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This book is concerned with the nature of computer misuse and the legal and extra-legal responses to it. It explores what is meant by the term 'computer misuse' and charts its emergence as a problem as well as its expansion in parallel with the continued progression in computing power, networking, reach and accessibility. In doing so, it surveys the attempts of the domestic criminal law to deal with some early manifestations of computer misuse and the consequent legislative passage of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
Having outlined the new criminal offences introduced by the 1990 Act, the book examines the extent to which the 1990 Act has been effective before considering the amendments made to it by the Police and Justice Act 2006 and their potential ramifications now they are in force. Having considered the position at domestic criminal law, the book turns to assess whether the solution to the effective regulation ofcomputer misuse requires more than just the domestic criminal law, exploring the characteristics and purpose of the criminal law in the context of computer misuse.
The book then introduces theories of risk from realist, cultural and symbolic, 'risk society' and governmentality perspectives before considering the idea of a governance network as a means of responding to risk. It examines computer misuse and the role of the domestic criminal law in the light of these theories. It further examines potential new nodes of governance within this framework from the European Union, Council of Europe, Commonwealth, United Nations and Group of Eight. It considers whether there might be advantages in moving beyond the domestic criminal law in the response to computer misuse. The book then broadens the discussion of potential means of governance beyond the law to encompass extra-legal initiatives. It establishes a typology of these extra-legal initiatives and examines the contribution made by each to the governance of computer misuse.
Finally, this book concludes with an examination of the complex governance network and considers whether the regulation of computer misuse is only viable in a global networked society by a networked response combining nodes of both legal and extra-legal governance.
This book will be of interest to students of IT law as well as to sociologists and criminologists, and those who have a professional concern with preventing computer misuse and fraud.