Towards an Integrative Approach
Edited by Harmen Van der Wilt and Christophe Paulussen
Chapter 8: Domestic and international legal approaches to the repression of politically motivated cyber-attacks
This chapter addresses the substantive aspects of cybercrime law, using a particular type of cybercriminal behaviour – politically motivated cyber-attacks – as a marker to analyse how the international, and European, framework impacted on the domestic cybercrime legislation. Indeed, politically motivated cyber-attacks present peculiar issues of particular significance: they may touch upon legal values having an extra-national reach, such as availability and functioning of common digital infrastructures or international security and public order; to certain extents, the borders of their criminalisation lie in the fundamental rights of the individual, specifically freedom of expression and assembly; the techniques used for the attack are difficult to subsume under traditional cybercrime offences, due to their peculiar technical characteristics; finally, they present distinctive definitional problems, since they can be categorised as cybercrime, as well as acts of licit protest, cyber-terrorism or even cyber-war. The first section of the chapter briefly presents a socio-criminological analysis of the political hacking phenomenon. The second section is devoted to the examination of its criminal repression. It points out how the abovementioned issues are dealt with by the existing legal framework, with a particular attention on the impact of the Council of Europe and European Union instruments on the domestic cybercrime legislation.
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