The South African legislative response to cybercrime
Mabunda, Sagwadi Mmahlatse
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As the world moves into a hyper-connected global society with near universal access to the internet, cybercrime has become a global challenge. The problems embedded in the issue of cybercrime are at least twofold. Firstly, the proliferation of cybercrime globally, and more specifically in South Africa, is outstripping the pace at which governments and lawmakers are able to respond efficiently. Secondly, where governments do manage to respond, there is a temptation to do so on the basis of a superficial understanding of the essence of cybercrime. There are many debates about the novelty of cybercrime in which participants have described it as “old wine in new skin”. This study takes the position that cybercrime is neither completely novel nor is it merely a virtual manifestation of the ordinary terrestrial crimes. The premise of this research is that cybercrime is an interesting and unique form of criminality that manifests itself in a number of challenging ways. These manifestations need to be considered independently and comprehensively if effective countermeasures are to be devised. This is not to say that every single offence has to be considered critically. That would be impracticable. It would suffice that certain types of cybercrimes be classified differently from other types, so as not to paint all with the same brush.