The Impact of Increasing Returns on Cybercrime

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Cybercrimes and Their Increasing Concerns

Cybercrimes refer to criminal activities done on computers or technological equipment. As Kshetri argues in his article on the topic, the increase in cybercrime raises serious concerns for individuals, organizations, and governments.[1] While governments are working hard to prevent continuity of such crimes, the results do not reflect these efforts hence creating more panic among potential victims. The increase of returns and feedback loops for cybercrimes can provide an explanation for how companies and individuals now support each other to commit such crimes. The law of increasing returns brings in the argument that the availability of feedback mechanisms, lower expenses, and an increase in economies of scale can raise the probability of success and promote participation in cybercrime.

Inefficiency and Congestion in the Law Enforcement System

Looking at the cybercrime environment and its feedback loops, an increase in returns can manifest itself in several ways. Inefficiency and congestion in the law enforcement system raise the bar of diffusion for cybercrimes. Victims believe that a vicious circle of cybercrimes easily links the characteristics of the cybercriminals, hence making it tough to track down the attackers. Inefficiency and congestion in the enforcement system is a significant challenge affected by various significant factors. These include newness in managing the crime, low governmental priority, and a lack of willingness to report cross-border crimes.

Diffusion of Cybercrime Knowhow and Injustice for Victims

The diffusion of cybercrime knowhow counts as a substantial contributor to injustice for victims. It raises the possibility of victims not receiving a reprieve from the courts and authorities, thus contributing to the prevalence of cybercrime. An increased rate of crime commission correlates with some factors, among which is the economic difficulties individuals face. In some economies, lack of employment opportunities has led to the increased perception that cybercrime is the future investment to resort. Evidence also indicates that most parents and relatives encourage certain cybercrimes such as computer piracy. In this environment, it is clear that the financial gains made from cybercrime and the lack of a clear deterrence at the global level increase perceptions of cybercrime as a potential income earner rather than a crime.


Kshetri, Nir. “Positive Externality, Increasing Returns, and the Rise in Cybercrimes.” Communications of the ACM 52, no. 12 (2009): 141-144.

[1] Nir Kshetri. "Positive externality, increasing returns, and the rise in cybercrimes." Communications of the ACM 52, no. 12 (2009), 142

August 14, 2023
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