What is Cybercrime?

Author: Dennis Miralis, Cybercrime Lawyer

Today’s digital age has not only introduced new technologies and created new ways of doing things; it has also resulted in the emergence of a new area of crime where people exploit these technological advances for a criminal purpose. As a result, a relatively new area of law, called ‘cybercrime’ has developed which attempts to deal with crimes created by the evolution of the digital age.Cyber Crime Lawyer's Eye Retina Scan

Cybercrime is niche area of law, which is constantly evolving to ensure that the legal system keeps up with technological advances. At Nyman Gibson Miralis our criminal law experts are up to date with all areas of cybercrime and can provide you with professional advice relating to cybercrime offences.

There are a large variety of offences that fall under the ‘cybercrime’ umbrella. Broadly, these offences can be categorised into two areas:

  1. Crimes that are directed at computers or other devices, such as unauthorised access to data, and interception of data. Often crimes of this nature are what is commonly referred to as computer hacking.
  2. Crimes where computers or other devices are a key component of the offence, such as online fraud, online child abuse offences and cyberstalking.

All cybercrime offences involve multiple elements and often complex issues of law. Each case is different, and it is therefore important to have a criminal law expert, from Nyman Gibson Miralis look at the facts and evidence of your case and properly advise you as to your legal options.

A look at the law relating to the interception of data demonstrates the complex nature of this area of law, and the necessity of having a lawyer with criminal law expertise on your side.

Interception of data

The interception of data was relatively straightforward when the main form of electronic communication was telephone calls, transmitted over copper wires with a limited number of telecom providers. Today, technology has created a plethora of different communication methods, which travel over a wide variety of networks in different countries and via different types of media before reaching their final destination. As a result, the laws relating to interception of data are rather complex. For this reason, it is important to retain the service of a criminal law expert that is experienced with the complex provisions relating to this area of law.

Legislative Provision

The key legislative provisions relating to the interception of data are contained in the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) (‘the Act’). Section 7(1) of the Act states that a person shall not:

  • intercept a communication passing over a telecommunications system;
  • authorise, suffer or permit another person to intercept a communication passing over a telecommunications system; or,
  • do any act or thing that will enable him or her or another person to intercept a communication passing over a telecommunications system.

The instances where data can be lawfully intercepted include where it is intercepted pursuant to a warrant, by consent or by lawful operation of service providers.

The legislation defines key terms such as ‘telecommunication system’, ‘communication’ and ‘interception’. All our lawyers at Nyman Gibson Miralis are familiar with these definitions and have conducted cases involving the legal and illegal interception of data.

The unlawful Interception of data is considered an indictable offence, punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years. It is therefore important to ensure that your interests are represented with by the services of a lawyer that is up to date and familiar with this constantly evolving area of law.

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