When most people hear the word “cybercrime,” they think of a shadowy, mysterious network of hackers who break into the computer networks of large corporations to steal money or valuable information. Last year, cybercrime made international news when hackers broke into the computer systems at Sony to steal emails and other data and uploaded a virus to the movie studio’s computers.
In 2015, hackers released the names of thousands of individuals with accounts at the Canada-based company, Ashley Madison, which runs a dating website that encourages its members to cheat on their significant others.
Although the Sony and Ashley Madison incidents involved a type of cybercrime, it was actually just one type of cybercrime among a broad variety of these types of crimes. In short, cybercrimes are not limited to large international incidents. Basically, a cybercrime is any crime carried out with the use of a computer. Cybercrimes include offences such as cyberstalking, identity theft, phishing, spamming, and child pornography.
Cybercrime Is on the Rise
Over the years, crimes committed with the help of a computer or the internet have grown considerably. According to statistics released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), cybercrimes have jumped 40 per cent between 2011 and 2013.
Unlike traditional forms of crime, cybercrimes can take place with lightning speed. Armed with a computer and an internet connection, individuals can carry out offences in relative anonymity.
To fight back, the RCMP have developed a team of cyber investigators trained to catch cyber-criminals. The new team will feature 40 members with a mix of police and civilian technical training. The special unit will target a wide range of criminal offences, including online scams, cyberbullying, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation.
Ottawa, Ontario Criminal Defence
As with any area of law, cybercrime has the potential to result in wrongful accusations and convictions. Because this is an evolving area of law, police and prosecutors may not always have the resources or experience to distinguish between a legitimate crime and a misunderstanding. If you have been accused of a crime involving a computer, it is important to seek knowledgeable defence counsel right away.
Criminal defence lawyers Bruce Engel and Elena Davies have represented individuals and businesses charged with hundreds of different offences throughout Canada for more than two decades. From the start of a criminal investigation to the close of a trial, we will take a balanced and forceful approach to your defence. We have the experience and know-how to effectively navigate the constantly changing justice system in Canada.