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Lecture 2

CRM324 - Week 2: Security Threats

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CRM 324
Alexandra Orlova

CRM324 – Week 2: Security Threats Please read in conjunction to the powerpoint slides Intro: (Since the Cold War, focus of security has really shifted to organized crime; a lot of security specialists have pushed to discuss the solution to organized crime such as legal or enforcing securities in transnational manners since entering globalization) - (What is organized crime? Have relationships with the legitimate and underground means/influence; something that carries over and is not just a one-time occurrence; ultimately they are just trying to profit; they are quite branched out which makes it difficult to pinpoint one person or one group & there is usually a hierarchy; usually have roots in specialists such as accounting/IT specialists even banks or politicians [corrupt officials], so it’s not just a bunch of criminals; usually operate in “black spots” such as weak borders [leaping from jurisdiction to jurisdiction] or legislative gaps; often involve violence to get to their means… SEE BELOW) - (A useful way of looking at organized crime is to look at the process/method of the crimes; it’s much less useful to focus on the type of crime/individual; a good way of looking at organized crime is to concentrate on the aspects of the process that certain criminals use in the process of committing criminal activity) - (Often movies talk about the typical crimes of organized crimes such as human trafficking or drug smuggling, and they also like to discuss the individuals involved such as Jamaican or Italian mafia or certain neighbourhoods or personnel known to be linked, making it problematic -> WHY? They might not be universalizable and cannot be applied to all cases, they can lead to racialization/profiling, one part of a whole host of connections and branches, missing vital chunk of information because methods are the harmful aspect no matter which group uses them like a self-fulfilling prophecy when you investigate one group/person and only find evidence for that one case [criminal markets is not dominated by just organized groups, there are lots of players in the game and do not stop merely because you have arrested that one group or have busted that one transaction/operation], also it can be dangerous to label anyone involved with criminal activity [“suspicious activity”] as “organized crime” because the link is too easy to make [ex: two people do a drug deal are suddenly labelled as part of organized crime with the “source” or “unidentified third party” which leads to more rigid sentencing and a label that is very hard to shake]) - (When you look at who is most involved in money-laundering criminal activity, it was middle-aged white males even though the reports were mostly written about ethnic peoples; this discrepancy could be avoided if looked at carefully and followed the warning above [by not jumping to the conclusion that suspicious activity is automatically organized crime] and by following the definition below) SLIDE ONE: - First point: Group? Two people coming together is typically referred to as a conspiracy rather than an organized criminal establishment - Last point: (if the plan is for pure ideological reasons, it would not be “organized crime” but goals can be disguised -> EX: radical environmentalists may achieve saving a piece of land which may not seem material but in the end the goal is to eliminate the competition, which is a benefit to them regardless since market rates can be affected, etc.) o (Is the group “Anonymous” considered organized crime? Not necessarily defined as organized crime since their intentions are for the financial or material benefit but rather to expose or enlighten, etc. The main distinction to remember is that organized crime personnel are first and foremost businessmen, they are investing and carrying out a long-term business to benefit themselves [function like business]) SLIDE TWO: - (Really encompasses harm but in a vague definition in a high-level document) - (The drafters that came up with this definition had to compromise: they were enacted to recognize that organized crime and transnational organized crime are serious threats and these security threats threaten all nations rather than to actually define transnational crimes in any way) SLIDE THREE: • continuity over time (roots in the structure; the foundations are strong enough to continue despite certain members going to jail or being killed and operate over time) • ongoing, repetitive criminal activity (organized crime is a business; it’s not just one or two deals, it needs to occur over time) • capacity to operate through corruption and the potential for violence • Profit as the ultimate goal • Looking for new opportunities and adapting to changes in legislation or law enforcement policies (“black spots”) • providing illicit goods and services ; providing legal goods and services; quasi- governmental role (selling “insurance” or insider trading to take advantage of legal means in an illegal manner; sometimes states are unable to provide protection such as having dysfunctional courts so “mafias” can be introduced -> they protect and take on government roles in societies where the government has failed, such as Sicily) - (The key to understanding organized crime is to understand the ability of organized criminals and their organizations; we can probably expect these abilities to make their way into the legitimate business world one day since sometimes they operate within legitimate/illegitimate hybrid means) - (HSBC bank laundering tons of money to the Columbian drug cartel yet the government cannot shut down the bank because the institution was so big that it would be too economically damaging to shut them down. They eventually got fined, but it was like a slap on the wrist compared to how much money they were making from the laundering) - (a lot of organizations operate locally, but there is a growing number of organizations that go trans-nationally and there are many difficulties created: - location/safe havens - “black spots” - some places rely on these organized crimes such as drug trafficking so they cannot stop them - police force communication between states or countries - impact on different groups - extradition - technologies such as encryption or easy money transfers through the web or communication - shortcoming of a legislation and flexibility [highly adaptable/changing nature] - define it however it you want, use it for political gain, ask for more resources, stretch the truth - blame it on almost anyone, such as immigrants -> toughen immigration laws - CSIS or INTERPOL information sharing? They can get competitive and protective of their info - they are also very expensive; warrants, surveillance, interviews and time-consuming - almost the “perfect societal threat” - als
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