The Global Nature of Cybercrime

The Global Nature of Cybercrime

A lot has been written concerning the positive and negative impacts of globalization, with both sides anchoring strongly on the theme of the increased interconnectedness resulting from globalization. As people and resources move freely across borders, numerous issues are bound to arise. Cybercrime is one such issue, defined as “a criminal offence that has been created or made possible by the advent of computer technology” (Kierkegaard, 2005 p.60). The general observation is that since the Internet knows no borders, the society is rendered “vulnerable to criminals from all over the world,” (Aslan, 2006 p.130). In fact, cybercrime is recognized as a very complex global issue that is perpetrated by individuals and groups from diverse regions, and whose effects are felt in all societies worldwide (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, n.d.). This implies that cybercrime can be dealt with successfully only if governments work together.

There is plenty of evidence that cybercrime is a global problem. Kshetri (2010), for example, reports that every day, approximately 10 million computers are hijacked across the world. The author further discloses that in the U.S. alone, cybercrime causes more than $400 billion economic loss each year. In the UK, the cybercrime industry is estimated at close to £6 billion each year. Because of these and other considerations, cybercrime is a serious obstacle faced by cross-country partnerships (Kshetri, 2010).

Apart from the fact that cybercrime is and can be committed by criminals from any part of the world, the issue is considered more of a global problem owing to the borderless state of the internet. As Aslan (2006) rightly observes, since the Internet is everywhere, it may be significantly difficult for law enforcers to keep an eye on criminals. This is particularly because such officials are required to operate within regional or national borders as they try to prosecute crime. In addition, cybercrime has proved difficult to tackle because the functionality of Internet sites is affected by the different legal requirements in various countries. According to Kierkegaard (2005), different countries have different standards regarding what may be published on the Internet. At the same time, countries differ substantially in terms of legal provisions relating to cybercrime and the powers vested on investigative agencies. All these make cybercrime a truly complex matter to handle.

Significant efforts have been made towards dealing with cybercrime. Different bodies, one of them being the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, have enacted different statutes in a bid to stop cybercrime. The Council requires member states to adopt relevant legislation for countering computer crime and ensure that law enforcers have sufficient authority as well as procedural resources for effectively investigating as well as prosecuting computer crimes. Equally important, the Council exists to offer international cooperation as countries endeavor to fight cybercrime (Aslan, 2006). From this description, it is clear that the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime recognizes the global nature of cybercrime and aims at addressing jurisdictional issues associated with the Internet evolution.

There is also the Arab League’s Arab Convention on Combating Information Technology Offences. This treaty exists with the primary aim of reinforcing interstate cooperation so that countries can protect their interests, property, and people from cybercrime (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, n.d.). In the United States, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is the key statute addressing cybercrime. The Act prohibits unauthorized access to computers and information pertaining to national security. It also prohibits unauthorized persons from accessing computers used for interstate commerce, password trafficking, and cyber extortion, among other practices. Besides this Act, different states are mandated to enact suitable laws that will regulate cybercrime. In Africa, statutes such as the 2014 African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data, as well as the 2012 Draft African Union Convention, also seek to promote cooperation and resources for fighting cybercrime (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, n.d.).

An important deduction that can be made from the examples provided above is that in order to arrive at a lasting solution to cybercrime at the international level, cooperation between countries is paramount. Given that cybercrime can accurately be termed a transnational crime, it is only important that governments cooperate in fighting this common enemy. Cooperation is invaluable as enables states to promptly share vital information regarding any threats to cyber security. It will also help to establish legal statutes in countries that may not have them. Cooperation entails improved communication, at the international level, between governments, private sector entities, and law enforcement officials to facilitate a better response to the issue of cybercrime.

Secondly, effectively fighting cybercrime at the international level calls requires governments to provide all the technical, human, and financial resources needed for thorough investigations and prosecutions. This recommendation is based on an observation made earlier in this paper that in some countries, law enforcers lack procedural tools to investigate and prosecute cybercrime. Thirdly, governments, private sector entities, and international institutions must stay abreast of technology in their efforts towards fighting cybercrime. This is in light of the fact that technology is developing at a very fast pace, meaning that criminals may discover news ways of doing their activities. In this light, it is prudent that governments and the different entities working together make use of advanced technologies to combat computer crime. Specifically, there is need for governments to work together with the different international as well as regional institutions to deploy technologies that will facilitate swift, effective investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.


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Aslan, Y. (2006). Global nature of computer crimes and the convention on cybercrime.

Kierkegaard, S. M. (2005). Cracking Down On Cybercrime Global Response: The Cybercrime Convention. Communications of the IIMA5(1), 7.

Kshetri, N. (2010). The global cybercrime industry: Economic, institutional and strategic perspectives. Berlin: Springer.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Global programme on cybercrime.

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