The international law governing cybercrimes remains within its early stages of development. By and large, technology evolves at a rate that far outpaces the creation of a regulatory legal framework. Cybercrime is often conventional crime enacted through a technological interface. It takes many forms including: offences against privacy (hacking, data espionage or interference); content-related criminal or civil offences (the distribution of child pornography, dissemination of hate speech or cyberstalking); intellectual property offences (piracy and cybersquatting); financial crimes (fraud, forgery or identity theft); and additional heinous cyber offenses (terrorism, warfare and money-laundering). What differentiates cybercrime from conventional crime is the cross-jurisdictional and transnational elements of the act. This means that no one state is fully capable of handling the problem on its own and international law must eventually play a role in defining and deterring these acts. As it stands, the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations General Assembly have initiated a response to cybercrime, but there remains a substantial gap between what is codified and what is required.

International Law Instruments

Convention on Cybercrime (2001) “Budapest Convention”

Pakistan is not a party to this Convention

Publications