International cooperation in the field of cybercrime

 

The revolution in information technologies has both positive consequences that are reflected in unprecedented economic progress, but also negative consequences that are associated with the emergence of new types of crime.

 

The emergence of new types and kinds of crime, as well as the commission of traditional crimes using new technologies, has become a standard part of the reality of state bodies acting in this area.

 

High-tech crime includes a set of criminal offenses where computers, computer networks, computer data, as well as their products in material and electronic form appear as an object of execution and as a means of committing a criminal offense.

 

The number and types of crimes in the field of high-tech crime, as well as the economic damage caused by the commission of these crimes, are very difficult to estimate. However, the number of crimes committed and the economic damage that has been registered so far from year to year is constantly increasing. The ways of committing crimes, due to the very nature of modern information technologies, are very diverse and increasingly sophisticated.

 

Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia (“Official Gazette of the RS“, No. 85/2005, 88/2005 – amended, 107/2005 – amended, 72/2009, 111/2009, 121/2012, 104/2013, 108 / 2014, 94/2016 and 35/2019) contains a special chapter entitled criminal offenses against computer data security, which include:

 

  • Damage to computer data and programs;
  • Computer sabotage
  • Creation and introduction of computer viruses;
  • Computer fraud
  • Unauthorized access to a secure computer, computer network and electronic data processing;
  • Preventing and restricting access to the public computer network and;
  • Unauthorized use of the computer or computer network.

 

In addition to the aforementioned criminal offenses, this area also includes criminal offenses against intellectual property, property and legal transactions in which computers, computer networks, computer data, as well as their products in material or electronic form appear as objects or means of committing criminal offenses.

 

In addition to the aforementioned criminal offenses, this area also includes criminal offenses against intellectual property, property and legal transactions in which computers, computer networks, computer data, as well as their products in material or electronic form appear as objects or means of committing criminal offenses.

 

In the Republic of Serbia, the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade for the territory of the Republic of Serbia is responsible for dealing with cases of high-tech crime, within which a special department is formed.

 

Bearing in mind how important high-tech crime will be in the future, cooperation between countries in this field is very important.

 

The Convention on High-Tech Crime (” Convention“), drawn up in Budapest on 23 November 2001, was ratified by the Republic of Serbia in 2009.

 

The Convention is the first international agreement, i.e. legal act, which regulates the material, procedural and international legal framework for criminal offenses committed through computers, computer networks, as well as the use of the Internet and other computer networks of international or local character.

 

The Convention lays down the foundations of legal norms concerning infringements of intellectual property rights, computer fraud, misuse of minors for pornographic purposes, illegal access to a protected computer and computer network, data interception, etc.. This Convention prescribes actions and measures, as material, as well as procedural nature, which are aimed at negatively sanctioning socially harmful behaviour in this area and which apply modern investigative methods in detecting and prosecuting perpetrators, such as searching computer networks and intercepting computer data, whose main goal is to prosecute perpetrators. and the establishment of a common criminal law policy, aimed at protecting society from all forms of high-tech crime, in particular through the adoption of appropriate legal norms and the establishment of operational international cooperation in this field.

The Convention contains a special chapter which regulates international cooperation between states.

 

International cooperation should be in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, but also through the implementation of all relevant international agreements related to international cooperation in criminal matters, other prescribed forms of international cooperation provided on the basis of reciprocity, as well as domestic law.

 

The provisions of the Convention in this chapter do not supersede the provisions of international agreements on international assistance in criminal matters, extradition, reciprocity, as well as the provisions of national legislation governing international cooperation.

 

An additional Protocol to the Convention on High-Tech Crime relating to the incrimination of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems (“Protocol“) was drawn up in 2003 in Strasbourg.

 

The primary purpose of this Protocol is to supplement the provisions of the Convention in respect of acts of racism and xenophobic nature carried out through computer systems. It defines racist and xenophobic material and prescribes the measures to be taken by Member States at national level.

 

Whether the provisions of the Convention are just a dead letter on paper remains to be seen in practice.