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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

High level discussions on legal aspects of cybercrime

Published: 11 December 2012

Southampton Law School Professors Steve Saxby and Ian Lloyd were among 15 specialists invited to contribute to a conference on the future of the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg, Germany last week.

Areas covered included substantive law and the specific offences laid down in the Convention. There was a lot of discussion how the technology had moved on since the Convention was originally drafted. They also considered the need to harmonise the provisions of data protection and computer crime legislation and much time was spent on the topic of copyright law.

Transborder issues were also of interest. Questions included - if police in England executed a search warrant and found a computer with a link to an email account in the United States, could they investigate it? The general consensus was that laws were rather vague but that law enforcement agencies would access data unless they knew that it was held outside their jurisdiction. Encryption poses real challenges to law enforcement and the only real solution identified was to attack suspected computers at source - before data was encrypted for transmission.

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