The advent of the internet changed the way people live. Nearly infinite sources of information combined with the opportunity to communicate with people all over the world have built a virtual version of what many people call the global village.

Unfortunately, these changes have also benefited some not-so-nice people who use their computer knowledge to commit cybercrimes.

A cybercrime is a criminal infraction that uses the computer or network as the source, tool, target or place of a crime. The main types of cybercrime police investigate are:

Crimes against persons

  • luring
  • child pornography
  • harassment
  • extortion
  • threats
  • false messages
  • hate propaganda
  • bullying
  • defamatory libel
  • incitation to suicide

Crimes against property

  • unauthorized use of a computer
  • fraud
  • computer virus

The feeling of anonymity, the vulnerability of the potential victims, the wide field of action, and the accessibility and constant improvements to technology provide an excellent breeding ground for internet crime. A new series of crimes appeared when computer use became so widespread. These "innovative" crimes did not exist before computers and the web were created, and they can only be committed in the virtual world.

The cybercrimes included in the Criminal Code of Canada include:

 falsely obtaining computer services

 illegally intercepts a computer function

 using or causing a computer system to be used with intent to commit the above offences or to commit misdemeanours toward a computer

 possessing or using a computer password for unauthorized use of a computer

 using the internet to communicate with a child in order to commit a sexual infraction against that child

 producing, distributing, possessing or accessing child pornography online

If you have witnessed or been a victim of a cybercrime, contact Info-crime at 514 393-1133 or your neighbourhood station.

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