Cybercrime

CYBERCRIME

Under the new PILON Strategic Plan 2016 - 2018, Cybercrime is recognised as a priority legal issue for PILON.  This webpage is created as a Strategic Plan initiative, to compile resources for and to share information between PILON Members in relation to Cybercrime. Cybercrime is a new PILON policy agenda that was seen as a prevalent and recurring issue amongst member countries. During the 34th PILON Annual meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands member countries decided and approved that Cybercrime be one PILON's 3 policy agendas.

The current Chair of the Cybercrime Working Group is Tonga with the working group members being Nauru, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 

As the internet and new technologies open up great possibilities for the Pacific, they also provide opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and carry out old crimes in new ways. As a result, cybercrime is increasingly becoming a challenge for the region. Cybercrime describes a range of circumstances in which technology is involved in the commission of crime and includes:-

  • crimes directed at computers and other information communication technologies (ICTs), such as attacks against computer systems, which may disrupt power supplies or other critical infrastructure; and

crimes where computers or ICTs are an integral part of an offence (such as online fraud, identity theft and distribution of child exploitation material).

  • Although the complexity and growing prevalence of cybercrime is a challenge to the global community, Pacific Island countries in particular are vulnerable to cybercrime activities due to a lack of effective legislative frameworks and the high level of skills and expertise required to investigate and prosecute cybercrime, particularly in relation to obtaining evidence of such crimes. This is coupled with fast growing rates of mobile phone and internet access in Pacific Island countries.
    Cybercrime presents further challenges because in many cases, the criminal responsible for the cybercrime offence is physically outside the country where the crime is being committed. The borderless nature of cybercrime means it can occur anywhere there is access to the internet.11 This then makes international cooperation, investigative assistance, and common substantive and procedural legislative provisions particularly important.
    The increasing threat posed by cybercrime, the fundamental need for appropriate legislation in response and the critical importance of regional cooperation would be important issues familiar to PILON members. The focus on cybercrime under this Strategic Plan will allow the network to consider how to tackle cybercrime from a regional perspective, with a focus on the development and implementation of best practice legislation including in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention).
    The working group will also closely consider the results of the cybercrime needs assessment being carried out by the Forum Regional Security Committee and will have a key role in influencing and coordinating cybercrime related capacity building activities, proposed for delivery by development partners working in the region.

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