Model United Nations topic
Cybercrime is an evolving form of transnational crime.
The complex nature of the crime as one that takes place in the border-less realm of cyberspace is compounded by the increasing involvement of organized crime groups. Perpetrators of cybercrime and their victims can be located in different regions, and its effects can ripple through societies around the world, highlighting the need to mount an urgent, dynamic and international response.
What is cybercrime?
There is no international definition of cybercrime or cyberattacks. Offences typically cluster around the following categories:
Offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems;
- Computer-related offences;
- Content-related offences;
- Offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights.
Broadly, cybercrime can be described as having cyber-dependent offences, cyber-enabled offences and, as a specific crime-type, online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Cyber-dependent crime requires an information and communications technology infrastructure and is often typified as the creation, dissemination and deployment of malware, ransomware, attacks on critical national infrastructure (e.g. the cyber-takeover of a power-plant by an organised crime group) and taking a website offline by overloading it with data (a DDOS attack).
- Cyber-enabled crime is that which can occur in the offline world but can also be facilitated by information and communications technology. This typically includes online frauds, purchases of drugs online and online money laundering.
- Child sexual exploitation and abuse includes abuse on the clear internet, darknet forums and, increasingly, the exploitation of self-created imagery via extortion - known as "sextortion". We do not use the term "child pornography" as this creates a value judgment upon innocent children. You can read more about why language is important in the Luxembourg Guidelines here.
Combating cybercrime and the Sustainable Development Goals
While there is no specific Sustainable Development Goal to address cybercrime, it can be seen as an obstacle to achieving a number of targets, such as those under Goal 16, which relate to violence and other forms of crime, such as corruption and arms trafficking (Targets 16.1, 16.4, 16.5).
In addition, certain criminal activities can be facilitated by information and communications technology, such as the recruitment of victims of trafficking in persons (target 10.8) or sexual exploitation of women, which would characterize a form of violence against women (target 5.2).
By choosing to have cybercrime as a Model United Nations issue, participants can:
- Obtain more knowledge about the different phenomena relating to cybercrime, such as cyber-dependent, enabled and specific crime types;
- Increase their understanding of Member States' efforts to address cybercrime in intergovernmental fora;
- Increase their knowledge of best practices and ways in which Member States and society can cooperate to address cybercrime.
Suggested topics for a Model United Nations conference and related Sustainable Development Goals
|Online sexual exploitation of children|
|Use of the Internet for terrorist purposes|
|Prevention of cybercrime and other illicit uses of the Internet|
|The question of cyberbullying|
|Cyber-enabled financial crimes|
|Hacking and national security|