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Future Crimes is a futurist-oriented group dedicated to studying and discussing the effects of scientific and technological progress on crime, policing and the criminal justice system. Learn more...

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We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. — Carl Sagan

Speaking at TED Global

Speaking at TED Global

The theme of TEDGlobal 2012 was “Radical Openness.” In my talk, posted on the ted.com website, I explore the unintended consequences of this openness, giving the audience a glimpse into the future of crime and global security. TED.com – Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future…
Latest entries
From Crowdsourcing to Crimesourcing: The Rise of Distributed Criminality

From Crowdsourcing to Crimesourcing: The Rise of Distributed Criminality

Crowdsourcing began as a legitimate tool to leverage the wisdom of the crowds to solve complex business and scientific challenges...
Dealing Crack?  There's an app for that too!

Dealing Crack? There’s an app for that too!

Turn your iPhone into a “Cartel-o-Phone” Well it was just a matter of time before somebody figured this one out.  Recently an iPhone developer created an application known as “Drug Lords,” a program that would enable both drug-dealers and users to find one another in real time and space, thanks to the mobile phone’s built-in...
Mobile Phone Botnets:  Is Your Refrigerator Next?

Mobile Phone Botnets: Is Your Refrigerator Next?

For some time now, experts in the information security community have been concerned about the possibility of  mobile phone botnets: now it appears these fears may have been well-grounded, as suggested in the article below.   While there are billions of desktop and portable computers in the world, there are billions more mobile phones.  As...
Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Many governments around the world have criminal statutes preventing “unlawful assembly” crimes.  Generally speaking, an unlawful assembly refers to a gathering of individuals who come together in order to commit an unlawful act or to behave in a violent, boisterous or tumultuous manner.  While nations around the world differ in their tolerance of public gatherings,...
When Flash Mobs Become Crime Mobs

When Flash Mobs Become Crime Mobs

When people think of flash mobs, they tend to focus on the positive: 300 people showing up to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a London tube station,  a relatively calm Worldwide Pillow Fight Day or even an impromptu Sound of Music performance in Antwerp’s (Belgium) central rail station. Yet as the below article demonstrates,...
Twittering with Life and Death: A Tweet Too Far?

Twittering with Life and Death: A Tweet Too Far?

When Jack Dorsey founded the Twitter micro-blogging service in 2006, he, like most business owners, was surely hoping for great success.  Now just few short years later, he clearly has arrived.  Twitter has grown from about 500,000 tweets per quarter in 2007 to more than 4 billion tweets in the first quarter of 2010.  While...
When Satellites Go Rogue: On the Origins of Space Crime

When Satellites Go Rogue: On the Origins of Space Crime

In early April 2010, for the first time in history, an American geostationary satellite has gone  “rogue.”  The satellite, known as the Galaxy 15, is no longer responding to command and control communications from its legitimate owner, the Intelsat corporation.  Moreover, the satellite has left its assigned duty location and is now drifting uncontrolled through...
Hacking Airport X-Ray Machines: Terrorist Implications

Hacking Airport X-Ray Machines: Terrorist Implications

(Part 2 of a 2 part series) In part one of this series, we examined the latest generation airport full-body scanners and explored the privacy concerns raised by many regarding potential abuses of this technology, to include the unauthorized preservation and sharing of nude images of passengers passing through the devices.   In this second...
Automated Crime: Scripting Blackmail

Automated Crime: Scripting Blackmail

Increasingly innovative computer scripts are being created that automate entire criminal processes—processes that, in the past, used to require human intervention.  Don’t like your boss?  Threaten to tell his wife about the affair with his secretary unless he pays you to keep quiet.  The problem was that your boss knew it was you who was...
Hacking Airport X-Ray Machines for Fun and Porn

Hacking Airport X-Ray Machines for Fun and Porn

(Part 1 of a 2 part series) Ever since the unsuccessful bombing attempt against Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit  on Christmas day 2009, there has been renewed scrutiny of airport security measures.  Given that the suspected bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to easily pass through security with mixture of explosive materials,...
When Computers See: Crime and Policing Implications

When Computers See: Crime and Policing Implications

Ah, remember the good old days of searching the Internet…the days when you had to type your search request into a search engine text box?  So quaint…so 2009.  Now, thanks to Google Goggles, it is possible for your mobile phone’s camera to take a picture of an object and use that image itself to search...
100 Cars Remotely Hacked: The Back-Door in Your Vehicle May Not Be the One You Think

100 Cars Remotely Hacked: The Back-Door in Your Vehicle May Not Be the One You Think

Recently in Austin, Texas (United States), over 100 cars  were rendered entirely unusable after a hacker gained access to a previously undisclosed “black box” hidden inside the vehicle by the automobile dealership that sold the cars.  The purpose of the black box was to remotely disable vehicles for automobile owners who failed to make payments...