Vigilantism and cooperative criminal justice: Is there a place for cybersecurity vigilantes in cybercrime fighting

Karine E Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Are cybersecurity vigilantes at odds with criminal justice? Perhaps. In general terms, vigilantism could be understood as an act of retaliation launched by private agents in response to a perceived criminal conduct and targeting alleged perpetrators of a crime. This form of unofficial crime control has flourished on the Internet, where non-State actors have enforced informal means of justice to counter criminal behavior. Recently, the actions of cybersecurity vigilantes have become a recurrent (and sometimes disruptive) element in the fight against cybercrime. In this paper, I shall argue that individuals who make use of force in response to criminal activities online could pose a serious threat to cybercrime investigations – but also that by acting upon a presumable moral duty to counter crime, cybersecurity vigilantes are turning the tables on how law enforcement is effectuated online and shaping the future of cooperative criminal justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers & Technology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • vigilantism
  • Cybercrime
  • Botnets

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