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Text 1.

Computer Crimes


The explosive growth in the use of computers in the business world in the past few years has brought with it a corresponding increase in computer misuse.

Traditional (precomputer) state and federal laws applicable to such crimes as trespass and larceny are not necessarily appropriate for prosecution of cases of computer fraud and computer theft. For example, one court held that a city employee's use of the city's computer facilities in his private sales venture could not support a theft conviction absent' any evidence that the city was deprived of any part of value or use of the computer. In some cases, use of a computer has not been deemed «property» within traditional theft statutes.

Computer crimes fall mainly into three broad categories: simple unauthorized access, theft of information, and theft of funds. Among schemes that have been subjects of litigation are stealing a competitor's computer program; paying an accomplice to delete adverse information and insert favorable false information into the defendant's credit file; a bank's president having his account computer coded so that his checks would be removed and held rather than posted so he could later remove the actual checks without their being debited; and a disgruntled ex-employee's inserting a «virus» into his former employer's computer to destroy its records.

Some estimate that losses due to computer misuse may be as high as $35 to $40 billion per year (including thefts of funds, losses of computer programs and data, losses of trade secrets, and damage done to computer hardware). These estimates may not be reliable, but it is clear that a substantial amount of computer crime is never discovered and a high percentage of that which is discovered is never reported because companies do not want publicity about the inadequacy of their computer controls and financial institutions, such as banks, fear that reports of large losses of funds, even when insured, are likely to cause depositors to withdraw their funds in the interest of safety. Whatever the actual loss due to computer misuse, both Congress and the state legislatures have passed statutes to deal specifically with computer crime.

At least 45 states have passed laws dealing with computer crime. Most of the statutes comprehensively address the problem, outlawing computer trespass (unauthorized access); damage to computer or software (e.g. use of «viruses»); theft or misappropriation of computer services, and unauthorized obtaining or disseminating of information via computer. There have been relatively few prosecutions under these state laws or the federal acts, leading some experts to suggest that the problem of computer crime has been overestimated.


crime - преступление

explosive - взрывчатый, подобный взрыву

corresponding - соответствующий

increase - увеличение, возрастание

misuse - злоупотребление

state - здесь: штат

applicable - применимый

threspass - нарушение (чужого) права владения

larseny - хищение имущества

necessarily - необходимо

appropriate - соответствующий

prosecution - обвинение, судебное преследование

fraud - мошенничество

theft - кража

employee - служащий

private - личный

sales - продажи

venture - фирма

support - поддержать

conviction - обвинительный приговор

convict (of) - обвинять (в)

absent = in the absence of

evidence - доказательство

deprived (of) - лишенный

value - цена, ценность, стоимость

deem - считать, полагать

property - собственность

statute - статут, законодательный акт

fall* into - подпадать (под)

broad - широкий

unauthorised - неуполномоченный, неразрешенный

access - доступ

funds - фонды, финансы, средства

litigation - тяжба, гражданский судебный процесс

stealing - кража

competitor - конкурент

accomplice - сообщник, соучастник

delete - стереть

adverse - здесь: нежелательный

insert - вставить, ввести

favorable - благоприятный

account - (банковский) счет

defendant - ответчик, обвиняемый

remove - перемещать, переносить

rather than - а не

disgruntled - недовольный, рассерженный

debit - заносить в дебит

post - послать по почте

ex- = former - бывший

destroy - разрушить

records - мн.ч.: записи

estimate - оценивать

losses - мн.ч.: потери

due to - из-за, благодаря

data - мн.ч.: данные

trade - торговый

damage - урон, ущерб, убытки

hardware - жесткий диск

reliable - надежный, достоверный

substantial - значительный, существенный

amount - количество, сумма, объем

discover - открывать, обнаруживать

publicity - гласность, широкая известность

fear - бояться

insured - застрахованный

cause - вызывать, влечь

depositor - вкладчик

withdraw* - изымать, снимать, забирать

safety - безопасность

legislature - законодательный орган/власть

pass - принять (закон)

deal* with - иметь дело (с)

comprehensively - всесторонне, исчерпывающе

address the problem - заняться проблемой

outlaw - объявит вне закона

software - программное обеспечение

misappropriation - незаконное завладение

obtaining - получение

dissemination - распространение

via - через/посредством

relatively few - сравнительно немного

expert - специалист, эксперт

overestimate - переоценивать


Ex. Answer the following questions.

