Are Cybercrime Laws Uniform? What Sort of Laws Are Put Into Place to Prevent and Punish Online Crime?

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Cybercrime is either a crime that requires a computer system to complete the crime or a crime where the computer system is the target of the crime. The only difference between a crime and a cybercrime are the tools used to prepare for and complete the crime.

Not all countries recognize cybercrimes as crimes. Argentina seems to have cybercrime laws related to hacking. Belgium seems to have cybercrime laws related to forgery, fraud, hacking and sabotage. Canada seems to use existing laws to prosecute cybercrimes then update existing laws when they are inadequate. The USA seems to create new laws in response to problematic situations instead of trying to apply existing laws to cybercrime. All governments should review current laws to be sure they are updated to include cybercrime with protections for the individual.

You may think the penalties for breaking into a home or car (personal property) and breaking into a home computer or laptop (personal property) would be the same at the same geographic location. Not necessarily.

Every USA state now has some cybercrime laws. Most USA states have laws governing harassment and abuse of postal mail but not enough states have laws governing cyberstalking or spam. If you have spoken with a victim, you will find that cyberstalking and stalking are not much different. The difference is the tools used to harass and terrorize the victims. The effects are the same. The laws can be different.

So, we return to the basic concern about safety. The reality always is to protect our self. We don’t deliberately leave our homes and vehicles unlocked when we aren’t there. If we did, then there can’t possibly be an effective law or enough police to deter criminal activity. The same is true for internet activities. If we don’t protect ourselves to the best of our abilities by preventing and avoiding the crimes and cybercrimes of burglary, child abuse, forgery, fraud, identity theft, intrusion, predators, sabotage, scams, swindlers, viruses, then who will suddenly swoop down and save us? Law enforcement can help while a crime is being committed or after the crime is completed but they can’t save us from the sometimes lasting effects of crime or cybercrime. We ourselves are the first line of defense to prevent and avoid both cybercrime and crime.

This post is part of the series: What Is Cybercrime?

This series of articles explains how cybercrime is not necessarily different than everyday crime.

  1. Definition of Cybercrime
  2. Are Cybercrime Laws Uniform?
  3. Cybercrime Laws Vary