chapter  17
9 Pages

The cyber side of crime


Any discussion about international law enforcement would be incomplete without some reference to the way in which advances in technology have been exploited for criminal purposes. Although adopted here for convenience, the term ‘cybercrime’, despite being a popular catch-phrase, is not entirely appropriate, but other labels such as ‘e-crime’, ‘computer crime’, ‘netcrime’ or ‘hi-tech crime’ are equally problematic. Indeed, a recent European Commission communication ‘questioned whether there is any need for the term at all’ suggesting that ‘cyberspace is just a new specific instrument used to commit crimes which are not new at all’.1 The same EU document goes on to propose three general types of crime involving information technology:

1 traditional forms of crime in a cybercrime context; 2 the publication of illegal content over electronic media; and 3 crimes unique to electronic networks.2