eCrime deals with research on eCriminology.

The spread of the Web, the nets, the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) implies a new frontier for criminological research. Criminology is the scientific discipline studying deviance and crime, perpetrators and victims of deviant or criminal behaviours as well as social reaction to such acts. In a society, eSociety, in which ICT is deeply embedded in everyday life, both criminal phenomena and countermeasures are constantly evolving and criminology is called to acknowledge that.

Through a multidisciplinary approach (criminology, law, statistics, information science), eCrime focuses its research activity on:

  • Deviance and crime and ICT. eSociety has been creating new opportunities/flaws for both new offences (e.g. computer viruses, malware) and new forms of deviance for 'old' crimes committed by means of new tools (e.g. cyber money laundering, online pornography). Furthermore, it has been facilitating several stages of complex crimes, leading to new organisation models for deviance (e.g. human trafficking, drug smuggling);
  • Authors and victims and ICT. How do criminals behave in the eSociety? What kind of strategies do they adopt to reduce the risk of being arrested? What new organisation forms are taking shape? How do victims and potential victims behave?
  • Social reaction strategies to crime and ICT. The potential for crime prevention in the field of social networking or wireless telecommunications is clear. Several organisations have already started using wireless telecommunications to fight delinquency. Technologies will increasingly support the reorganisation of judicial and police systems. Software for predictive analysis will help to foresee and prevent crime;
  • Sources of information on deviance and crime and ICT. ICT, the Web, the Internet, mirroring the new society, have become a data source for criminological research: suffice it to mention the massive amount of data scattered all around the Web. ICT solutions allow (and will allow even more in the future) to efficiently identify, collect, manage and spread data on crime in order to improve national, urban and business security;
  • Tools and criminological research methods and ICT. ICT not only as a tool, but also as an approach to carry out criminological research. ICT is already providing criminology with new tools and methods, such as victimisation web surveys or virtual ethnography. ICT solutions allow (and will allow even more in the future) to efficiently analyse data on crime;
  • Legal aspects related to the interaction between criminology and ICT: privacy issues, regulations governing the use of ICT tools within research processes, surveys, crime prevention.

Research activities on these topics represent the basis for technical assistance projects.