The Dark Mafia : Organized Crime in the Age of the Internet book cover
1st Edition

The Dark Mafia
Organized Crime in the Age of the Internet

  • Available for pre-order on March 10, 2023. Item will ship after March 31, 2023
ISBN 9781032244365
March 31, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the way in which organized crime gangs have adapted and evolved in synch with ever-expanding technologies, using these not only to update their popular image, but also the ways in which they conduct their secretive operations. It shows how organized crime gangs operate in dark virtual spaces and how they can now form a dynamic interactive system with legitimate online spaces, allowing them to solidify their criminal exploits, making them attractive to a new generation of computer users.

Focusing on Italian Mafias, Russian and Georgian criminal groups and drug cartels, and the Asian gangs such as the Yakuza and the Triads, this book considers the continuity of online and offline crime, whether internet culture has radically changed the way we perceive organized crime and if so how, and how the shift in popular imagery affects the actual criminal activities of the gangs. It also considers the ways in which organized crime groups have shifted their locale from the physical to the virtual, ways in which cybercrime has allowed organized crime groups to adapt and reinvent themselves, and how the police can use technology against organized crime.

To better understand the new generation of criminal actors, it is becoming ever more urgent to understand the new technologies and how the criminals are utilizing them. The Dark Mafia is an engaging and accessible introduction to understanding virtual organized crime and will appeal to students and scholars of criminology, sociology, policing, and all those interested in the digital age of the mafia.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1.The Mafia in Cyberspace  2.Hybrid Criminality  3.The Dark Mafia  4.The Cool Mafia  5.From Mythologies to Memetics and Beyond


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Antonio Nicaso is an internationally recognized organized crime expert, who has published more than 30 books on Mafia and Mafia-type criminal organizations, including Bad Blood, which inspired a major television series. He teaches Social History of Organized Crime and Mafia Culture and the Power of Symbols, Rituals and Myth at Queen's University, Canada.

Marcel Danesi is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, where he taught a course on Forensic Semiotics for many years. He has authored Organized Crime: A Cultural Introduction (Routledge, 2021) along with Antonio Nicaso.


"Nicaso and Danesi provide an excellent, empirically rich insight into the complexities of organized crime groups in the digital field. Their book is a refreshing and engaging addition to both cybercrime and organized crime literature."

Anita Lavorgna, Associate Professor, University of Bologna