Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social Science Fiction(s) and the Production of Knowledge about Cybercrime (Revised Feb. 2011)
David S. Wall
University of Durham
July 3, 2008
Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 861-884, 2008
This article builds upon my previous work (Wall, 2007 & 2008) to map out the conceptual origins of cybercrime in social science fiction and other faction genres to explore the relationship between rhetoric and reality in the production of knowledge about it. The article goes on to illustrate how the reporting of dystopic narratives about life in networked worlds shapes public reactions to technological change. Reactions which heighten the culture of fear about cybercrime, which in turn, shapes public expectations of online risk, the formation of law and the subsequent interpretation of justice. Finally, the article identifies and responds to the various mythologies that are currently circulating about cybercrime, before identifying the various tensions in the production of criminological knowledge about it that contribute to sustaining those mythologies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Cybercrime, Cyberpunk, Culture of Fear, Internet Myths
JEL Classification: LS2, K10, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 7, 2008 ; Last revised: February 19, 2011
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