The greening of Canadian cyber laws: What environmental law can teach and cyber law can learn
Date of this Version
This article examines whether Canadian environmental law and policy could serve as a model for cyber crime regulation. A wide variety of offences are now committed through digital technologies, including thievery, identity theft, fraud, the misdirection of communications, intellectual property theft, espionage, system disruption, the destruction of data, money laundering, hacktivism, and terrorism, among others. The focus of this Article is on the problem of data security breaches, which target businesses and consumers. Following the Introduction, Part I provides an overview of the parallels that can be drawn between threats in the natural environment and on the Internet. Both disciplines have innate characteristics that make them difficult to regulate, and which set them apart from other subjects. Part II looks at the current situation of cyber crime threats in Canada, as well as the Canadian government's regulatory response. It then goes on to trace the history of Canadian environmental law, as well as the many successes and failures that have been achieved in law and policy in this area. Indeed, policy-makers can learn a great deal from these efforts about the kinds of laws and policies that might be workable in the cyber-realm. Following this, Part III examines what specifically cyber-law theorists and policy-makers can learn from those in the environmental law field so as to move down a more appropriate, and effective, regulatory path.
This document has been peer reviewed.