Crime and IoT

Capabilities that were considered 'science fiction' a mere few years ago, become usable in the hands of individual criminals and crime organizations in the present. It is therefore vital to consider future possible cyber-crimes in advance, even before they become feasible. Internet of Things (IoT) will have a large impact on our lives by tapping into information sources about our day-to-day doings, and providing common items with the basic intelligence needed to impact our lives in turn. While the potential benefits are great, there is also a vast and fertile ground for using the IoT to enact novel crimes – from burglary to fraud to identity theft and other types of crime. We suggest developing a better understanding of the security measures and regulations needed to combat the new criminals and crimes, by studying the possibilities the IoT holds for criminal acts, conducting expert surveys to estimate timelines for the feasibility of certain crimes, developing high damage-potential scenarios for future crimes, and providing the regulators with policy advice on how to prepare for said crimes. The Israeli Police Department of Strategic Planning has agreed to act as a stakeholder and to collaborate in this research.

Research Plan

Literature review about the IoT and the security of smart cities.

Obtaining parameters and values for potential crimes: using brainstorming workshops and expert surveys, we will identify the many different parameters and values of future possible crimes. Parameters could include the identity of the criminal (and the values for that parameter could be individual or crime organization, for example), the type of crime (the values for which will include murder, burglary, rape, etc.), technologies used to enact the crimes, the earliest date for feasible use, etc.

Cross-linking the values: the links between certain values will be identified with the help of experts, so that we can understand which technologies can best be used for which types of crimes, and how technologies can be used together to create crimes with a higher damage-potential.

Identifying high-damage potential combinations of values: high-damage potential combinations of values will be identified, using an algorithmic customized approach (General Temporal Morphological Analysis).

Scenario development: scenarios will be developed for each high-damage potential combination of values.

Policy generation: the scenarios will be presented in a workshop, and policy and strategy advice will be obtained from the participants regarding the ways in which the regulator and the police can become better prepared to those scenarios.

Final report: the full results of the research, including the identified parameters and values related to future crimes, their potential combinations, the selected scenarios and policy advice, will be published in a final report that will be submitted to all the relevant governmental offices, law-enforcement bodies and international organizations that deal with similar issues.

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