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Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social Science Fiction(s) and the Production of Knowledge about Cybercrime (Revised Feb. 2011)

Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 861-884, 2008

32 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008 Last revised: 20 Sep 2014

David S. Wall

University of Leeds, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies

Date Written: July 3, 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Cybercrime, Cyberpunk, Culture of Fear, Internet Myths

JEL Classification: LS2, K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Wall, David S., Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social Science Fiction(s) and the Production of Knowledge about Cybercrime (Revised Feb. 2011) (July 3, 2008). Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 861-884, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155155

David S. Wall (Contact Author)

University of Leeds, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies ( email )

School of Law, Liberty Building
University of Leeds
Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
+44 113 343 9575 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff/wall/

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