Too Rich to Regulate: Examining the Barriers to the Use of Surveillance in Corporate Crime

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Zhang, Nancy
corporate crime , white-collar crime , regulation , surveillance
Surveillance has long been used as an enforcement tool to detect conventional crimes and identify and punish offenders. However, its watchful gaze has been strategically directed away from the area of corporate crime. Corporate crime has long been under-studied and under-researched, despite the fact that the damages it causes amount to millions, even billions, of dollars. Its omission from the surveillant gaze, however, has been no accident. Because corporate offenders hold higher positions in society and possess greater political and economic resources than conventional street criminals, corporate offenders have often been able to resist the regulatory attempts against them. This thesis explores the underuse of surveillance as an enforcement tool in corporate crime, but also examines the regulatory climate that perpetuates this. It explores the main tools for addressing criminal and regulatory violations that are used by law enforcement agencies charged with enforcing corporate crime. This thesis identifies and examines five barriers—cultural, political, economic, legal, and technological—that have acted to limit and even prevent surveillance as a tool of regulation against corporate crime. Through an analysis of academic literature and public sources, this thesis assesses the small number of initiatives where surveillance strategies have been attempted in the field of corporate crime and investigates the reasons the attempts have been limited in number, scope and effect. The aim of this thesis is to draw attention to underuse of surveillance in corporate crime and question the current regulatory framework.
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