Social Conception about E-crime

Jul 27 08:03 2016 Kate Yeng Print This Article

Cybercrime and internet fraudulent activities are on a growing trend in Saudi Arabia during recent times, and there are newer varieties of Internet frauds emerging in society with the growing sophistication of technology. In most of he cases, these e-crimes are never reported and usually, these online deceptive scams go unnoticed.

This is because there is a lack of awareness in the Saudi Arabia society regarding online criminal activities,Guest Posting and in general, it is perceived that cybercrime is not a punishable offence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, there is a growing need of defense implementation and policies regarding control of cybercrime in the Saudi society. There had never been a concrete cyber law in the Saudi Arabia legislature. However, during early 2007, with pressure from internal political powers and entities, the Saudi Arabia government was forced to pass a new legislation which defined the different kinds of online criminal activities in their adequate sense. This law was approved by the Council of Ministers and was made into an act, which was later welcomed by most of the Saudi leaders and experts who deemed this as a revolutionary step towards protecting the Saudi Arabia society from the growing threat of internet fraud and other online criminal behaviors. Although this law is based to deal with modern phenomenon, it is primarily formulated on the basics of Islamic principles and laws. Earlier, the late King FahadIbnAbdulaziz had declared that the Basic Governance System of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be based on the Islamic religious law and that the administration in governance will be decreed by the authority of Holy Qur’an and the traditional sayings of Prophet Muhammad, called the Sunnah. It was stated in this Article Seven of the governing system that all administrative policies and principles will work towards enforcement of the Islamic law, which is the basic and fundamental code behind all objectives and rules of the kingdom.

It has been decided that all criminals of Internet fraud will be judged in discretion with the authority of the chief executive as per the seriousness of the crime. It was also said that the ruler can amend the penalties and judicial system for cyber offenders with the interest of the public in mind. The ruler has also been authorized to enforce the Islamic criminal policies in the most appropriate way that deals with the criminal and determines the penalty for the crime. In fact, many philosophers and Islamic legal experts believe that the policies of any nation should be dynamic with the changing times and although in compliance with the Islamic teachings, should not be kept rigid and should respond in all adequacies in the best interest of the people.

When viewed from the perspective of Islamic laws, it is to be noted that an offense of Internet fraud does not classify the offender as a thief and does not make them liable to the hand amputation penalty deemed by Islam. This is because, Islam sees theft as an act unknown to the victim and done without any prior consent; while during an internet fraud, all activities leading to loss of information or property are supposedly done with the consent of the victim and are even in their knowledge. Also, there is no physical act of stealing and the only action is that of deception and trickery, which leaves the crime out of the boundaries of “theft” as defined by the Islamic law. Therefore, the Islamic law leaves all cybercrime and internet fraudulent activities to the jurisdiction of religious scholars and experts.

Prior to the formulation of the Anti-Cybercrime act, as mentioned before, all jurisdictions related to cybercrime offenders were left to the decisions of the religious scholar who judged the offense in discretion with the Islamic laws. The Anti-Cybercrime act consists of sixteen articles and is the first set of laws in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia designed to deal with the growing threat of e-crime and online criminal activities. These articles clearly define the activities which constitute as cybercrimes and clearly outline the objectives and standards which the legislation aims at achieving. The act defines each crime and determines the appropriate penalty in response to each variety of crime, along with the cooperative enforcement from different agencies. This is done in order to deal with internet crimes and safeguard the national interests in the context of information security and implementing secure use of computers and online networks. Furthermore, the introduction of this legislative act has provided the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to protect the public interest from the clutches of online malevolence directed from internal as well as international cyber-criminals, and provide a chance of developing the National Economy.

It is however, observed from the Anti-Cybercrime act, that while cybercrime is not clearly defined in all clear perspectives; it is definitely considered an offense punishable by law. Cybercrime has been vaguely defined as any unlawful activity undertaken with the help of computer or internet or any other communicative technology. This definition has weaknesses and deficiencies which can possible be exploited in the future for misinterpretation and loopholes. To review this set of discrepancies and misinterpretations, the Saudi Communication and Information Technology (CITC) has assessed and analyzed the existing legislations, from which it was deduced that the Anti-Cybercrime act does not necessarily and completely deals with the issue of spam and internet fraudulent activities. There have been major flaws in the newly formulated act in context to appropriate and exclusive definition of spam messages and commercial advertisements, which have proven to be the major annoyance and threat to most internet users, communities, applications and infrastructure.

