Michael McGuire

Dr Michael McGuire

Senior Lecturer
+44 (0)1483 682363
12 AD 03

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology, Surrey Centre for Cyber Security.



Suleman Lazarus, Jack M. Whittaker, Michael R. McGuire, Lucinda Platt (2023)What do we know about online romance fraud studies? A systematic review of the empirical literature (2000 to 2021), In: Journal of Economic Criminology2100013 Elsevier Ltd

We aimed to identify the critical insights from empirical peer-reviewed studies on online romance fraud published between 2000 and 2021 through a systematic literature review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. The corpus of studies that met our inclusion criteria comprised twenty-six studies employing qualitative (n = 13), quantitative (n = 11), and mixed (n = 2) methods. Most studies focused on victims, with eight focusing on offenders and fewer investigating public perspectives. All the victim-focused studies relied on data from the Global North, except for Malaysia. Five offender-focused studies used online data available in the public domain, and three derived their data from West Africa. Our review highlights offenders' techniques to deceive and manipulate victims, as revealed in these studies, and highlights some limitations of offender- and victim-focused studies. The dominant framework used across the studies was found to be the “Scammers Persuasive Techniques Model.” While this framework provides a helpful way of considering the stages of victim involvement, it also faces some limitations, which we highlight. Our study reviews the current state of empirical knowledge on romance fraud and identifies certain gaps and biases in the literature. We argue there is a need for further research into online romance fraud to enhance our understanding of it both from the perspective of the offender as well as the experience of the victim. We also highlight the need for a more inclusive and greater range of regional and global diverse range of data sources and perspectives. Given the scale and impact of online romance fraud, we conclude that its study would benefit from a richer empirical engagement recognizes it as both a regional and global phenomenon.

M.R. McGuire, Karen Renaud (2023)Harm, injustice & technology: Reflections on the UK's subpostmasters’ case, In: Howard journal of crime and justice

ABSTRACT One of the more striking recent miscarriages of justice was perpetrated by the UK's Post Office when subpostmasters and subpostmistresses were prosecuted for fraud that actually arose from malfunctioning software. Over 700 were victimised, losing homes and livelihoods. We first use a zemiological lens to examine the harms caused by these events at both a first and second‐order range – referred to as ‘ripples’. Yet, the zemiological analysis, while useful in identifying the personal harms suffered by postmasters, is less successful in associating with some of the wider costs – especially to the justice system itself. Additional tools are required for identifying how technology might be culpable in the damage that unfolded. We use a technological injustice lens to augment the zemiological analysis, to reveal how and why technology can harm, especially when appropriate checks and balances are missing, and naïve belief in the infallibility of technological solutions prevails.

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights reserved.Chapter Overview: Threat assessments of cyberterrorism have so far tended to focus upon on two kinds of question. First, the extent to which such a construct really 'exists'- or at least exists in any way substantively different from other forms of terrorism. Second, its destructive potentials and the kinds of targets this might involve. This chapter considers a more basic set of questions about the cyberterrorist threat. These centre upon the very thing considered to make it a distinctive form of offending: (information) technology and its relationships with the intentions of potential terrorists. Central to this analysis is an attempt to clarify some recurring confusions about the criminogenic potentials of technology in general-in particular the extent to which it can be causally agentic or 'enables' offending. I argue that it is only by developing a more coherent understanding of contemporary socio-technic relations that a robust evaluation of the risks posed by cyberterrorism can be made.

M McGuire (2007)Hypercrime: The new geometry of harm, In: Hypercrime: The New Geometry of Harmpp. 1-375

© 2007 Michael McGuire. All rights reserved.Hypercrime develops a new theoretical approach toward current reformulations in criminal behaviours, in particular the phenomenon of cybercrime. Emphasizing a spatialized conception of deviance, one that clarifies the continuities between crime in the traditional, physical context and developing spaces of interaction such as a 'cyberspace', this book analyzes criminal behaviours in terms of the destructions, degradations or incursions to a hierarchy of regions that define our social world. Each chapter outlines violations to the boundaries of each of these spaces - from those defined by our bodies or our property, to the more subtle borders of the local and global spaces we inhabit. By treating cybercrime as but one instance of various possible criminal virtualities, the book develops a general theoretical framework, as equally applicable to the, as yet unrealized, technologies of criminal behaviour of the next century, as it is to those which relate to contemporary computer networks. Cybercrime is thereby conceptualized as one of a variety of geometries of harm, merely the latest of many that have extended opportunities for illicit gain in the physical world. Hypercrime offers a radical critique of the narrow conceptions of cybercrime offered by current justice systems and challenges the governing presumptions about the nature of the threat posed by it.

I Becker, R Posner, T Islam, P Ekblom, H Borrion, M McGuire, S Li (2021)Privacy in Transport? Exploring Perceptions of Location Privacy Through User Segmentation Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Unanticipated accumulation and dissemination of accurate location information flows is the latest iteration of the privacy debate. This mixed-methods research contributes a grounded understanding of risk perceptions, enablers and barriers to privacy preserving behaviour in a cyber-physical environment. We conducted the first representative survey on internet privacy concerns, cyber and physical risk taking, privacy victimisation, usage of location sharing apps and transport choices in the UK with 466 participants. The responses segregated participants into four distinct, novel clusters (cyber risk takers, physical risk takers, transport innovators, and risk abstainers) with cross-validated prediction accuracy of 92%. In the second part of the study, we qualitatively explored these clusters through 12 homogeneous focus groups with 6 participants each. The predominant themes of the groups matched their clusters with little overlap between the groups. The differences in risk perception and behaviours varied greatly between the clusters. Future transport systems, apps and websites that rely on location data therefore need a more personalised approach to information provision surrounding location sharing. Failing to recognise these differences could lead to reduced data sharing, riskier sharing behaviour or even total avoidance of new forms of technology in transport.

