Cybercrimecan be defined as the use of a computer or other technologies incommitting illegal acts such as fraud, violating someone’s privacy,and violating intellectual property rights. The development of theinformation technology and the widespread use of computers andinternet have led to the high rate of increase of cyber crimes. Mostof the cyber crimes committed involve attack on information ofindividuals, corporations and the government. Michael (2014) explainsthat, Cyber crime is not limited by location this means that it cantake place between places in different jurisdictions. This characterposes a great challenge to law enforcement against such crimes as itbecomes difficult to determine the jurisdiction in which the criminalshould be charged with the offence. Some of the highly committedcyber crimes include: fraud, computer trespassing, hardwarehijacking, phishing and information warfare. Cyber laws are laws thatguide how the cyber crimes are treated highlighting the differenttype of crimes and the remedial measures to be taken.
In1996, a preliminary international treaty covering computer crime wasdrafted by the council of Europe and government representatives fromJapan, Canada and United states. Civil libertarian groups immediatelyprotested against provisions in the treaty demanding that theinternet service providers to store their customers’ transactionsand to turn this information over on demand. On November 23, 2001,however the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention was signed by 30states. Later proposals covering terrorist activities and racist andxenophobic cyber crimes were made in 2002.In addition, variousnational laws, such as the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, have expanded lawenforcement’s power to monitor and protect computer networks.
Inan article by Jahnke (2005) he explain that, in the year 2000, twoRussian cyber criminals were arrested and charged with crimescommitted when in their home country. Aleksey Ivanov attracted theattention of the FBI of US in 1999, when Speakeasy an internetservice provider realized that their network had been compromised andinformed the FBI of Seattle branch. In early 2000, Online InformationBureau, CD Universe, Yahoo and Ebay also detected a similar attackand notified the FBI. This made the FBI to carry out investigationsto bring the criminal to justice. The computer forensics indicatedthat the internet traffic for all attacks came from the same machinein Russia. Further investigations helped them to finally know thatIvanov was the man they sought and so they began making strategies ofhow they would lure him to United States so that they could arresthim. This saw the establishment of a false computer security companyInvita in Seattle Washington and Ivanov was invited for a jobinterview for a position on November 2000. Invanov suggested toinvite a fellow programmer Vasily Gorshkov and they both flew to theUnited States for the interview.
Theywere to hack an FBI controlled honeypot as part of the interview andwithout their knowledge audio and video recordings were taken asevidence against them. In addiction all the keystrokes made and theinternet traffic were recorded as potential evidence and also to beused to access their computers in Russia. Theywerecharged with conspiracy, computer fraud, hacking and extortion.Gorshkovwas jailed in Seattle, while Ivanov was to be tried in Connecticut.Invanov was charged under the cyber crime laws of United States andwas found guilty of the following offences:
Conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
Knowingly accessing OIB`s computers with intent to defraud and intentionally accessed OIB`s machines with intent to collect information.
Disrupting commerce by means of extortion.
Being in possession of unauthorized access devices.
Thecrimes committed were in violation of the United States cybercrimelaws, Title 18 of the United States Code section 371, 1030, 1051 and1029 respectively as stipulated in cyber crime laws of the UnitedStates compiled by Rees (2006)
Thiscase was considered a victory by the US government against thehackers who had proven to be a major threat to development. On theother hand the Russian government may have had a different perceptionsince the US FBI did not follow some of the protocols such as havinga warrant when they asked the CTS to provide the information storedin their servers by their customer who in this case was charged withcyber crime and they did not involve the Russian government in theirattempt of arresting Invanov who was a Russian citizen. If the twoaccusations were to hold it would mean that the FBI may have violatedthe Electronic Privacy Act and the setting up of a fake company so asto lure Invanov could be seen as a way of bypassing the deficiency ofextradition agreements and therefore the access and capture wasunlawful implying that they had gone off the reservations of theinternational laws.
Howeverthe Russian cyber criminals had interfered with a number of UScompanies and therefore the US FBIs may have been justified incarrying out their investigations as they did if it was the only waythey could have succeeded in arresting them. The lack of existence ofextradition agreement between the Russian and the US governmentscould also have been a sufficient reason for them to create a falsecompany and lure them to the US to be arrested.
Therehave been other cases where the US law enforcement has targeted nonUS citizens. In an article by kallam (2014) he brings out that in2011 Russian citizen Roman Valeravich Seleznev was arrested by USauthorities for allegedly committing cyber crimes. He was accused ofhacking into point of sale systems at retailers through the UnitedStates. His arrest created tension between the US and Russiangovernments with the Russian government accusing the US governmentfor taking unauthorized custody of its citizens, the US on the otherhand accuse the Russian government for providing a conduciveenvironment for cyber criminals.
Thetargeting of non US citizens in US law enforcement has had a bothimpact on subsequent cyber crime investigation. Cyber crimeinvestigations had proven difficult due to the occurrence of thecrime in different jurisdictions and therefore the cyber criminalswould escape trial due to the challenge of establishing on whichcountry they are to be tried. In this case the enforcement of US lawson non-citizens helps in discouraging cyber crimes, since thecriminals can still be tried in the US courts although they are notUS citizens.
Inconclusion , Brenner (2010) note that insufficient law enforcementand security experts trained in detecting and eradicating cybercrimemeans that organizations remains ata risk of cyber attacks .Cybercrime is increasing at a high rate and therefore nations should cometogether to in oneness establish policies, rules and internationallaws that will see to it that regardless of the nationality of acyber criminal and the jurisdiction where the crime was committedthey are brought to justice. In words of Westby (2003) this laws willnot only protect computers and databases but also secure facilities,people, information, and communication systems.
BrennerW.S (2010). Cybercrime:criminal Threats from cyberspace.Santa Barbara.
JahnkeA(2005). AlexeyIvanor and Vasiliy Gorshkov: Russian hacker Roulette.Framigham. International Data Group.
KallamJ (2014). Acold war in cyber space: does the U.S have jurisdiction over Russianhackers.Pittsburgh. Jurist Legal News.
MichaelA.D (2014). Computercrimehttp://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/130595/cybercrime
ReesA.I (2006). CyberCrime Laws Of The United States.Washington D.C. U.S department of justice
WestbyR.J (2003). internationalguide to combating cybercrime.Chicago. America bar association.