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ICC to prosecute cyber crimes – Khan | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

The International Criminal Court has said it will now investigate and prosecute cyberwar crimes that breach the existing international law.

In an article by Prosecutor Karim Khan, Technology will not exceed our humanity, he noted that the growth in cyberspace can be misused to facilitate war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. 

He added that even though cybercrimes were not outlined in the Rome Statute, such had the potential to fulfill the elements of many core international crimes as defined.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that defines the ICC’s authority to prosecute illegal crimes including the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

This, Khan said, called for the court to adapt to prosecuting the crimes. 

“International criminal justice can and must adapt to this new landscape,” he said.

Khan reiterated that the ICC was set on delivering justice to all and showing that the law is able to deliver for those who find themselves on the front lines. 

“And those front lines are no longer just physical: The digital front lines can give rise to damage and suffering comparable to what the founders of the ICC sought to prevent,” he added.

He further noted that cyber warfare could have a “profound impact on people’s lives”.

He said this included attempts to impact critical infrastructures such as medical facilities or power generation control facilities, which may result in immediate consequences for many, especially the vulnerable. 

Khan explained that as part of its investigations, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor will collect and review evidence of the aforementioned conduct. 

“Consequently, as part of its investigations, my Office will collect and review evidence of such conduct,” he said.

He added, “We are likewise mindful of the misuse of the internet to amplify hate speech and disinformation, which may facilitate or even directly lead to the occurrence of atrocities.”

Khan called for cooperation and commitment from states and corporations in delivering justice against cybercrimes.

He said the ICC, through its own proceedings to ensure legal accountability, could make contributions to deterring cybercrime offenders.

“Such proceedings may also help mitigate the ambiguity of hybrid strategies by reinforcing the applicable law and reliably and prominently determining the truth,” the prosecutor said.

“The Office may also play a supporting or convening role, by not only investigating with a view to prosecutions before the ICC but also supporting states and other bodies to proceed under their applicable laws.”

The Prosecutor said the ICC is already working to consolidate and upgrade its information systems architecture and technical capabilities.

This, he said, is with the assistance of states, civil society and technology leaders. 

“In particular, partnerships with technology leaders such as Microsoft and Planet Labs have helped my Office harness the power of technology on behalf of victims of international crimes and affected communities, including through the enhanced use of artificial and geospatial intelligence to investigate alleged crimes. We can and will go further in these efforts,” Khan said.

He said with the belief that the court and its supporting bodies can mobilise the law on “these new front lines to deliver justice—we may collectively ensure that a more humane world is forged.”

“The ICC will play its part, now and in years to come,” Khan affirmed.


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