Here’s a situation: a man in the United States sends continuous bullying messages to a man in the United Kingdom via Twitter. The victim wants to take steps to stop this…who should deal with it?
Should it be the US police, seeing as the offender is in America? Or should it be the UK police, as the victim lives there? Some could say it should be dealt with by Twitter regulators – however, they have no legal jurisdiction. If the messages were harmful enough to be considered a crime and thus someone should be punished, this takes us back to the problem of which legal body deals with it?
Should we even punish cybercrime? Some could say people deserve anonymity on the internet. It’s virtual after all; it’s not real life.
The issue of crime is complicated when an offence has taken place in no physical, geographical space. In this situation we also need to consider whether the approach taken is offender based or victim based – in this situation, should the US police punish the offender, or should the UK police comfort and compensate the victim?
When new types of crime, such as cybercrime is developed, it makes us question the fundamentals of our criminal justice system; is the priority with the offender or the victim?