Adolescents and Cybercrime: Navigating between Freedom and Control

Policy & Internet, Vol. 3, No. 2, Article 4, 2011

29 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

See all articles by Simone van der Hof

Simone van der Hof

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

Online safety for children and adolescents as a policy issue finds itself in a turbulent arena: emerging new mobile and online technologies and applications carry opportunities and risks and constantly bring new challenges. This article explores particularly the field of adolescents and cybercrime against a background of a culture of control combined with an increasing use of new media by youngsters. Based on two particular cases, i.e. 'grooming' - a new development in criminal law where children and adolescents are treated as (potential) victims in need of protection and 'sexting' a new development in online risk-taking where adolescents are framed as (potential) offenders in need of repression - we argue that public policy with respect to adolescent behavior and online risks is tilting towards more control. These developments in cybercrime policy that focus on criminal law as a policy instrument disturb the balance between the freedom of adolescents to develop into responsible and independent adults and controlling online risks. Other, more promising avenues, such as encouraging digital literacy of citizens and protecting those children who are particularly vulnerable, should rather be at the forefront of public policy.

Keywords: cybercrime, internet, adolescents

Suggested Citation

van der Hof, Simone and Koops, Bert-Jaap, Adolescents and Cybercrime: Navigating between Freedom and Control (June 1, 2011). Policy & Internet, Vol. 3, No. 2, Article 4, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1868106

Simone Van der Hof (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/vanderhof

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

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