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Crime Doesn't Pay
25 April 2004
 
Hackers Discussion

The film Hackers shows how criminals used computers to commit internet fraud. Dade Murphy code name Zero Cool, one of the main characters, released a virus that wreak havoc onto the Wall Street, sending them into chaos at the age of 11 and landed himself under the scrutiny of the Secret Service. As a punishment, he was not allowed to use a computer or a telephone until the age of 18. Once the day of his 18th birthday arrives, Dade once again with a newly coded name Crash Override jump right back into hacking. From changing his schedule to match with his classmate and changing the schedules of fire alarm to making life miserable for Secret Service Agent, Richard Gill with altering credit card, traffic violations, and living status. While the police are trying to arrest Dade and his gang, Eugene Belford, The Plague, is using a worm to steal millions of dollars from a global company. In order to escape from the law enforcement, Eugene put the blame on Dade and his gang. To fight the real criminal Eugene, hackers from all around the world come together and put him down once and for all using the computer and viruses.
 
Conclusion
Our goal in this project was to analysis the relationship between crime and technology as portrayed by movies and television shows. After watching a variety of films involving both crime and technology, it is evident that advancing technology affects both the way crimes are committed and the way that crimes are solved or prevented. S.W.A.T. portrays the ongoing battle between good and evil in which technology plays a role on both sides. As the police update their technology to investigate crime scenes as represented by The Bone Collector and CSI, criminals continue to advance in an effort to commit their crimes undetected as in The Italian Job and Hackers and vice versa. When it comes to crime, technology is merely a tool available to all to be used as each individual sees fit.

 
Final Discussion

The original purpose of this project was to look how technology was used by criminals to enhance their chances of successfully commit crimes. Throughout the past five weeks, our theme has changed a bit from just focusing on criminals to looking at how both criminals and law enforcement use technologies to enhance both of their jobs. By watching films, especially SWAT and CSI, we were able to see how police use new technologies such as cell phones and advances in forensic sciences. Using these technologies, police are able to thwart the acts of criminals who also take advantage of new technologies. In the film SWAT especially, the battle between the good and bad can be clearly seen. This is exactly how the world operates right now. Criminals invest in the latest lock picking gadgets, safecrackers, weaponry, and other technologies to enhance their chances of scoring big. On the other hand, law enforcement has upgraded their surveillance technologies, and other tool of tracking and identifying criminal. There will always be an ongoing battle between the criminals and police. As technology gets better and better, criminals will find different way of committing crimes, and different crimes to commit, however, it is up the police to keep up-to-date with the technologies if they want any chance in keeping our streets, or telephone lines safe.

24 April 2004
 
Conclusion

The object for this project is to analyze how technology affect crimes both in the areas of preventing/solving crimes and commiting crimes as portrayed in movies and television shows. After five weeks of watching various movies and television shows, it is evident that technology can be used to prevent and solve crimes and also at the same time committing crimes. While people are blaming on the advanced technology for the various crimes, but it is not the technology that commit crimes, but the people using these technology. As portrayed in SWAT, this movie shows that the same technology can be used in both good and evil, while it is evident in /CSI and The Bone Collector that technology is used to solve crimes and capture the criminals. In Hackers and The Italian Job, however, technology is used to steal gold and money. In the end when it comes to crimes, it is up to an individual how technology is used whether for good or evil.
 
Hackers Discussion

The film Hackers, directed by Iain Softly, doesn’t just show how technology is used to commit crimes, but shines light on an entirely new form of crime, internet fraud. Before the creation of the internet, there weren’t risks of people stealing identities, withdrawing from online account, or even stealing music from recoding artist. Hackers was one of the first films, after Sneakers, to begin to illustrate how dangerous the internet can be if used by malicious people. Even though Dade’s team of teenage hackers eventually saves the day, they first commit countless felonies all by using the new technological opportunities that the internet creates. These are kids with too much time on their hands. Before we would be happy to have kids off the streets and in their homes studying. However now, maybe we should send those kids, who have so much free time that they start breaking laws from their own computer console, outside to the streets.