The issue of spam that leads to spreading of virus, phishing attacks and other online criminal and fraudulent activities; has not only affected the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but many other regions and countries as well. A series of international laws have addressed the issues posed by the malicious intent of cybercrime and have laid out guidelines and measures to counter the problems caused by international cyber offenders. For instance, the UK Fraud Act 2006 against the phishing attacks tries to define the offense of fraud and aims at prosecuting any offender trying to deceive through fraud and spam mails. Another instance in the United States, Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, decrees restrictions and penalties upon criminal offenders trying to obtain property through deception or trickery, or passing and circulating unsolicited commercial advertisement messages through the medium of internet. This act was further amended to bar the relay or transmission of such malevolent electronic mails and directed fines and imprisonment for offenders related to the origin of such messages. Similarly, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance of 2007 declares a fine of not more than fifty thousand rupees for the first time offender who distributes harmful data, messages or any other communicative transmission with the intention of misleading, deception or thievery. If the offense is committed multiple times, the fine will be accompanied with a three month imprisonment, either individual or a combination of both.

Other Laws Regulating Internet Fraud in the Kingdom

Besides the Anti-Cybercrime Act, there are two other legislations that deal with the issues related to the context of internet fraud. These legislations, namely the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and the Electronic Transactions Act, provide additional frameworks for regulating the extent of cybercrime in the Saudi society.

The Anti-Commercial Fraud Law:

According to this law, every merchant is required to conduct their operations in lawful terms and without any activity or intentional deed of deception, cheating or trickery with the motive of misleading the consumer. The Ministry of Commerce is responsible for this law and takes into account all commercial frauds related to online advertising and portraying of commercial messages in order to sell products or services in a deceitful and misleading way. The act provides a regulatory framework and a reference model to the ministry in categorizing the unsolicited commercial messages as legitimate or part of a cyber-scam, thereby creating awareness and protecting the citizens of the kingdom.

The Electronic Transactions Act

The Electronic Transactions Act aims at providing safe and secure medium of performing electronic transactions for the purposes of medicine, trading, e-government, billing, education and e-payments. The objective is to safeguard the process of and provide regulatory standards facilitating secure and validated usage of electronic transaction medium without any barriers of usage or signatures and preventing any misuse of the electronic medium directed at acquiring unlawful gains at the expense of others property or money related fraud.

Computer based communications undermine social trust to begin with, as there are no physical communication during transactions or sharing of information. As such it is very difficult to judge deceitful ways over the internet, which is normally possible through physical observations of gestures, body language, facial expressions etc. As a general consensus, people feel insecure while sharing personal or professional information online, as it is already widely known that the implications of such acts can prove hazardous for them in real life. Consider the case of social networking platforms, where people openly share private and professional information regarding their workplace, family members, and financial information and so on. For a potential cyber-attacker, it is very easy to fake an identity that is coherent with the interests of the targeted individual. Once socialized with on the social networking platform, the potential attacker gains the element of mutual trust which can later be exploited for extracting personal and classified professional information. As a result of this exploitation of the element of trust on the cyberspace, people are now reluctant to share and socialize with strangers, and it is getting difficult for them to trust even the legitimate and genuine service facilities over the internet. Once lost, it is very difficult to restore the element of social trust in the world of cybercrime. Unless cybercrime is properly dealt with, not only within internal networks, but also across international boundaries; social trust will always be undermined in the world.

 

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About Article Author

Kate Yeng
Kate Yeng

Kate Yeng is an academic writer and is very passioate about helping students in achieving excellent marks in their academic assignments. In his free time, he likes to play guitar and watch comedy shows. He is currently working with Oz Assignment Help which provides quality assignment help to Australian Students.

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