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What is ‘Cyberterrorism’? Computer and Internet Technology in Legal Definitions of Terrorism

  • Keiran HardyEmail author
  • George Williams
Chapter

Chapter Overview

The idea that terrorists could cause massive loss of life, worldwide economic chaos and irreparable environmental damage by hacking into critical infrastructure systems has captured the public imagination. Air traffic control systems, nuclear power stations, hospitals and stock markets are all viable targets for ‘cyberterrorists’ wanting to wreak havoc and destruction. On the less serious end of the spectrum, cyber-attacks against websites and other non-essential infrastructure by political ‘hacktivists’ are increasing by the day. Governments clearly need laws in place to protect against acts of cyberterrorism, but they also need to ensure that these laws do not encompass less serious uses of computer and Internet technology. This chapter examines legal definitions of terrorism and related offences in four Commonwealth nations (the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand). In doing so it addresses two questions. Firstly, what uses of computer and Internet technology does domestic law regard as acts of terrorism? Secondly, are existing legal responses to terrorism sufficient to cover the possibility of a serious act of cyberterrorism?

Keywords

Criminal Offence Internet Technology Criminal Code Legal Definition Infrastructure Facility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Further Reading and Resources

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  3. Hardy K (2010) Operation titstorm: hacktivism or cyber-terrorism? Univ New S Wales Law J 33(2):474–502Google Scholar
  4. Hardy K, Williams G (2011) What is ‘terrorism’? Assessing domestic legal definitions. UCLA J Int Law Foreign Aff 16(1):77–162Google Scholar
  5. Lynch A, Williams G (2006) What price security? Taking stock of Australia’s anti-terror laws. Federation Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
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  9. Roach K (2003) September 11: consequences for Canada. McGill-Queen’s University Press, MontrealGoogle Scholar
  10. Walker C (2009) Blackstone’s guide to the anti-terrorism legislation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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