What “new” types of crime have been created due the inventions of new technologies?
 
Before starting this project, I had the opinion that technology assisted criminals with the pursuit of crime more than those trying to solve crime. Now I feel that technology aids both sides equally. It creates new ways of committing crime and even new crimes, such as internet crime and the ease to share copyrighted material. Technology helps those who chose to commit crime by giving them new weapons, forms of communication, strategical approaches, and neat gadgets. But these same technological innovations are also accessible by investigators and police teams, so neither criminals nor cops truly have the edge over the other. The only way to one-up the other guys is to use their technologies against them and of course find their flaws. For example, the criminals in The Italian Job use traffic control to stop the cops, force certain vehicles to go a particular path, and secure a quick getaway. Also, they intercept police radio to stay away from cops. A good example of using technology’s flaws for other’s benefit is seen in the movie SWAT. The criminals take the SWAT team underground to disrupt their radio signals and take them out of communication with headquarters. Technology helps both police and criminals; without it crime would be completely different.
 
In The Italian Job the two main uses of technology are through communications and computers. The characters committing the crimes use headsets to communicate and constantly stay informed of what is going on while also working at the same time. By intercepting police radio, they plan the best escape route using the police’s technology to their own benefit. Phone taps are used to keep up with Steve, Edward Norton’s character, at all times. One of the uses of computers in the robbery is hacking into the department of transportation’s traffic control and controlling traffic lights. By using cameras and pictures of Steve’s house, they create a computer generated layout of the house. The computer is so accurate it even shows dimensions of rooms and distances between doorframes. Computers and GPS allowed the thieves to locate the safe in the beginning of the movie and steal the contents successfully. Without the constant use of technology, the crimes committed in this movie would have needed different planning; most likely a violent, more risky strategy would have been the only way to get away with the gold.
23 April 2004
 
The movie Hackers obviously uses technology through computers and the internet. Eugene, the evil criminal, plants a virus aiming to steal millions of dollars from small business transactions. A group of teenage hackers get caught up in his plans and wind up finding a way to turn him in. Computers were the main use of technology in the fight between the hackers, but there were other forms as well. Without all of the pay phones, the kids would not have been able to access the internet. They all used tape recorders with a recorded message of tones to fool the phones into giving them free usage. Since this movie was created slightly before the cell phone craze, they did not have access to wireless communications. Instead they used beepers to send important instantaneous messages. With the use of technology, a new type of crime was created, but it was also solved with these newer innovations.
 
Hackers Discussion

The film Hackers shows how criminals used computers to commit internet fraud. Dade Murphy code name Zero Cool, one of the main characters, released a virus that wreak havoc onto the Wall Street, sending them into chaos at the age of 11 and landed himself under the scrutiny of the Secret Service. As a punishment, he was not allowed to use a computer or a telephone until the age of 18. Once the day of his 18th birthday arrives, Dade once again with a newly coded name Crash Override jump right back into hacking. From changing his schedule to match with his classmate and changing the schedules of fire alarm to making life miserable for Secret Service Agent, Richard Gill with altering credit card, traffic violations, and living status. While the police are trying to arrest Dade and his gang, Eugene Belford, The Plague, is using a worm to steal millions of dollars from a global company. In order to escape from the law enforcement, Eugene put the blame on Dade and his gang. To fight the real criminal Eugene, hackers from all around the world come together and put him down once and for all using the computer and viruses.
20 April 2004
 
Hackers
In Iain Softley's 1995 Hackers, eleven year old Dade Murphy, code name Zero Cool, hacks into Wall Street, sending the financial world into utter chaos and landing himself under the thumb of the Secret Service. Flash forward to his eighteenth birthday and Dade Murphy, newly coded Crash Override, has completed his sentence of a seven year ban from any computer or touchtone phone and jumps right back in to the hacking world. Crash Override and his hacking buddies use computers and the internet to cause mischief throughout the city. From changing classmates’ schedules and electronically triggering school fire alarms to hassling Secret Service agent Richard Gill with altering credit card, driving, and living status records, Crash and his gang are an unstoppable technologically criminal force. However, while agent Gill and the police are busy tracking down the culprits of misdemeanors, the real criminal, Eugene Belford, The Plague, is pilfering millions of dollars at the expense of the global environment. His hacking skills are now the only hope Crash has of clearing his own name and preventing an environmental disaster. The “hackers of the world unite” in a last stand against The Plague, uniting the technologies of the computer, the internet, the media, and viruses to defend their own.

