Free Encyclopedia of Ecommerce » Free Encyclopedia of Ecommerce » Computer Crime - Definitions, Types Of Computer Crimes, Anti-cyber-crime Legislation, Enforcement Agencies, International Computer Crime

Computer Crime - International Computer Crime

cyber internet treaty online

Since the Internet is not limited by geography, crimes committed in cyberspace can easily achieve global dimensions. Systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and locating perpetrators is difficult. Many computer fraud and embezzlement schemes target international financial networks. Organized crime groups can utilize information technology to evade identification and carry out drug trafficking and money laundering on a global scale. Questions of jurisdiction and apprehension become much more complicated in international cyberspace.

Estimates place annual business losses to cyber crime at roughly $1.5 billion. Many hackers are based in countries far from those they affect. For example, the author of the Love Bug virus that affected the United States was located in the Philippines. Many authorities suspect that organized "cyber-crime gangs" frequently originate in developing countries, such as the former Soviet republics where computer-crime laws are lax and enforcement is haphazard.

Individual countries vary widely in the legal approaches they have taken to regulating the Internet. Some strictly observant Islamic nations have tried to contain the dissemination of information online, which they view as containing messages potentially harmful to their populaces. Germany has tried to restrict Web sites containing Neo-Nazi content. China installed firewalls to prevent its citizens from accessing unauthorized sites, and Burma bans Internet access completely.

Britain has led in the passage of legislation designed to combat "cyber-terrorism." In February 2000 it passed the British Terrorism Act, which includes in its ban on terrorist groups those who disrupt hospitals or power supplies by hacking into computer systems. A revision of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act gives police broad access to e-mail and other online communications.

The Council of Europe's proposed cyber-crime treaty, the initial draft of which was released in April 2000, generated the most controversy of any international cyber legislation proposed to date. It spans a broad spectrum of cyber-crimes from copyright infringement to online terrorism. The treaty seeks to harmonize European criminal laws regarding data interception, interference, and online fraud. Any member nation's enforcement authorities would be granted online entry to any other state in order to pursue a cyber-crime investigation. Governments also could also employ new powers on wiretapping, real-time collection of traffic data, and the search and seizure of digital information. Opponents worry that the treaty ignores individual civil liberties and intellectual property rights. Many U.S. business and governmental officials also oppose adoption of the treaty in its proposed form.

Finally, the global interconnection of computer systems fostered a push for international cooperation to combat computer-related crimes. In 1998 Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States agreed to coordinate efforts to investigate and prosecute cyber-crimes. Among the solutions under debate was an international treaty to standardize domestic cyber-crime laws. Thorny topics include the extent to which governments should allow the free movement of data encryption, which protects the electronic information from compromise but also can be used by criminals to shield their activities. Increased government surveillance of online communications is criticized by privacy advocates and members of various ethnic and racial groups, who feel that it constitutes a form of illegal profiling. The regulation of content, which might suppress hate speech or child pornography, faces obstacles from proponents of free expression.

FURTHER READING:

Brooke Paul. "DDoS: Internet Weapons of Mass Destruction." Network Computing. January 8, 2001.

Chen, Christine; and Greg Lindsay. "Viruses, Attacks, and Sabotage: It's a Computer Crime Wave." Fortune. May 15, 2000.

Chin, Woo Siew. "Insight into Cyber Terrorism." New Straits Times. October 3, 2001.

"Cybercrime: Community Accession to an International Convention." European Report. March 21, 2001.

Fletcher, Charlie. "ID Thievery is On the Rise." Catalog Age. June 2000.

Gantz, John. "Take a Bite Out of Crime on the Web." Computerworld. February 19, 2001.

Gittlen, Sandra. "World Organizations Urge Sharing of Security Info." Network World. October 23, 2000.

Godwin, Mike. "Save the Children." American Lawyer. Au-gust, 2001.

Grosso, Andrew. "The Promise and Problems of the No Electronic Theft Act." Communications of the ACM. February,2000.

Munro, Neil. "Cybercrime Treaty on Trial." National Journal. March 10, 2001.

Neeley, DeQuendre. "Justice Department Report Arouses Concerns." Security Management. May, 2000.

Nicholson, Laura; Tom Shebar; and Meredith Weinberg. "Computer Crimes." American Criminal Law Review. Spring 2000.

Oreskovic, Alexei. "FBI Warns of Digital-Crime Wave from Eastern Europe." Industry Standard. March 11, 2001.

Radcliff, Deborah. "A Case of Cyberstalking." Network World. May 29, 2000.

——. "Crime in the 21st Century: The New Field of Computer Forensics." InfoWorld. December 14, 1998.

Rapaport, Richard. "Cyberwars: The Feds Strike Back." Forbes. August 23, 1999.

Shrimsely, Robert. "'Cybercrime' Covered by Extended Law on Terrorism." Financial Times. February 20, 2001.

Spiegel, Peter. "U.S. Cybercops Face Global Challenge as World Gets Wired Up." Financial Times. October 25, 2000.

Thibodeau, Patrick. "European Cybertreaty Raising Concerns." Computerworld. December 11, 2000.

Verton, Dan. "FBI Completes Cybercrime Program Rollout." Computerworld. January 15, 2001.

——. "National Security Threatened by Internet, Studies Say." Computerworld. January 1, 2001.

[back] Computer Crime - Enforcement Agencies

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

asdg