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Analysis of the Computer Misuse Act 1990

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The use of computer networks with the Internet have made criminal’ s jobs easier and policing harder as they provide predators with a new place to target someone for criminal acts and increase the likelihood of avoiding liability, which in turn has fuelled debate as to the efficacy of the Computer Misuse Act 19904. Moreover, the problem and perceived risk to youth online users in particular and the use by youth offenders to perpetuate criminal activities on the other side of the spectrum have become widespread. For example, major Internet Service Providers (“ ISPs” ) claim that reports of cyber stalking have become at least 15 a month and on the rise5.

Additionally, the Council of Europe along with USA, Canada, and Japan brought into force the (“ the Convention” ) to address computer misuse in light of inefficiencies with the current system6. Additionally, the work of Hinduja and Patchin highlights how the online social network model has facilitated youth perpetuated crime with a rising trend in cyberbullying within the “ computer misuse” paradigm7. Therefore, in considering the effectiveness of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, this paper particularly focuses on three different aspects of potential computer misuse; namely identity theft and online harassment (otherwise referred to as “ cyberstalking” or “ cyberbullying” ).

A significant initial problem for the Computer Misuse Act addressing computer misuse is the definition of cybercrime. This is further highlighted by Yar who refers to Thomas and Loader’ s conceptualization of cybercrime as “ computer-mediated activities which are either illegal or considered illicit by certain parties and which can be conducted through global electronic networks” 8. With regard to identity theft, numerous press reports demonstrate how top financial institutions have fallen prey to cybercrime.

The most common example is when an identity thief uses sensitive personal information to open a credit card account in a customer’ s name through phising9. Phishing is a high tech scam and uses spam to deceive customers into disclosing credit card numbers, bank account information, passwords, and other sensitive information.    

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preview essay on Analysis of the Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Pages: 10 (2500 words)
  • Document Type: Term Paper
  • Subject: Law
  • Level: Undergraduate
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