Where international co-operation is lacking, are such methods justifiable in order to bring cyber criminals to justice? What are the risks involved?

In K Soukieh, ‘Cybercrime — The Shifting Doctrine of Justification’ (2011) 10(1) Canberra Law Review 221, an infamous case is discussed:

It is worth mentioning here the controversial case of Vasiliy Gorshkov, who was sentenced to thirty-six months in a US prison after being convicted on 20 counts of conspiracy, various computer crimes, and fraud committed against the Speakeasy Network of Seattle, Washington. Gorshkov had been lured from Russia to the US by FBI agents posing as potential employers, and then arrested. There being no extradition treaty between the two countries, and limited cooperation between law enforcement agencies, the FBI sourced their information about Gorshkov by hacking a pair of computers in Russia.

In an unprecedented response the Russian Federal Security Service charged the agent (Michael Schuller) with ‘unauthorised accesses’. Whatever the merits of these charges, the whole incident shows how, in the absence of any international consensus, enforcement activities can be misconstrued as either an attack on national sovereignty, or, as in [this example], be open to politicisation.

Where international co-operation is lacking, are such methods justifiable in order to bring cyber criminals to justice? What are the risks involved?

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