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Monday
Mar232009

Computer Criminals of the Future (1981)

The 1981 book School, Work and Play (World of Tomorrow) features this beautiful two-page spread. Apparently, thanks to computers, there's no crime in the future outside of the computerized variety. The "computer criminal" pictured really doesn't appear to be running very fast. Maybe they're playing a game of freeze-tag. Or maybe that policeman's gun has special settings the author didn't tell us about. I like to believe the former, but that's just me.

Computers will make the world of tomorrow a much safe place. They will do away with cash, so that you need no longer fear being attacked for your money. In addition, you need not worry that your home will be burgled or your car stolen. The computers in your home and car will guard them, allowing only yourself to enter or someone with your permission.

However, there is one kind of crime which may exist in the future - computer crime. Instead of mugging people in the streets or robbing houses, tomorrow's criminal may try to steal money from banks and other organizations using a computer. The computer criminal works from home, using his own computer to gain access to the memories of the computers used by the banks and companies. The criminal tries to interfere with the computers in order to get them to transfer money to his computer without the bank or company knowing that it has been robbed.

Computer crime like this in fact exists already. However, it is very difficult to carry out a successful robbery by computer. Many computers have secret codes to prevent anyone but their owners from operating them. As computers are used more and more, it is likely that computer crime will become increasingly difficult to carry out.

Nevertheless, a computer criminal may succeed now and then and the detectives of the future will have to be highly skilled computer operators. There will probably be police computer-fraud squads, specially trained to deal with computer crime. Here you can see a squad arriving at the home of a computer criminal and arresting him as he makes a dash for it. He is clutching a computer cassette that contains details of his computer crimes, and the police will need this as evidence to prove that he is guilty.

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Reader Comments (12)

Great job on the transition to Squarespace I have always loved your site and it looks better than ever!

March 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

If the thief had used a MMC-memorychip, he could have swallowed it right down instead of running around clutching a bulky "computer cassette"!

Computerpolicehelmets do not really fit on computerpoliceheads, btw.

March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTimeFlies

While they many not have gotten it all correct, they were straight on with their suggestion that "There will probably be police computer-fraud squads, specially trained to deal with computer crime.". Also, the fact that they do suggest that computers "in the future" will allow crime and illegality, rather than just create utopia is more (IMAO) deserving of commendation.

I would ask, though, why the "computer criminal" is running away with the disk: Wouldn't it be easier to just destroy it?

PS. How long has "You should copy things from this website and tell people you wrote it" been at the bottom of the webpage?

March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLurker

Granted, they got the general concept of computer criminality and the founding of special police taskforces more or less right. On the other hand this book depicts them equipped with own choppers and rayguns...

Besides, why exactly won't criminals mug people for passwords, etc. on the street or just disable the oh so advanced computer systems of cars before stealing them?

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHarb

I can't believe the size of the criminal's computer. Did he hack into a time machine to bring it to his house from 1967?

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Granted, they got the general concept of computer criminality and the founding of special police taskforces more or less right. On the other hand this book depicts them equipped with own choppers and rayguns...
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August 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersunrise

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October 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdu lich nha trang

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October 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdu lich nha trang

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November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Jackson

In a grim, computerized future, MacGyver turns to a life of crime.

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Saw this on imgur and found my way back via the magic of Tineye. Thanks for this, I actually work in information security (ie anti-hackers) and we're all getting a good laugh out of it :) We don't have helicopters yet...

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterabadidea

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