history and the level on which the violator is cooperating with the investigation agencies.

According to Government Accountability Office (GAO), CRT guidelines are not strict and effective enough to curb the increasing hazardous waste. GAO reports that EPA had done little to determine the degree of noncompliance. Moreover, the penalties are usually small amounts and the companies involved are reluctant to abide by the EPA guidelines.

It is the responsibility of EPA, CRT and all citizens to save the global environment and future generation.