Cybercrime - Definitional Challenges and Criminological Particularities

Aleš Završník


The very concept of cybercrime is still a very vague notion. There are different types of “lenses” used to observe cybercrime and consequently many contradictory “facts” about its scope. Article shows different forms of what we call “cybercrime” and the variety of assessment of its dangerousness. It presents origins of cybercrime regulation and current disputes on the Council of Europe’s allegedly impartial and independent legal solutions. In spite of the definitional heterogeneity it defines novelties in the notion of cybercrime and more or less accepted legal definitions andtaxonomy. In order to escape one-sided estimates of the real danger posed by cybercrime, article does not rely solely upon legal definitions of illicit behaviour in cyberspace. Additionally, the phenomenon of cybercrime is examined through sociological reflections of cyberspace and cyber (contra-) culture. These are important for theunderstanding of the criminological/victimological pair: offenders and a ‘hackerculture’ on one hand, and victims and victimological characteristics on the other.After analyzing a social construction of hackers, the article outlines the ideologicalstruggle for primacy over cyberspace: a struggle between contra-cultural values, interwoven in the very creation of cyberspace and the values of post-modern digital capitalism; a struggle for the primacy fought between a computer “underground” on the one and the security and cultural industry on the other hand.

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