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Cybercrime and International Laws & Regulations

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Written by: Krishan Kumar Garg


Since the beginning of time, the concept of crime has been prevalent, and there has been a change in the type of crime with the change in society. As there has been development in society, there has been development in types of crime as well. Now through change in technology, people from one corner of earth can talk to another from different corner of the earth. This innovation has caused change in types of crime. Now there are cybercrimes prevalent in society, and as through technology cybercrime could take place from anywhere on place targeting the other place which is miles and miles away. This has led to problems when there is cybercrime happening in a state from another state.

Definition, Example with Statistics of Cybercrime

There is no one definition of cybercrime. The definition of cybercrime differs depending on the aim of the notion of definition. ‘cybercrime’ lies in the ‘limited number of acts against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data or systems.’[1]

As per the report by Infosec Institute (2013), the average cost per victim globally was $298, and by 2020 the average cost of cyberattack is $133,000. The rise of the cost implies that more and more people, organizations are being cyber attacked, which means that more cost will be used to decrease the cyberattacks and to deal with the existing attacks.[2]As every year there are more and more increase in data by various companies, either old companies or new companies, makes them the target for cyberattacks as the chances for getting data is huge when the companies keep their data stored at one place or few places.

The data breach of Yahoo in 2016, which compromised 3 billion accounts of Yahoo is considered as the biggest data breach of all-time. With the increase in data there is a greater risk of having a higher data breach like that of the 2016 Yahoo data breach.

In 2017, a virus cost $4 billion to get resolved, it was spread to 150 countries. It was found that one (1) out of every 36 devices had apps which were declared high risk apps or are high risk apps and are declared. In 2019, around 11,000mobile apps were banned in the United States as they were high risk apps and would cause cyberattacks to the devices.

International Laws & Regulations on Cybercrime

There are not many Laws & Regulations which bind the countries. In 2001, Budapest convention on cybercrime was introduced and till now only 66 countries have signed and ratified this convention and 2 countries have signed but not ratified this convention. Since half of the countries have not signed this convention, it can be said that it is not applicable for most countries. Russia has recently proposed a new convention which will also address the definition, procedures, punishment, etc. of cybercrime.

Budapest convention on cybercrime

Budapest Convention was the 1st ever convention on cybercrime. It was open for signature on 23rdNovember 2001 in Budapest.[3] The Budapest Convention provides for (i) the criminalization of conduct ranging from illegal access, data and systems interference to computer-related fraud and child pornography; (ii) procedural law tools to investigate cybercrime and secure electronic evidence in relation to any crime; and (iii) efficient international cooperation.[4]

Conclusion and Suggestions on how to overcome Cybercome

Globalization does not imply universal welfare. An increasing number of transnational crimes are being accommodated by globalized information systems. Cybercrime is one of the most globalized offences at present, as well as one of the most modernized threats of the future, in context to its network.

To overcome this problem, we can adopt two distinct approaches:

- One method is to divide information systems into portions separated by state lines.

- The alternative option is to merge the legal system into a single entity, obliterating state borders.

The first option appears to be unrealistic. Despite the fact that all past empires, including the Roman, Greek, and Mongolian empires, are now historical relics, and big empires are no longer common in today's globe, the partition of information networks cannot be considered a hypothetical activity. Without a physical area, information systems become a one-of-a-kind empire.

Offenses committed in information systems are unlikely to be prosecuted under this system. Rather, the territory-based states that they cross punish them. The establishment of an international cooperative mechanism for penalising cybercrime is becoming increasingly harsh and important. Several international organisations have taken steps to address the issue in various forums and at various levels.

The Cybercrime Convention is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the international standardisation of cybercrime law. Apart from the fact that it is a big step forward, more governments will need to ratify the Convention and follow its provisions in order for it to be effective as a deterrent. The convention-centered international harmonisation is obviously restricted, and it must be expanded to include more participating member states and a broader range of issues. Only a universal agreement on combating cybercrime can accomplish the desired result. The United Nations may have a better chance of putting such universal regulations in place. However, we should not expect an immediate response from any of the international bodies, because the subject of crime, namely cybercrime, receives little attention and interest from these organisations.[5]

While these organisations focus on more significant international issues, threats to key information infrastructure will become increasingly serious until they are prioritised at the top of their agenda. As a result, the creation of an international level of consciousness and the call for an international level of consciousness remain the foundations for effective actions. The current international legal frameworks must be reassessed and renewed as needed, providing a forum for broader international discussion with an eye toward enhancing and advancing international law-enforcement cooperation among national authorities. This development should take into account the effects of novel and emerging issues in international law-enforcement cooperation, as well as capacity-building recommendations that show equal concern for countries at various stages of development in order to avoid a futureless future of information chaos. It is not easy for to make conventions relating to cybercrime which will bind the world, there are neo-liberal countries which believe in giving punishment to criminals and on other hand there are Scandinavian countries which believe in helping criminals by not giving punishment. For this reason, it somewhat not possible to make a convention which will be applicable for all of world or for most of countries. However, it is equally important to make a convention which might bind most of countries and if possible, to make some conventions which such that which countries are not willing to accept one convention they get a choice to accept other and making a somewhat possible to have Law and Regulations which will be there in world and would be binding nearly all countries. In Laws related to cybercrime there could not a single convention which would bind the most of countries as all the countries have somewhat/a lot different society and due to this there is somewhat/a lot different penal laws, which is why there could not a single convention which would bind all the countries but a series of conventions for different type societies might be able to resolve the problem which had arisen due to non-existence of binding Laws and Regulations.

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