CYBERCRIME. Nigel, Lochie, Anika and Martin. International Cybercrime Law.
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As the internet is becoming the most popular area of crime, countries around the world are struggling to update the law to restrict criminals from continually committing The most significant international law relating to cybercrime is the European Union’s Convention on Cybercrime.
The Cybercrime Convention has been signed by most of the members of the EU and some non-members including Japan, South Africa and the United States.
Article 2: “Illegal Access” - requires parties to establish criminal offences for unauthorized access.
Article 3: “Illegal Interception” – requires parties to prohibit the intereception of transmissions from non-public (e.g. within the pc).
Article 4: “Data Interference” - requires parties to establish criminal offences for "the damaging, deleting, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data".
Article 5: “System Interference” - requires parties to prohibit, as criminal offences, the serious hindering of another person's computer system by "inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data."
Article 6: Requires parties to criminalise "the production, sale, procurement for use, import, distribution or making available" of illegal software programs or software intentionally created to cause harm or perform illegal activities.
US v Robert Tappan Morris
Robert Tappan Morris developed a software ‘worm’
Wanted to demonstrate certain security flaws in Unix
Wanted to demonstrate technological potential of computer worms
Intentions were not criminal but the worm he created unintentionally causes damage to the computer it is installed into
Led to $100,000s to internet server operators, and computers everywhere had to shut down to get rid of the worm.
Only crime Robert Tappan Morris was charged for was obtaining unauthorized access, and not for causing damage.
Australian Cybercrime Law
The Commonwealth's Cybercrime Act 2001 offers the most comprehensive regulation of computer and internet related offences.
Unlawful access and computer trespass
The commonwealth act provides that a person who intentionally and without authority obtains access to commonwealth data is guilty of an offence. Section 76B (2).
Data includes :
Security, defence or international relations of Australia;
Confidential sources of info relating to enforcement of Australian crime law
Enforcement of Australian law
Protection of public safety
Personal affairs of any person
Records of financial institution
Damaging data and impeding access to computers
IT is also an offence if a person alters information stored on a computer or to impede access to a computer.
New South Wales Crimes Act states that a person who intentionally and without authority destroys, erases or alters data stored, inserts data or interferes with is liable to imprisonment or a fine or both (Sections 308C and 308D)
The Commonwealth Act s 76C says that a person is guilty of an offence if they
intentionally and without authority destroys, erase or alters data stored in or inserts data into a commonwealth computer
Interfere or obstruct lawful use of a commonwealth computer
Impede of prevent access to or impair the usefulness or effectiveness of the commonwealth computer
Theft of Data
If there can or can not be theft of computer data remains unsettled.
An intruder into a computer system who dishonestly appropriates information is likely to be charged with unauthorised access or computer trespass rather theft
In the offline environment it generally involves deception though the use of a tangible object such as a created document
In cyberspace it may be committed through the use of digital technology
Section 477.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code provides that a person who without authorisation accesses or modifies data held in a computer or impairs communications to and from a computer with intent to commit a serious offence is guilty of an offence and is punishable with up to 10 years depending on the offence.
Offences Against Children
The internet and other communication technologies poses new risks for children becoming the victims of crimes with offences such as child pornography and ‘child grooming’
Child grooming is a process that begins with sexual predators taking interest in a child and making them feel special with the intent of forming a bond to get personal details, procuring the recipient to engage in or submit to sexual activity with the offender or another person.
Offenders can seek out victims through chat rooms, instant messaging, emails and mobile phones.
In NSW the Crimes Act 1900 had changes made to it in 2007 introducing penalties for these offences