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Cybercrime and Law Enforcement Challenges Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 22nd, 2020

Introduction

Law enforcers investigating different crimes continue to grapple with numerous obstacles. Modern technologies such as the Internet have led to new problems. Internet exploitation, obscenity, and cyber-stalking are crimes that have become hard to mitigate. This paper describes the major challenges facing law enforcement agencies whenever dealing with these crimes and offers evidence-based approaches to minimize them.

Greatest Challenge

Brown (2015) acknowledges that law enforcement institutions are unable to deal with various crimes associated with the Internet such as exploitation and cyberstalking. This is the case due to various problems such as overlapping jurisdictions and lack of adequate funds. However, the biggest challenge facing such agencies whenever investigating these criminal acts is the ability to get and detect evidence. The rationale for this argument arises from the nature of modern technologies (Ibrahim, 2016). Emerging technologies are making it easier for perpetrators to delete, change, or even destroy data on their computers. That being the case, enforcers cannot be in a position to collect and examine the intended data.

Additionally, the fact that culprits engaged in such criminal activities might be residing in different countries, states, or continents makes it impossible for law enforcement agencies to collect accurate and timely data (Ajayi, 2016). Coupled with various obstacles such as existing seizure laws and overlapping jurisdictions, this challenge makes it hard for different agencies to deal with cybercrime.

Overlapping Jurisdictions and Salient Solutions

As indicated earlier, overlapping jurisdictions pose several challenges in the fight against cybercrime. To begin with, many state and national laws require warrants to be issued before law enforcers can collect evidence or search for information. This situation makes it hard to collect data immediately and establish a strong case against the offender. Secondly, cybercriminals can operate globally. Such criminals might be in a given state while the victim is in another region. Such countries will have different agencies that are required to carry out targeted investigations (Ibrahim, 2016). That being the case, such agencies might not share critical evidence due to the nature of existing laws in their respective states or nations.

The third challenge is the scope of the legislation. This means that there is no homologous legislation aimed at addressing the problem of cybercrime across the globe. Existing laws make it hard for countries to deal with this form of crime. In some countries, crimes such as cyber-stalking and obscenity might not be taken seriously by the existing laws (Ibrahim, 2016). This means that a cybercriminal in a given country might not be viewed as guilty elsewhere depending on the nature of the offense. Some nations lack adequate laws to cover malpractices such as the use of malicious software and unauthorized access to people’s computer systems.

Each of these challenges can be addressed using adequate solutions. The first problem requires governments to revise existing laws in such a way that a cybercriminal’s premises and computer systems can be searched and analyzed without a legal warrant. The rationale is that the approach will ensure that more criminals are caught. However, law enforcers must act ethically and support every suspect’s rights. The second solution is ensuring that states and nations collaborate to deal with the problem of cyber insecurity (Brown, 2015). The rationale for this proposal is that coordinated efforts will allow law enforcement agencies to share information and deal with cybercrime from a global perspective. The third challenge can be addressed using homologous laws or legislation across the globe. Such laws will ensure that all offenders can be prosecuted and sentenced in any given country. This approach will play a positive role in addressing the predicament of global cybercrime.

Collaboration for Law Officers

It is agreeable that many cybercrimes are usually carried across state lines. When such crimes occur, law enforcement efforts tend to be frustrated since states tend to have diverse laws. The decision to allow law officers from different states to work together can minimize some of the challenging arising from overlapping jurisdictions (Ajayi, 2016). When these professionals combine their efforts, it will be easier to share available data and gather additional information. The move will empower law enforcers to search, seize, and identify more cybercriminals.

This kind of cooperation can also be expanded to include the concept of online community policing (Brown, 2015). By so doing, more states will address the problem of cyber insecurity and record positive gains. Criminals who migrate to another state will no longer be in a position to achieve their goals. Combined efforts will, therefore, make it easier for law enforcers to identify, arrest, and prosecute more cybercriminals. The targeted states will share their resources and deliver positive results much faster.

Conclusion

Modern technologies have revolutionized how human beings pursue their roles and goals. However, their drawbacks cannot go unmentioned. The era of the Internet has created problems such as cybercrime. Unfortunately, existing obstacles such as overlapping jurisdictions and lack of homologous laws make it hard for law enforcement agencies to prevent this kind of crime. Combined efforts and evidence-based laws are, therefore, needed to deal with global cyber insecurity.

References

Ajayi, E. F. (2016). Challenges to enforcement of cyber-crimes laws and policy. Journal of Internet and Information Systems, 6(1), 1-12. Web.

Brown, C. S. (2015). Investigating and prosecuting cyber crime: Forensic dependencies and barriers to justice. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 9(1), 55-119. Web.

Ibrahim, S. (2016). Social and contextual taxonomy of cybercrime: Socioeconomic theory of Nigerian cybercriminals. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 47, 44-57. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Cybercrime and Law Enforcement Challenges." September 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cybercrime-and-law-enforcement-challenges/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Cybercrime and Law Enforcement Challenges'. 22 September.

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