Cryptomarkets, Computer Hacking and Child Exploitation Material: Challenges of the New Transnational Cyber Policing

Cryptomarkets, Computer Hacking and Child Exploitation Material: Challenges of the New Transnational Cyber Policing
26 June 2017, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR


Speaker: Dr Monique Mann, School of Justice, Faculty of Law,  Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Discussant: Professor Ian Walden, Queen Mary, University of London

Cyberspace presents new opportunities for offending and new challenges for policing. Both the transnational nature of the internet and anonymising dark net infrastructure challenge conventional policing methods, prompting the introduction of enhanced investigatory and intelligence capabilities, such as Computer Network Operations (CNOs), to detect and investigate crimes with an online dimension. These new forms of online surveillance and policing transcend multiple legal jurisdictions, and test established procedures governing access to, and the admissibility of, online evidence. This paper overviews three recently completed and ongoing research projects concerning online policing that highlight a range of emerging challenges and issues. First, the dismantling of the Silk Road crypto market is used to demonstrate how US conspiracy law drives transnational cyber investigations and how these processes reflect ideological conceptions of justice and due process to legitimise US extraterritorial surveillance and access to digital evidence. Second, an analysis of high profile cases of computer hackers who have been sought for extradition by the US from the UK are presented. These reveal important legal and human rights considerations where the alleged unlawful conduct occurred exclusively online and concurrent jurisdiction applies at both at the source and location of harm. Finally, the Playpen clandestine network used for the distribution of child exploitation material is considered as these cases offer crucial insights into new and emerging developments such as recent amendments to US Criminal Procedure that authorise extraterritorial governmental hacking. The presentation concludes with a discussion of the implications for future criminological research, online policing and transnational criminal law and justice reform. This includes recognition of the importance of the shifting legal geographies associated with strategies for accessing digital evidence and due process safeguards in extraterritorial online criminal investigations.

Dr Monique Mann is a lecturer at the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She is also a member of the Crime and Justice Research Centre and the Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Group at QUT Law. Monique is currently advancing a program of socio-legal research on the intersecting topics of police technology, transnational online policing and surveillance. She is on the Board of Directors of the Australian Privacy Foundation and the Advisory Council of Digital Rights Watch Australia.

Ian Walden is Professor of Information and Communications Law and head of the Institute of Computer and Communications Law (ICCL) in the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. 

This seminar will be followed by a wine reception.

This event is free but advance booking is required.


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