Feeds

Cybercrime laws are super weak

Most countries let you get away with vitual murder

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cybercriminals are getting away with virtual murder because criminal laws in most countries have not been extended into cyberspace.

That's the conclusion of a study by McConnell International, a technology management consulting firm. It says that the lack of criminal laws is making the prosecution of computer related crimes - such as hacking or spreading viruses on the Internet - nigh on impossible.

The study, "Cyber Crime ... and Punishment?", found that only nine of the 52 countries surveyed had amended their laws to cover computer related crime.

"The long arm of the law does not yet reach across the global Internet," said Bruce W. McConnell, the firm's president. "Organisations must rely on their own defences for now. Governments, industry, and civil society must work together to develop consistent and enforceable national laws to deter future crime in cyberspace."

The report looked at ten different types of cyber crime in four categories: data-related crimes, including interception, modification, and theft; network-related crimes, including interference and sabotage; crimes of access, including hacking and virus distribution; and associated computer-related crimes, including aiding and abetting cyber criminals, computer fraud, and computer forgery.

Nine countries were found to have updated their laws to deal with six or more of these ten categories of offences, which was judged to be enough to provide some blanket of cover. A further 10 had some legislation against computer crime but an alarming 33 states had no laws against crime on the internet.

Neil Barrett, technical director at Information Risk Management, said the study was factually correct but represented an "unnecessarily bleak" picture.

He said in many cases computer crimes could be prosecuted under existing laws against fraud, criminal damage, theft or conspiracy - though the application of these laws sometimes falls down, resulting in weak penalties.

To at least partly address this, Barrett, who has been a key advisor to the police force in the UK on computer security, is working with a group to develop a trans-national code of best practice for dealing with cyber-crime. He added this would enable the better international co-operation, as well as sharing of information and of best practices in tackling crime on the internet. ®

Related Link

McConnell International

Related Stories

Calls for fresh love bug charges
Hackers, Windows NT and the FBI
Politicians line up against Euro email snooping laws

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.