Internet Crime

“Internet crime” is a generic heading and crimes committed under this genre are becoming more and more prevalent.  Most crime committed over the internet is actually covered by some other heading, but is commonly referred to as “internet crime” because it is in fact committed over the internet.

Most internet crime can be broadly categorized as being either directed at computers, or those which use computers to facilitate other crimes.

Theft, fraud, obscene content, harassment, threats and drug trafficking are some of the traditional crimes which are facilitated by the internet.

In a great many cases of identity theft the thieving actually takes place by hacking into computers and stealing data, then transmitting the data over the internet.  This is referred to as “internet crime”.

For example, stealing someone’s PIN number and bank card and then taking money out of their bank account comprises a number of crimes, including theft.  But because it is done over the internet it is colloquially referred to as being an “internet crime”.

Organized crime is known to be heavily involved in various types of internet crime, especially the large scale theft of credit card and other personal information.

Internet crime is becoming more of a concern to nation-states as cyber terrorism and cyber warfare are becoming modern day realities.

A variety of crimes fall more directly under the heading of “internet crime”.  The most common offense under this category seen in Alberta courts is child pornography.  Beyond this there are:

  • Child luring, section 172.1
  • Hate propaganda, section 320.1
  • Transmission of voyeuristic material, section 162

Some computer crime such as “unauthorized use of computer”, section 342.1 and “mischief in relation to data” section 430 could be captured under this heading as well, depending on the facts of the case.

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