Deterring Cybercrime: Focus on Intermediaries
41 Pages Posted: 17 May 2018
Date Written: December 1, 2017
This Article discusses how governments, intellectual property owners, and technology companies use the law to disrupt access to intermediaries used by financially-motivated cybercriminals. Just like licit businesses, illicit firms rely on intermediaries to advertise, sell and deliver products, collect payments, and maintain a reputation. Recognizing these needs, law enforcers use the courts, administrative procedures, and self-regulatory frameworks to execute a deterrence by denial strategy. Enforcers of the law seize the financial rewards and infrastructures necessary for the operation of illicit firms to deter their presence.
Policing illicit actors through their intermediaries raises due process and fairness concerns because service-providing companies may not be aware of the criminal activity, and because enforcement actions have consequences for consumers and other, licit firms. Yet, achieving direct deterrence by punishment suffers from jurisdictional and resource constraints, leaving enforcers with few other options for remedy. This Article integrates literature from the computer science and legal fields to explain enforcers' interventions, explore their efficacy, and evaluate the merits and demerits of enforcement efforts focused on the intermediaries used by financially-motivated cybercriminals.
Keywords: FOSTA, SESTA, deterrence theory, Backpage, FRCP 65, luxury goods, counterfeiting, private remediation, CDA, DMCA, platform, utility, specialization, security economics, Botnet sinkholes, bulletproof services, public-private cybersecurity,
JEL Classification: K14, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation