Explain how technology in the area of computers has changed, and how and why both the courts and police departments use this technology.

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bohemianteacher4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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The technology of the past was not available to the public at the level it is today.  People have access to telephones that connect to the Internet, computers that allow banking, shopping, movie viewing, social media, and many other activities that have emerged as a lifestyle for people.  The media on computers and social networks has become available to children.  Also, terrorists have learned how to use the Internet to recruit, cast fear, channel information, and commit attacks on the infrastructure of systems managed by computers. 

Computers have become more than a resource for looking up information.  Technology has connected banking and finances at an international level.  Electrical systems operate through programs that can be entered via a computer and a virus injected into it can cause a power outage of immense proportions.  The computer enables one to access the infrastructure of many corporations, making them vulnerable to hackers. 

Police Departments have had to become acclimated to the use of technology.  The police are now armed with cameras in their vehicles that allow them to record events to be used in the case of a question of police conduct or as evidence.  Traffic violations or criminal activity information is entered into small laptops inside police cars. The use of this technology enables police officers to connect with other systems in the event a car has been stolen, or information is needed quickly.  Criminals have learned how to access the Internet as a resource to conduct scams.  Groups of criminals and individual criminals access consumers' credit card information and use the information to make purchases and drain people’s funds.  Hackers cost billions of dollars in damage yearly.  Pedophiles and sex offenders seek opportunities to connect with children, pornography, and in some instances have arranged a meeting with a person leading to murder. 

The police and court systems have used information retrieved from personal computers, tablets, or phones as evidence in court cases.  Police Departments have had to establish Internet monitoring programs to try and catch sex offenders on the Internet by posting themselves as a child or teen.  Terrorist information is sought out and followed via technology through telephone calls or Internet activity.  Computers have become assistants in identifying crime, retrieving information, and using the information to help provide proof of a person’s or group's crimes. Also, the police address issues of credit card fraud.

Because criminals have access to a highway of systems through the computer, the police and courts must also have access to technology that can help to thwart criminal activity.  Without their use many crimes would not be discovered or criminals apprehended.  The courts are still behind on laws associated with computer technology, but cases are frequently being addressed in the courts. 

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