Computer criminals of the future (1981)S

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.

This post by Matt Novak originally appeared on Paleo-Future. Follow him on Twitter as Paleofuture and email him at paleofuture@gmail.com.