Ernest Aduwa, Solicitor at Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, has written an article for The Barrister Magazine discussing the legal implications of hacking.

“Cybercrime is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous types of crime, not just in the UK, but globally. A research report published by the Home Office in October 2013 concluded, based on statistics from global anti-virus providers, that security attacks by cyber criminals are in the billions, with numbers rising year after year. In the post-Snowden era, concern over online hacking and the subsequent comprising of personal data is at an all-time high.

The issue of data protection concerns clearly more than just the right to privacy. Hacking facilitates a number of other crimes as a result of unauthorised access to personal data.

With access to key personal information, including names, addresses, credit card numbers and medical details, hackers are positioned to attempt fraud and identity theft, which can cause significant legal problems both for victims and the businesses whose security systems fail to prevent attacks. In a similar vein, businesses and professionals are at risk of intellectual property theft. Hackers may be able to gain access to information about a company’s key projects, software or technology, which can then be sold on for profit.

Hacking is now also considered a potential act of terrorism, or ‘cyberterrorism’, as defined by the Terrorism Act 2000. Although not all hacking is done for the purposes of terrorism, hackers will be considered as terrorists if their actions are considered a means of intimidating the public (or indeed a particular section of the public), or promoting a political, religious or ideological cause.

With numerous and far-reaching legal implications, hacking is an issue that those who use technology to store their important information, from individuals and families, to businesses of all sizes, must be aware of.”

 

Read the full article here.