Lesson Idea

Cybercrime and the Law

Theme: Cybercrime and the Law
Relates to WACC: ACHCK050, ACHCK062, ACHCK078, ACHCK094, VCCCC036, VCCCG020, VCCCL022, VCCCL034

As mentioned in Lesson Idea 3, the internet and other new technologies are providing opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and to carry out old crimes in new ways. These crimes can be committed across multiple borders and target many victims simultaneously. Tools that a lot of us use, such as, high-speed broadband, peer-to-peer file-sharing and sophisticated encryption methods, can also assist criminals to carry out and conceal their activities. (Australian Federal Police (AFP) website , 2021)

Cybercrime law

The Australian Commonwealth has passed legislation to cover cybercrime offences. These laws are found in parts 10.7 and 10.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. Each State and Territory also has its own legislated computer-related offences. Many are similar to Commonwealth legislation, but they have also passed legislation that covers online fraud and other technology enabled crimes.

  • Discuss the information above with your students and direct them to the AFP Cybercrime website. Ask them to identify and write down the cybercrime offences that are covered by Commonwealth legislation. Discuss their findings as a class. Direct students to research their own State or Territory cybercrime legislation using the eSafety Commissioner website. Once completed students create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two levels of legislation. Conclude the activity by discussing students’ findings and suggest why there maybe similarities and differences.

The eSafety Commissioner

  • The eSafety Commissioner has various functions and powers under Australian Government legislation to foster online safety. Ask students to research these powers and conduct a circle talk to enable them to share what they have learnt with others.
    • Place students in two concentric circles (one circle within the other). This structure facilitates dialogue between students. Students in the inner circle face outwards, directly facing the student in the outer circle.
    • Students stand facing each other to encourage active listening between partners.
    • Ask students standing in the inside circle to start the sharing process by outlining one of the organisation’s functions or powers.
    • Remind the class to listen attentively to their partner and take turns.
    • After sharing, ask the students standing in the outside circle to stand and move on two or three positions to meet a new partner. Use the same question again and repeat this process until all functions and powers have been listed.

Finish the activity by discussing as a class why they think these functions and powers were granted to the eSafety Commissioner.

  • Cyberbullying can occur over the Internet, in instant messaging (IM) applications, chat rooms, social networking sites, blogs or gaming sites. It can also occur over the phone, by SMS or MMS, or other technologies. One in five young people have been bullied online. Show the Cyber Bullying page from the Technology Crime Unit WA site on an interactive whiteboard and conduct a shared reading of the forms of cyberbullying. Discuss as a class why people cyberbully and what the impacts can be. (Be prepared to intervene if the discussion proves disturbing for any of your students.) Explain that serious cases of cyberbullying can be a crime. Ask students to read Youth Law Australia’s Cyberbullying site and make notes of the possible laws that cyberbullying can breach. Conduct a class brain dump of collected information. Write the information on the board. Explain to students that there are a range of options to report cyberbullying which will be discussed in the next lesson.

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