Cybercrime : International Implications on New Zealand Strategy

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Criminal Justice
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Wheelans, Angus

The prevalence of cybercrime continues to rapidly increase as the internet becomes more accessible and advanced, causing substantial harm to individuals, businesses and governments. Digital forensics is an essential component of all cybercrime investigations, and as it stands, the current cybercrime and digital forensics practices in New Zealand are not fit-for-purpose. This research project seeks to identify the most significant problems with current practices and draw recommendations that create feasible and workable solutions. Creating evidence-based solutions to these problems is possible through identifying the current systematic flaws. It is essential that current methods for responding to cybercrime and carrying out digital forensics are scrutinised so that there is pressure to update and reform current laws and practices. This research project adopts a qualitative approach and the use of semi-structured interviews to answer the research question. Participants (n=4) are stakeholders within the cybercrime and digital forensic communities in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The cybercrime and digital forensics laws and practices are compared between these countries to draw recommendations for future reforms. It has been found that five key changes could be made to the cybercrime and digital forensics frameworks that would improve outcomes for law enforcement and victims. These changes include the appointment of an independent reviewer of legislation, acceding to The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, improving cybersecurity and cyber resilience, improving training, resourcing and research, and improving current reporting and response methods. These recommendations indicate that there are fundamental flaws in the current framework and that substantial work is required to improve outcomes for both victims and law enforcement. These recommendations are based on research and stakeholder input. On this basis, stakeholder opinion and international practices should be considered while informing future reform. This research project is an original contribution to the fields of digital forensics and cybercrime, and it is hoped that it will create a foundation for future research to analyse these issues further.

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