The Internet, Technology, and Organized Crime
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Digital technology has transformed organizational life. Developments in communications, and in information storage and retrieval, to name just two areas, have greatly enhanced the efficiency with which legitimate organizations operate. Unfortunately, the benefits of digital technology are not lost on criminal organizations, which exploit digital technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their own operations. This paper will discuss the organized criminal exploitation of digital technology, by looking at a number of illustrative cases from Asia and around the world. It will discuss the various types of “conventional” organized crime that can be facilitated by digital technology, as well as terrorism, which itself can be regarded as a special kind of organized criminal activity. One fundamental question that the paper will seek to address is whether the activities of Asian organized crime have become substantively different as a result of technology, or whether traditional organized criminal activities in Asia are merely being conducted on a more efficient and effective basis. The paper will note the transnational nature of much organized criminal activity, and will discuss mechanisms for the control of organized crime in the digital age.