1. What has the explosive growth in the use of computers in business brought with it?

2. Why wasn't the employee who used the city computer facilities for his private ales convicted of theft?

3. What are the three broad categories all computer crimes fall into?

4. What do losses due to the computer misuse include?

5. Why are many computer crimes never discovered or reported?

6. How many US states have passed laws dealing with computer crimes?

7. What is outlawed as far as computers are concerned?


Text 2:



Privacy and more at risk


The security; of personal communications appears again to have succumbed to government's desire to listen in on them. This week two University of California graduate students, using a laptop computer, reported cracking digital cell-phone codes thought to be impossible to break. Such encryption is what has kept cyber-thieves ' from 'snatching digital cell-phone codes from the airwaves and using them or selling them to others for illegal calls. Such theft from old-style 'analog cell phones has cost phone companies and, by extension, their customers—millions of dollars.

But in breaching digital phones' protection, the computer researchers didn't merely reveal potential dangers to cell-phone users. They ex­posed a threat by government to a safe, prosperous digital electronic future for everyone. The researchers say their cellular code cracking was made easier because the code itself had been weakened possibly to allow for government surveillance. That may or may not be true. No coding expert though could think of any other good reason for the phone codes now. Federal law enforcement and security agencies have tried repeatedly to keep not only phone companies but also U.S, software makers and computer manufacturers from providing the best code protection available for everything from computer records to bank accounts - unless they provide government technological means to secretly get around it. Those agencies now are pushing Congress to pass laws, that would require such decoding technology for any encrypted information. They say it's needed so they protect the nation from terrorists and drug dealers.

But a National Research Council study in 1996 and European Commission report this year found that crooks and terrorists can get around any country's cryptography restric­tions, with software available on "the Internet. And there are thousands of encryption products sold over the counter worldwide. Indeed as the cloning of the, cell-phone codes shows, those most threatened by gov­ernment's obsession with maintaining its eavesdropping capability are legitimate businesses and their customers.

If government would only get out of their way, they'd have a better chance of protecting themselves

(USA Today, April, 17, 1998)


privacy - тайна, секретность, уединенность

security - безопасность

personal - личный

succumb - уступать

graduate student - выпускник

desire - желание

crack - вскрыть, нарушить

digital - цифровой

cell(ular) phone - сотовый телефон

break* - нарушить (закон)

encryption - кодирование

cuberthief - кибервор

snatch - хватать, глотать

illegal - нелегальный, незаконный

theft - кража

by extansion - здесь: шире

customer - клиент

breach - нарушать

protection - защита

merely - просто

reveal - открывать, обнаруживать

danger - опасность

safe - безопасный

code-cracking - вскрытие кода

weaken - ослаблять

allow - позволять

surveiilance - слежка, наблюдение

reason - причина, повод

flaw - здесь: уязвимое, слабое место

enforcement - законодательный

keep from - удерживать(ся) от...

repeatedly - повторно

provide - обеспечивать, предоставлять

available - доступный, имеющийся

account - счет (в банке)

means - средство

get* around - обойти, обмануть

push - подтолкнуть

pass laws - принимать законы

require - требовать(ся)

drug dealer - накркоторговец

council - совет

study - исследование

crook - разг.: жулик, плут

restriction - ограничение

over the counter - за прилавком, т.е. легально продаваемый

clone - клонировать, множить

threaten - угрожать

obsession - навязчивая идея

maintaining - поддерживать

eavesdrop - подслушивать

capability - способность

legitimate - легитимный, законный


Comprehension Check.

Ex. Answer the following questions:

1. What is the government's desire?

2. Why is security of personal communication succumbing to the government?

3. What did the graduate students of the University of California do?

4. What kept cyberthieves from snatching digital cell-phone codes?

5. How much did such theft from old-style analog cell phone cost phone


6. What does breaching digital phone's protection mean for cell phone-users?

7. Whay was the researcher's cellular code-cracking made easier?

8. What do coding experts think about the phone codes' flaw?

9. What organisations were kept from providing the best code protection

available for evrynbody?

10. Who tried to persuade them doing so?

11. What are these agencies pushing Congress to do?

12. How do they explain it?

13. What does cloning of the cell-phone codes show?

14. What is meant by the "government's obsession"?


Topics to discuss.

1. Attempts of the government to have decoding technology for any encrypted


2. Privacy at risk.


Text 3:


Small Town Crime

Graham Harrison was an ambitious young policeman from the big dry, so he was disappointed with his first job on duty in Parley; all he had to do was patrol the older part of the town, instead of hunting for bank robbers, gangsters and terrorists. Sergeant Maidment, who had lived there all his life, advised him to walk around quietly and be friendly. He explained that most of the inhabitants of those streets were too old to commit any serious crimes, and warned him not to interfere unless it was really necessary.

