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Researchers predicted in the past that what was labeled then computer crime would occupy the attention of criminologists, legal scholars and political scientists alike, among many other fields. This statement became a full fledged reality as nowadays cybercrime has become a major security issue and an important concern in most countries: at the same time, this crime phenomenon is often committed with no national boundaries, thus more difficult in its control and prevention.

If cybercrime differs from traditional street crime, evidently the legal approach (both substantive and procedural) must be different too if compared to more traditional offences. As such, countries struggle to find the right legal approach and balance when regulating this type of illicit conducts (as seen in the lack of criminal statuses or the absence of enforceable mutual assistance provisions, to name a few examples). Again, the transnational nature of cybercrime reflects on how cybercrime legislation is affected by the absence of jurisdictional boundaries, thus the need for the creation of international conventions such as the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime, adopted in 2001.

Finally, issues regarding political science, and more specifically criminal policy, include the capacity of countries to prevent and control this multifaceted phenomenon, as its threats target both institutional sectors and critical infrastructures of a state. Policy making has been responding to the usage of technology by criminals instead of preventing cyber attacks that are becoming more and more sophisticated: therefore, policy challenges must be twofold and promote secure cyber environments while fighting cyber crime.

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Faculty of Law and Political Science - UOC

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