Internet/Cyber Crimes – Mississauga & Brampton

In today’s society, the internet is increasingly becoming more and more popular. In addition, internet crimes are skyrocketing. Internet crimes, also known as cyber crimes, include identity theft, fraud, virus distributing and phishing. In addition, other crimes such as kidnapping and child sexual abuse can begin online. Many internet crimes are considered to be white collar crimes in Canada, as they are often committed by individuals in business settings. Depending on the circumstances an internet crime will be charged as either a summary or indictable matter in Canada.

Cyber-crime is often traditional crime (e.g. fraud, identify theft, child pornography) albeit executed swiftly and to vast numbers of potential victims, as well as unauthorised access, damage and interference to computer systems. Most detrimental are malicious and exploit codes that interrupt computer operations on a global scale and along with other cyber-crimes threaten e-commerce. The cross-national nature of most computer-related crimes have rendered many time-honoured methods of policing both domestically and in cross-border situations ineffective even in advanced nations, while the “digital divide” provides “safe havens” for cyber-criminals.

Until very recently it was not possible to talk about an international consensus on combating cyber-crime, especially the transnational forms it often takes. However, there is now a positive “moral climate” for enforcement action, whether by civil, criminal or administrative measures, and this cross-border cooperation recognises what sociologists call “communities of shared fate”. At the international level two new treaty instruments provide a sound basis for the essential cross-border law enforcement cooperation required to combat cyber-crime. The first of these instruments, the Council of Europe’s (CoEs) Cyber-crime Convention, is purpose built and designed as a regional mechanism has global significance. The second is the United Nations (UN) Convention against transnational organized crime, which is global in scope but indirectly deals with cyber-crime when carried out by criminal networks in relation to serious crime.

From a Canadian perspective, the most appropriate definitions may be those contained in the Council of Europe – Convention on Cybercrime (November 23, 2001). Canada contributed, and is a signatory, to this international treaty, which defines five areas of criminal offences involving the use of computers:

  • Offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems;
  • Computer-related offences;
  • Content-related offences;
  • Offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights; and
  • Ancillary liability.

Canada is also a signatory to the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems (January 28, 2003). As of July 25, 2008, Canada had not yet ratified the Convention on Cybercrime or the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems.

Some examples of offences in relation to computers and computer-related investigations was made in 1997 in the Criminal Law Improvement Act 1997. The bill added the following new offences to the Criminal Code

s. 184 Unlawful interception of private communications
s. 326 Theft of Telecommunication services
s. 327 Possession of device to unlawfully obtain the use of a telecommunications facility or service
s. 342.1 Unauthorized use of computers
s. 342.2 Possession of a device to obtain computer services
s. 430 (1.1) Mischief in relation to data

As one can see, Parliament has created strict laws and penalties in the Criminal Code for individuals convicted of internet crimes. These laws were created in the hopes of deterring criminal acts and keeping the internet a safe place. If you are under investigation or have been formally charged with or arrested for an internet crime it would be in your best future interests to hire a skilled and knowledgeable white-collar crimes attorney.

Contact Us for a consultation. I offer strategic, intelligent and aggressive advocacy focused on your rights.

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