As Graham turned into Harcourt Road, an old-fashioned street with a row of terraced houses, he wondered if he would ever have the opportunity of distinguishing himself in a small provincial town like Parley. But then he saw a crowd of people on the pavement. Two middle-aged women were fighting. One of them was bleeding from a bad cut on the forehead; she had her hands round her opponent's throat and was trying to strangle her. The other woman was screaming. Some of the neighbours were trying to separate them, but a small boy stood in the doorway of his house, laughing and cheering.

Graham ordered the women to stop fighting. He took their names and addresses and asked the neighbours how the fight had started. It seemed that Sarah Hardcastle, who lived at number 14, had accused Jean Morris, who lived at number 10, of knocking on her door several times while she was doing her ironing and then running indoors again. Jean denied it. On the contrary, she accused Sarah of knocking on her door. Then Sarah had thrown the iron at Jean and hit her on the forehead. Sarah admitted that she had attacked Jean but she refused to apologise. Graham offered to take Jean to hospital but she said she didn't need treatment. In the end, they agreed to go indoors and one of the neighbours invited Graham to have a cup of tea. Once the street was quiet again, he went to report to Sergeant Maidment.

The Sergeant listened to his report, and then he smiled. 'Well, Sarah Hardcastle and Jean Morris have hated one another since they were girls,' he said. 'In those days in a town like Parley, most men married the girl next door, so they both had their eye on Charlie Walker. But he married Nora Bames, from Windsor Street, instead. So if Sarah and Jean hate each other, they hate Nora even more. When she and Charlie celebrated their silver wedding last week, Sarah and Jean complained to us about the row and threatened to take Charlie and Nora to court. Charlie rang me up and begged me to sort it out. I managed to calm them down, the Walkers apologised for making a noise, and that was the end of it. But it spoilt the party.

'I don't suppose you ever played a game as a boy of tying the knockers of two terraced houses together with string. If you rap one and run away, the person who opens the door automatically pulls the string and knocks at the other house. Hasn't it struck you that.the houses concerned were number 10 and number 14 Harcourt Road? No wonder young Jimmy Walker was laughing and cheering in the doorway of number But I expect he had cut the string by the time you arrived. He'd already had his revenge!'



be disappointed(with) - быть разочарованным

patrol - патрулировать

hunt - охотиться

robber - грабить

advise - советовать

inhabitant - житель

commit - совершать

warn - предупреждатть

interfere - вмешиваться

unless - если не

old-fashioned - старомодный

row - ряд

wonder - интересоваться

distinguish oneself - отличиться

crowd - толпа

pavement - трутуар

bleed - истекать кровью, кровоточить

forehead - лоб

opponent - противник

throat - горло

strangle - задушить

scream - орать

cheer - подбадривать

accuse - обвинять

knock - сутчать

iron - утюг; гладить

deny - отрицать

on the contrary - напротив

hit - ударять, бить

admit - допускать, признавать

refuse - отказываться

apologise - извиняться

treatment - здесь: лечение

hate - ненавидеть

complain - жаловаться

threaten - угрожать

court - суд

beg - умолять

sort it out - выяснить, разобраться

calm down - успокаивать

tying - связывание

knocker - стучащий

string - бечевка, веревка

strike* - здесь: прийти в голову

revenge - месть


Comprehension Check.

Ex. Answer the following questions: 1. How many policemen were there in Farley?

2. Where was Graham Harrison from?

3. Whay was he disappointed with his first job on duty in Farley?

4. What did Sergeant Maidment advise him to do?

5. Was there an opportunity to distinguish oneself in this provincial town?

6. What scene did he see in the street?

7. What did the ladies accuse each other of?

8. What did he offer to the old fighting ladies?

9. What case did the sergeant explain him later?

10. What game was played there?

11. Did anyone in the street guess(догадаться), what it was?


Topics to Discuss.

1. Crimes in a small town.

2. A scene in the street.

3. Many-year hatress (ненависть)of the two ladies.

4. The boy's "game".




Defamation of Character

(1) A person's reputation is a valuable asset. Therefore, every person is protected from false statements made by others during his or her lifetime. This protection ends upon a person's death. The tort of defamation of character requires a plaintiff to prove that (1) the defendant made an untrue statement of fact about the plaintiff and (2) the statement was intentionally or accidentally published to a third party. In this context, publication simply means that a third person heard or saw the untrue statement. It does not just mean appearance in newspapers, magazines, or books.

(2) The name for an oral defamatory statement is slander. A false statement that appears in a letter, magazine, book, photograph, movie, video, and the like is called libel. Most courts hold that defamatory statements in radio and television broadcasts are considered libel because of the permanency of the media.

(3) The publication of an untrue statement of fact is not the same as the publication of an opinion. The publication of opinions is usually not actionable. «My lawyer is lousy» is an opinion. Since defamation is defined as an untrue statement of fact, truth is an absolute defense to a charge of defamation.

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