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Copyright (c) 2002 T.C. Williams School of Law University of Richmond 
Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

ARTICLE: In Search of a Balance Between Police Power and Privacy in the Cybercrime Treaty

Cite As: D.C. Kennedy, In Search of a Balance Between Police Power and Privacy in the Cybercrime Treaty, 9 RICH. J.L. & TECH. 3 (Fall 2002), at

Fall, 2002

9 Rich. J.L. & Tech. 3


by D.C. Kennedy *



Imagine that you wake up one morning, turn on your computer, and open an e-mail message with a catchy phrase in the subject line. Immediately after opening the e-mail's attachment, your personal computer is severely damaged. Obviously having a bad day, you head to your job as an attorney for a multinational corporation. By the time you arrive at work, there has been damage to company computers across the globe. The monetary costs of the damage, coupled with the downtime, are astronomical. The CEO of your company is furious. You hope to diffuse the situation by informing your boss that the person who released the virus has been apprehended. Unfortunately, soon after explaining the good news of the perpetrator's capture, you learn that the individual, who admits involvement with the e-mail virus, will not be prosecuted in his home state because that state had no laws on the books outlawing his behavior at the time of the incident. In fact, none of the states where damage occurred will be able to prosecute because of lack of jurisdiction. The damage is done and the perpetrator is free.

Although the situation may sound far fetched, this is the basic story of the events surrounding the dissemination of the I LOVE YOU virus. The perpetrator was allowed to go free because the Philippines did not have appropriate cybercrime laws instituted at the time the virus was released. 1 This high-profile case is a superb introduction to the difficult issues arising from ...
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