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PI News Flash: Cyberwar and the Emergence of the Borderless Predator

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Jon Hansen

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“The basis for the assimilation or perhaps reconciliation of virtual and physical realities in terms of law enforcement starts with the basic premise of criminal law, which as Susan Brenner who is the NCR Distinguished Professor of Law and Technology at the School of Law stated in a May 6th, 2009 article, is about “preventing the infliction of harm.” Brenner went on to say that “we should not simply assume criminal conduct vectored through cyberspace represents an entirely new phenomenon, i.e. cybercrime,” as it may represent “nothing more than the perpetrators’ using cyberspace to engage in conduct that has long been outlawed.” The above is the excerpt from Chapter 8 of my latest book titled “Tasers, Abortion and Parenting: Behind The Curtain of Policing America” which will be released in September 2010. It reflects a sentiment that is shared by today's guest, Harold Albrecht, who is the Member of Parliament for Kitchener - Conestoga and Deputy Government Whip whose unyielding determination and commitment led to the passing of Bill M-388 which “urges action against those who counsel or assist in suicides, specifically targeting those suicides that are promoted through the internet.” Having confessed to encouraging dozens of people to commit suicide over the Internet, William Melchert-Dinkel is now facing trial in Rice County, Minnesota for two deaths in which he played an integral part. One is the suicide of Nadia Kajouji, an 18 year old university student from Ottawa, Canada and the other a 32 year old man (Mark Drybrough) from Coventry in the UK. But being charged is a long way from being convicted. As it turns out, some legal experts (including Melchert-Dinkel’s lawyer Terry Watkins) have suggested that freedom of speech issues could play a role in the case. In an effort to bridge this disconnect MP Albrecht will discuss the passing of the M-388 Bill and how it can be used to bridge the apparent chasm between the real and virtual worlds.

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