How to Achieve a Balance Between Effective Preventing Crime and Protecting Privacy of Citizens; Online Search – as a New Challenge for eJustice

Justyna Kurek

Abstract

The natural consequence of development of Information Society is that investigators should be able to collect evidence in digital environment. Access to data stored on personal computers enables collection of important information about suspects - for example their plans, habits and contacts. Using hacking tools investigators can detect bank account numbers or secret pin codes. The development of Internet technologies made it possible to do it secretly, without people knowing that they are being watched. Furthermore, the methods typically used to commit crimes on the Net such as: Trojan software, keyloggers or sniffers can be also used by investigators and police to protect citizens and to fight terror effectively.

Are traditional legal measures, typical for off-line police operationalactivities such as surveillance, bugging telephones, searching homes or re-questing data from third parties, sufficient for online investigation? Or is itnecessary to adopt a special legal regime to deal with this situation? Another important question is how to seek a delicate balance between effectivecrime-fighting law and one which respect constitutional rights? New investigation methods that are based on hacking tools can easily violate citizens’ rights such as the right to privacy, information self-determination or home inviolability.

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