Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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Formulating specialised legislation to address the growing spectre of cybercrime: a comparative study

F Cassim


There appears to be no precise definition for cybercrime or 'computer crime'. Computer crime has been described as "any violation of criminal law that involves knowledge of computer technology by the perpetrator, investigator or prosecution". Cybercrime (online misdemeanour) has been defined as including any crime carried out primarily by means of a computer on the Internet; for example, hacking into or damaging a computer network, accessing and stealing electronic data without authorisation, and cyberstalking (via e-mail threats of violence or extortion). Thus, on the one hand, a computer may be the 'object' of the crime when there is theft of computer hardware or software, or a computer may be the 'subject' of a crime when it is used as an 'instrument' to commit traditional crimes such as fraud, theft, extortion, or 'new' types of criminal activity such as denial of service attacks and malware, identity theft, child pornography, copyright infringement, mail or wire-fraud.
AJOL African Journals Online