Larceny 2.0

More

Where have all the bad guys gone? To the electronic frontier, like other ambitious people, of course. Yes, the criminal world has upgraded from 1970s street offenses to high-tech fraud. In the Chronicle of Higher Education, the sociologist Dalton Conley gives a vivid first-person account of the transition to post-industrial criminality. A New York Police Department program sent officers to his family's apartment to mark their possessions to deter burglars -- engraving appliances with his mother's Social Security Number, a tactic hard to imagine now.

Today's criminals would be more interested in stealing my mother's identity than her toaster.

And as Conley observes, it's also harder to find the line between aggressive use of the limits of financial law and actual swindling. Bernard Madoff and other conspicuous villains are priceless boundary markers for the organizations and individuals in that gray zone.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture, and an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In