Cyber Crime: Weak Laws Threaten E-Commerce
- Self-Protection Is Principal Defense
WASHINGTON—Gaps in national criminal laws make successful prosecution of international cyber crimes uncertain in many countries, according to a report issued today by McConnell International LLC, a global policy and technology management consulting firm. The report, Cyber Crime . . . and Punishment? Archaic Laws Threaten Global Information, finds that only nine of 52 countries analyzed have extended their criminal laws into cyberspace to cover most types of cyber crimes.
long arm of the law does not yet reach across the global Internet,” said Bruce
W. McConnell, the firm’s president. “Organizations
must rely on their own defenses 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. The
report analyzed Albania, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile,
China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia,
Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Japan,
Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius,
Moldova, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United
States, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to determine whether their
laws had been amended to cover these crimes.
Thirty-three of the countries surveyed have not yet updated their laws to address any type of cyber crime. Of the remaining countries, ten have enacted legislation to address five or fewer types of cyber crime, and nine have updated their laws to prosecute against six or more of the ten types. Of those countries, only one, the Philippines, indicated that updated legislation is currently in place to prosecute a future perpetrator of all of types of crimes.
In addition to highlighting the efforts of 19 countries that have partially or fully updated their criminal laws, the report identifies efforts underway in 17 countries that have not updated their laws, including Cuba, Latvia, New Zealand, and Zambia. Copies of existing and draft laws, along with the report itself, are available at www.mcconnellinternational.com.