Human rights, the law, cyber-security and democracy : after the European Convention

Bessant, Judith (2012) Human rights, the law, cyber-security and democracy : after the European Convention. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 18(1), pp. 1-26.

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Many commentators have treated the internet as a site of democratic freedom and as a new kind of public sphere. While there are good reasons for optimism, like any social space digital space also has its dark side. Citizens and governments alike have expressed anxiety about cybercrime and cyber-security. In August 2011, the Australian government introduced legislation to give effect to Australia becoming a signatory to the European Convention on Cybercrime (2001). At the time of writing, that legislation is still before the Parliament.

In this article, attention is given to how the legal and policy-making process enabling Australia to be compliant with the European Convention on Cybercrime came about. Among the motivations that informed both the development of the Convention in Europe and then the Australian exercise of legislating for compliance with it was a range of legitimate concerns about the impact that cybercrime can have on individuals and communities. This article makes the case that equal attention also needs to be given to ensuring that legislators and policy makers differentiate between legitimate security imperatives and any over-reach evident in the implementation of this legislation that affects rule of law principles, our capacity to engage in democratic practices, and our civic and human rights.

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ID Code: 57635
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: cyber-security , cyber-crime , human rights, European Convention on Cybercrime 2001, internet neutrality
ISSN: 1323-238X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 LexisNexis Butterworths
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2013 00:23
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2013 07:10

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