Post Term Thoughts: My Study of Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics

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I’m pleased to say that I’ve recently wrapped up my study of Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics with SUNY Empire State College.  It was a rewarding experience.  I entered this study with the intention of forming connections between my former studies in criminal justice, my technical knowledge, and a budding interest in information security.  I’m satisfied that my expectations were met in these areas.  The time I spent in this study was both enlightening and revealing.

The thing about technology is there are so many layers to its use and application.  Studying the field of computer forensics has forced me to look at technology in ways that I haven’t before.  I’m normally interested in technology as a form of utility.  A tool for accomplishing a specific thing.  Studying forensics forces you to think outside the boundaries of the use-case and start thinking of how another person might use the same technology we love in a way that’s ethically questionable.  It requires an objective view of the stream of bits that runs our digital age.

After completing my study I’m not sure I’d want to pursue a career in computer forensics, but I have developed an interest in related topics; and commentary in the field.  I can see myself writing on the subject in the future.  My interest in criminal justice and information security has always been based on the cases that come out of the field, and the social implication of their outcomes.  The court cases stemming from society’s thirst for technology are in many ways telling the story of our evolution in a knowledge based society.  They reflect our triumphs and struggles, and paint a picture of our existence in the current age.  They can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.  We’re no longer innocent in our digital world, and growth comes through self-reflection.

I’m deeply appreciative of the opportunity I had to participate in this study, and especially for the rich experience that was provided by the college.  Thank you for the privilege of reflecting on my journey and your willingness to hear my thoughts.

With gratitude,

Stewart Nicholas

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