 
The Italian Job
Unlike in The Bone Collector, criminals are portrayed as possessing the most advanced technologies in F. Gary Gray’s The Italian Job. The robbers in this movie are organized, intelligent, and well equipped for breaking and entering while the police make almost no appearance throughout the entire movie. Although The Italian Job contains the “bad guy,” Steve (Edward Norton) and “good guys,” Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg), Bridger (Charlize Theron), and their gang, all the characters are essentially criminals, despite intentional audience sympathy with Croker and Bridger. Therefore, all technology represented in The Italian Job is used to aid criminal activity. Seth Green’s character, Lyle, hacks into the city traffic system to manage a quick getaway while Bridger uses drills and fiber optics to crack into safes. Computers are used throughout the movie along with Global Positioning, cell phones, and explosives in order to steal the gold bars both originally and again from Steve.
19 April 2004
 
The Italian Job Discussion

The Italian Job is a good example of a film where the criminals use technology to enhance the way they steal. A good example of where they do this is in the first scene of the movie where they steal the gold out of the safe. In order for them to correctly place the explosives underneath the safe so that it fell straight down they needed to know the exact position of the safe. Using a global positioning system and a computer they were able to know exactly where the safe was, and thus were able to place explosives exact enough not to have to blow the entire floor away. This is a good example of how criminals use technology along with conventional robbery techniques. The criminals could have possibly done the crime without the use of the GPS, but by using it, they were able to make their job much easier.
16 April 2004
 
CSI Discussion

I have always been a big fan of CSI ever since the show aired a few years ago. What makes CSI different from all the other crime dramas is that it focuses on the technologies the investigators use to solve crimes. The episode "Suckers," in season four, is a good example of the show's use to technology to solve crimes. I would again like to highlight the scene that Shawn described about using the video camera image to correctly identify the criminal as a way the technology was used to apprehend the bad-guy. Because the criminal was an employee of the business he robbed, he knew where all the security cameras were placed, and was able to hide most of his face from the camera's view. However, with only half of the criminals face exposed, CSI was able to take the half face and using a computer digitally construct the other half of the face. Without this technology, they would have had to use a sketch artist to try to design the full face. With the computer, digital measurements were able to be made of key facial dimensions, such as the length of the mouth, wideness of the nose, or even the distance between the eyes to a hundredth of a millimeter. Once the computer had combined the image of the face and its digital half, the hotel manager was able to quickly identify the culprit.
15 April 2004
 
The Italian Job

The Italian Job is an example where technology is used not to prevent crimes but to commit crimes. In this movie, the criminals use technology to steal gold from a safe in Venice, Italy. In order to successfully and safefully steal the gold out of the safe, the thieves used computers to accurately measure the distance of the safe at the exact spot where it is located so that they can place just enough explosives underneath the safe and blow it through the ground and not blow up the entire floor. By using a global positioning system, the criminals were able to locate where the safe is and calculate how much explosives are needed to blow the safe through the ground. In another instance when the very thieves at the beginning of the movie are carrying out a plan to retrieve the very same gold they had stole at the beginning of the movie but was robbed by one of the fellows, these criminals used a computer to hack into the traffic system and control the turning of the red and green lights. By doing so, they were able to direct where the truck they're robbing go, stop traffic to divert attention, and stop a train to block the entry way to where they are. In this movie, the criminals depend on technology to "guarantee speed and accuracy" since "there is no guarantee in this business."

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