In ‘Criminal Law and Cyberspace as a Challenge for Legal Research’ (2012) 9(3) Scripted, B-J Koops argues that (notes omitted):

In ‘Criminal Law and Cyberspace as a Challenge for Legal Research’ (2012) 9(3) Scripted, B-J Koops argues that (notes omitted):

Cyberspace should interest everyone who is involved in criminal law. The classic view of cybercrime, centred on the lonesome, nerdy hacker, is largely based on fiction, a fiction from the 1980s and 1990s. Reality has changed dramatically, causing a step-change in cybercrime and its consequences for the ‘real world’. Cybercrime is no longer about peer reputation among whiz kids, it’s all about money — big money. A considerable black market caters for all kinds of criminals, where you can buy a bunch of credit-card numbers (including the codes on the back) for a couple of dollars, or rent a network of zombie computers for an hour to spread your spam or block your favourite villain’s website. Moreover, as the Internet integrates seamlessly into our economy, politics, and social life, any attack on or from cyberspace is an attack on the real world. Cybercrime is real crime, and increasingly, real crime has a cyber-element to it.

Is the distinction between ‘cybercrime’ and ‘real crime’ still (if it ever was) useful? Should the focus be more on offender motivation and harm to victims, and less on the tools and technologies adopted to carry out crimes? Whose responsibility is it to respond to cybercrime so as to reduce the harms it causes?

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