Privacy is an increasingly important issue on the internet. Questions concerning anonymity on social networks have taken a back seat to concerns of whether private information stored in secured databases is really private. Scandals such as Wikileaks and the Panama Papers are becoming more common. As companies store information all over the world, information often travels through many jurisdictions before reaching an end user. Whose responsibility is it to monitor this traffic? Governments are putting pressure on ISPs to police the data that travels along their networks while ISPs and privacy organizations are pushing back. These are but some of the topics that international internet privacy legislation is attempting to regulate.
Pro tip: securely browsing the internet and protecting your data is becoming more difficult as websites track our movements across the web via cookies, http referrers, and agents. You can arrest some of this tracking by using extensions like HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, and Disconnect. Even better, you can use a high quality VPN. If you think Google knows enough about you, you can use privacy oriented search engines like Duck Duck Go.
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This important aspect of the international internet law may be the most sparse. Countries are hesitant to define criminal activities on the web in part because it is still unclear what a cybercrime is, but also in part because states cannot agree on uniform traditional crimes. This uncertainty means there are very few internet wide treaties addressing cybercrimes or procedural aspects of policing cybercrime.
The issue of how to define a cybercrime is complicated by the variations of the form of the crime and who the intended target is. The term "cybercrime" may be broad enough to encompass sub-crimes of personal cybercrime (crimes committed against a person), cyber terrorism (crimes committed against a state), and cyberwar (an attack by a nation-state against another nation-state for the purpose of causing disruption or damage). However, other proposed definitions to "cybercrime" state that it is a crime against computers and networks alone. This portion of the research guide will take the stance that most attacks on the internet are cybercrimes and list sources that may include personal attacks as well as attacks on nation-states.
For research purposes, try to maintain and follow one meaning of cybercrime. The lines can often be blurry as scholars and legislators use the term in many ways.
Under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to "receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." The internet is a newer media that promotes freedom of information and expression of free speech. The idea that the internet is a fundamental human right is only beginning to be developed.
One of the more notable instances of this discussion was the debate over LOI n° 2009-1311 du 28 Octobre 2009 relative à la protection pénale de la propriété littéraire et artistique sur internet. Commonly referred to as the HADOPI law, the most controversial of the many deterrents to prevent the illegally sharing copyrighted material, was the suspension of internet services. This part was revoked in on 8 July 2013 by the French Government because that penalty was considered to be disproportionate and a breach of fundamental civil rights.