Cybercrime: Under No Single Jurisdiction

The Internet has no physical location, beyond borders and is globally inclusive. As a result, devices are interacting from all parts of the world, controlled by completely different people whom all have a different standard of ethics to one another. This variation in ethics and justifications along combined with no single body monitoring cyberspace leads to the common practice of cybercrime. Criminal activity is even committed over Cyberspace via government bodies including North Korea, Russia, China (Perl, 2007) Cybercrime is highly complex, the perpetrator or group could be in another country, use software, proxies, or have some other kind McGuire’s (2012) found that up to “80% of cybercrime could be the result of some form of organized activity.” With those involved based in “loosely associated illicit networks rather than formal organizations (Décary-Hétu & Dupont, 2012). Consider the greater range of skills, resources and capabilities of cybercriminals through having underground connections.

A study in the US found that “75% of cases referred for prosecution to federal authorities were declined, primarily due to lack of evidence (Smith, Grabosky and Urbas, 2004). However legal punishments may not stop, as there are cases where even in prison, cyber-criminals have found ways to access the Internet to continue on with their illegal and disturbing activities such as paedophilia (Smith, 2004) this returns to the inclusiveness and accessible nature of cyberspace.

Considering the number of methods and technologies that allow Cybercrimes to be easily committed, it opens this debate up of whether or not cyberspace should be governed. Despite our “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”, it’s completely reasonable that in any case an illegal act did occur that the support of policing and law would be able to assist in the investigation and justice of offenders. Without laws regarding behavior on the internet it would lead to vulnerabilities to common people.

Recommendation: Disconnect (2012) A film looking into the carrying out, handling and reality of Cybercrime through looking at three interconnected stories of Credit and Identity fraud, Cyberbullying and the creation/distribution of illegal adult only entertainment conducted by underage teenagers.


Smith, R. 2004, “CYBER CRIME SENTENCING: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESPONSES”, Australian Institute of Criminology International Conference, Melbourne

Broadhurst, R. and Grabosky, P. and Alazab, M. and Bouhours, B. and Chon, S. “An Analysis of the Nature of Groups Engaged in Cyber Crime (February 14, 2014). An Analysis of the Nature of Groups engaged in Cyber Crime, International Journal of Cyber Criminology January-June 2014, Volume 8 (1): 1-20


4 thoughts on “Cybercrime: Under No Single Jurisdiction

  1. Hey, governing cyberspace would be a very difficult task. I’d be very interested to see more on current attempts to govern cyberspace and what future governing could look like. Wired interviewed security expert Marc Goodman, who argues laws are simply unable to keep up with cyber crimes, which is something I have been hearing for years: I’d be interested in seeing more on why laws are struggling so much to keep up with cybercrime. This 2011 report gives a great overview for the problems governments face with cybercrimes, different types of cybercrimes and actions governments are taking, which could be useful for you:

  2. This topic is really interesting and has a lot of moral panic surrounding it. I saw a presentation on what the public views as a major anxiety in terms of technology and cyber-crime ranked in the top 10. People are genuinely worried about internet crime and some point you raise are really interesting, especially in terms of anonymity. The idea that people can’t be prosecuted due to lack of evidence is alarming with the ability to quickly cover tracks with either tools like VPN or simply deleting. In a bid for Australia to continue to try and keep up in the internet arms race, in his new internet security introduction ( perhaps in terms of internet, the speed of Australia is something we should focus on? Or perhaps something you could look into, as perhaps a contributing factor into cyber crime rates in our own country? The movie link you embedded showcases the anxieties non-cyberculture public opinion is at. Whenever the idea of hackers or equivalent is brought up in conversation, no one seems to think of the positive influence they have in extending awareness and generating equal access to things, such as notorious group Anonymous. I look forward to where you take this exploration!  

  3. After doing a lot research around hacktivism and what people are capable with an internet connection, I’ve found that you’re never really going to stop cybercrime happening, what is even more frightening is the abuse of power by some organisations. Implementing a way of governing the internet will just make things harder and scarier for those who are already behind and probably advantage those who are breaking the rules anyway. Rather than have everyone descend into a panic that scares them away from technology, we should rather be teaching people who to protect themselves in cyperspace. Learning to protect your own information is going to do more then a governing force could.

    Chances are the internet is already being policed but is done so by many countries and differing governments. Is censorship a form of policing? In China they block many websites that they disagree with. goes into detail about how China’s censorship works.

    Hacktivism is considered a cybercrime, but has a done a lot of good for the protection of internet users and privacy. Introducing a policing system may do more harm then good to the people of the internet. Here in Australia we recently put $230 million in order to tackle cybercrimes, this includes cyber security experts, police officers and two agencies.

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