M.R. McGuire (2021)The laughing policebot: automation and the end of policing, In: Policing & society31(1)20pp. 20-36 Routledge

Though there has always been a close relationship between professional policing and technology, the sheer scale of operational dependence upon new technologies has begun to raise a number of concerns. In this paper I trace 3 kinds of contrasting dynamics in the perception of the policing/technology relationship. A first view has tended to see this relationship in largely unproblematic, positive terms, one which generally results in 'more efficient', cost-effective forms of policing. Against this, a more sceptical position can also be traced. On this view, whilst enhanced access to technology often benefits police performance, it has often also come with enhanced opportunities for misuse which threaten dystopian scenarios of coercion, denial of rights and - at worst - the spectre of technologised police states. I argue that a third view is now plausible, one that has been far less discussed, even though it may present the greatest challenge to the viability of policing as we have known it. For the emergent technologies now reshaping policing often involve automated tools like predictive algorithms or facial recognition systems. This raises the question of what limits to the automation of policing there may be and whether automation will ultimately entail the 'end' of professional police forces as once envisioned by Peel.

M McGuire (2013)Technomia and the bio-chemical citizen, In: DEVIANCE ET SOCIETE37(3)pp. 265-287 MEDECINE ET HYGIENE
MR McGuire (2013)La technomie et le citoyen biochimique Technomia and the bio-chemical citizen, In: D Kaminski, M Devresse, S De Biolley, A Jonckheere, B Renard (eds.), Deviance et Societe(3)

FRENCH L'apparition du profilage ADN comme outil au service de la justice penale constitue une etape nouvelle dans l'usage du corps au titre de ressource a des fins de regulation sociale. Le rôle traditionnel du corps penal – objet visible de dispensation de souffrances – a progressivement ete dilue dans des projets de regulation plus subtils et invisibles, centres sur sa structure biochimique. La transformation a ete si subtile que l'on peut avancer qu'un nouveau type de sujet de justice est ne : le citoyen biochimique. Dans cet article, je suggère que la citoyennete biologique doit etre consideree comme le resultat d'un deplacement regulatoire plus complexe, dans lequel les technologies biochimiques ne constituent qu'un element d'une matrice plus etendue de la regulation technologique. Dans ce nouvel ordre technologique (que je nomme technomie ), les fonctions de la justice penale traditionnelle et les institutions qui la portent se doivent detre rearticulees selon des modalites dont nous commencons seulement a nous rendre compte.

M McGuire (2007)Hypercrime Routledge

Emphasizing a spatialized conception of deviance, one that clarifies the continuities between crime in the traditional, physical context and developing spaces of interaction such as a 'cyberspace', this book analyzes criminal behaviours in ...

MR McGuire (2016)Technology Crime and Technology Control: contexts and history, In: MR McGuire, TJ Holt (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice(Part 1) Palgrave Macmillan

Technology has become increasingly important to both the function and our understanding of the justice process. Many forms of criminal behaviour are highly dependent upon technology, and crime control has become a predominantly technologically driven process - one where ‘traditional’ technological aids such as fingerprinting or blood sample analysis are supplemented by a dizzying array of tools and techniques including surveillance devices and DNA profiling. This book offers the first comprehensive and holistic overview of global research on technology, crime and justice. It is divided into five parts, each corresponding with the key stages of the offending and justice process:

MR McGuire (2008)From Hyperspace to Hypercrime : new Technologies and the Geometries of Control, In: papers from the British Criminology Conference 20088pp. 3-17

This paper argues that the significance of technology for contemporary crime and control needs urgent retheorisation. In a context where communications and information technology are having such profound effects upon social interaction, important questions arise about the changing relations between spatial experience, crime and control. The paper suggests that one standard approach here – the claim that communications technology crimes are best explained by reference to them as ‘cybercrimes’ which occur in‘cyberspace’– represents one variant of the failure to properly locate technology within the social. Adopting a Simmelian perspective, the paper advocates considering technology in terms of a geometry of offending behaviours and responses to them – one defined by social interaction rather than the other way around. It is argued that an extended form of social space –a hyperspace – is now evolving, with important implications, not just for our experience and perception of crime, but the kinds of options available for managing it.

MR McGuire (2016)Cybercrime 4.0 - Which way now, In: R Matthews (eds.), What is to be done about crime and punishment?(10)pp. 251-275 Palgrave Macmillan

This book responds to the claim that criminology is becoming socially and politically irrelevant despite its exponential expansion as an academic sub-discipline. It does so by addressing the question 'what is to be done' in relation to a number of major issues associated with crime and punishment. The original contributions to this volume are provided by leading international experts in a wide range of issues. They address imprisonment, drugs, gangs, cybercrime, prostitution, domestic violence, crime control, as well as white collar and corporate crime. Written in an accessible style, this collection aims to contribute to the development of a more public criminology and encourages students and researchers at all levels to engage in a form of criminology that is more socially relevant and more useful.