Essay: Computer Misuse Legislation Unfit for Purpose?

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¶ … Computer Misuse legislation unfit for purpose?

The current computer misuse legislation goes beyond its purpose. Criminal application is inevitably a technological development, which restrictions cannot curb. Computer misuse started from the time of computer developments, and laws to counter computer crimes, came much later. This may have been because of the conventionality of computer crimes, merely facilitated by computer usage. This made most computer crimes be punishable within existing laws because the crimes became no lesser or greater because of their emission through computers. However, this was not until courts started receiving crimes exclusively related to computers. Issues like hacking were unique to computers and all efforts of fitting such crimes into existing offences failed and they begun to conceptualize hacking as a criminal damage (Zaqashvili 2010 p. 53-66).

The efforts of fitting this new criminal trend into old criminal offence concepts were soon unworkable, and it soon became evident that the existing criminal laws limited the delivery of adequate punishment of computer misuse cases (a Comparative Study of Cyberattacks 2012 p. 66-73). However, the realization of the insufficiency of punishing computer crimes under the existing criminal laws led to the development of legislative laws relevant to computer misuses. These were comprehensively designed to tackle issues such as computer hacking. It prohibited access of computer material without authorization, unauthorized access to computer information with intentions of committing further offences and modification of materials in a computer without any authorization. This has since faced several amendments and interpretations with differences of consequences for defendants (Willison & Siponen 2009 p. 133-137).

The misfit of the computer misuse legislation

It is a fact that the current Computer Misuse legislation unfit for purpose. This comes because of the constant interpretations of the statute to fit into different contexts for the satisfaction of varied cases of computer misuse. The language in the statute is unsatisfactory to the basic purposes of resolving computer misuse cases like those of un-authorization of computer usage. On the other hand, interpretation through coding is insufficient in the protection of computers of intentional damage. There are chances for little protection of trespass on computer property and other criminal violations because of the restrictive nature in comparison to real world requirements. Computer owners remain with the sole responsibility of protecting their computers making the legislation insufficient in providing full protection of computer misuse. There is the possibility of little punishment to offenders, who have authorization to computers as much as they may use information wrongly (Zaqashvili 2010 p. 53-66).

Apparently, technology advancements present new and complex crimes, which require more efforts to curb the constant developments. Threat strategies develop and there is the growing need for understanding the online criminal individuals (Rao 2011 p. 111-115). Since the Computer Misuse legislation was more concerned with the creation of defense against computer misuse, there was a dire need for resilience. However, resilience strategies lead to hardening targets as it ignores underlying issues. It is extremely hard tackling any crime through routine activity and policies focused in such an approach fail in meeting their target. The Computer Misuse legislation focuses on designing out online crime, and that is not possible.

There are minimal possibilities of this approach because of the ease of working around code-based solutions. Regulation through subversion of infrastructural solutions is only possible for certain types of crime. However, it poses the risk of compromising the neutrality and openness of a network making bordered media inadequate for creating a proper relationship between free media and the state. This makes it impossible designing out cyber crime through manipulation of the global network by privatization and decentralization. The preferable aspect is free cyber space and neutrality of a network, which can offer openness, stability and vibrancy. The strategies in the current Computer Misuse legislation fail in recognition of total involvement of the society in curbing these crimes (Zaqashvili 2010 p. 53-66).

It calls for responsibility of computer usage regarding online activities through focusing on the technical aspects of computer usage without fully exploiting the possibility of involving people. The legislation is almost as a state effort in curbing the crime without focusing on the people involved and affected by the issue (Foltz & Renwick 2011 p. 119-125). For this reason, the technical sense of the Computer Misuse legislation fails in its capacity as a strategy for curbing computer crimes wholesomely. There is the pledge for more police involvement and international engagement in curbing computer crimes. However, this is not adequate in denying cyber criminals a chance of causing havoc at any given opportunity, which they can manage to seize. There are many opportunities, which criminals still manage manipulating to their benefit without any provision of prosecution. The existing security agencies have failed in their duty as part of the group to ensure that the disruptions of cyber crimes cease instead of creating over criminalization of an issue, which just requires realistic approaches to avoid (Pisara? M. 2011 p. 487-505).

There is also an awkward recognition of the involvement of the private sector, without clear means of achieving the need. With minimal allocation for the project, and so much money targeted towards resilience measurers, it is not possible to aim at creating a change through the approach. In the bid of developing relevant sanctions to the growing cyber crimes, there is the strategy for collaborating with the private sector. However, this is only possible through a given degree of commitment and adequate budgetary allocation for the success of the initiative. Nonetheless, there still exists a serious problem in such an approach. There is no clear provision of whom the responsibility of meting out the sanctions lie on within the legislation. It is also not clear what should be considered as crime and how to gauge proof standards (Foltz & Renwick 2011 p. 119-125).

It is obviously clear that there is no adequate tackling of this issue, and that the budgetary allocation is too limited for the legitimization, subversion and oppression of computer crimes. The focus of the government in setting up the strategy is not clearly set as regards the objectivity of the approach for reduction of computer crimes. It is clear that there was no provision for the possibility of social or technical research during the designing of the legislation, and that creates a limitation in its effort for improving on resilience approach. What comes out clearly with the outlook in the legislation is that there is so much focus on hardening the target. It is not possible to curb this sort of crime without creating a clear understanding of the social precepts of the crime because it is not purely inclined to technology, but also affiliated to some social influences (Zaqashvili 2010 p. 53-66).

It is insufficient creating a legislation, which prohibits certain usage of the computer with claims of lack of authorization. This legislation lurks behind every interaction an individual has with a computer, prohibiting certain internet activities by users. It is difficult determining the degree of authorization in some circumstances making this legislation insufficient in its presentation of the statute for protecting access to computer (Foltz & Renwick 2011 p. 119-125). This is extremely hard in the instances of employee employer relationships where there exist interests in performance of organizations. It has led to the use of contractual agreements in such cases to reconcile employees and employees. The legislation has broad interpretations, therefore, lacks in any unification of aspects and objectives for approaching cases. This leads to a wide scope of operation, as exists in scholarly papers of its legal comprehension. With the language in the legislation not being clear, it is hard defining the extent of accessibility to a computer given an attestation to the scope of authorization.

The delivery of the objectives in the strategy is restrained through the little objectivity regarding the nature of the crimes. There are so many assumptions made by policy makers regarding the criminology, which is an undoing of the plausible objectives of the strategy for curbing computer crimes. It is insufficient focusing so much on hardening of target criminals instead of finding means of understanding the social causes of the crimes (Lawande 2012 p. 1-9). It is lacking in adequacy of involvement of the private sector and international outreaches. Foreign states are equally affected by computer criminal activities and their involvement in the strategizing of how to curb the vice is essential. Legislators must understand the implications of single-handed efforts in curbing this kind of crime because of its nature of operations. With the possibility of remote operations, it is just logical saying that there is too much limitation focusing on the removal of the crime without the efforts and involvement of foreign nations (Assange & Dreyufus 2011 p. 23-150).

It is worth noting that there is little research focusing on the social influences of computer crimes. Through the space transition theory, there is a difference in offline and online behavior of individuals, and there exists certain influencers of criminal activities in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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