Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

UK: Cyber crime grows, warns DPP

Cyber crime grows, warns DPP

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers must be alert to the dangers of hi-tech Internet crime, the Director of Public Prosecutions told prosecutors at a CPS conference on computer crime last week. Speaking at the London event, David Calvert-Smith warned that computers and the Internet were increasingly being used by `cyber-criminals'. He said: `The Internet... is an unregulated, complex and some would say anarchic environment which does not recognise international boundaries'. Mr Calvert-Smith continued: `The jurisdictional difficulties and the anonymity the Internet offers, provide unprecedented opportunities for the cyber-criminal. It is not only used for conventional crimes such as fraud, drug-dealing and the possession of child pornography, but for organised crime, terrorism and money laundering. New forms of crime have emerged such as `on-line harassment', `cyber-stalking' and hacking'. The CPS had successfully prosecuted a number of cases, in particular in child pornography offences, but it still had much to learn and had to make the best of available expertise, he said. On a more positive note, Mr Calvert-Smith concluded: `The Internet can equally be a friend of law enforcement in tracing criminal activity, as it can be an enemy'. CPS solicitor Baljit Ubhey, who co-organised the conference, said: `The CPS has raised its profile recently in the area of high-tech crime. For example, liaison with outside agencies and government departments on legal issues surrounding computer crime has strengthened. But we need to share best practice and spread knowledge about prosecuting in this unique area throughout the CPS'.

Dan Bindman