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Abstract

This Article fills the gap in the debate on fighting cybercrime. It considers the role of intermediaries and the legal and cultural strategies that countries may adopt. Part II.A of this Article examines the critical role of intermediaries in cybercrime. It shows that the intermediaries’ active participation by facilitating the transmission of cybercrime traffic removes a significant barrier for individual perpetrators. Part II.B offers a brief overview of legal efforts to combat cybercrime, and examines the legal liability of intermediaries in both the civil and criminal context and in varying legal regimes with an emphasis on ISPs. Aside from some level of injunctive relief, intermediaries operate in a largely unregulated environment. Part III looks at what we can learn from other countries. The cleanest intermediary country, Finland, and the worst country, Lithuania, were selected in order to explore the causes for the differences between country performances. The section examines the remarkable distinctions between national cultures to explain differences in national cybercrime rates.

Part III.A of this Article argues that the criminal code laws do not account for the difference in host and ISP performances between Finland and Lithuania. There are few differences in the codified laws pertaining to cybercrime between these countries. Instead, it is Finland’s cultural and business environments that appear to drive its cybercrime ranking. Part IV suggests reforms to shift a country’s culture to make it less prone to corruption. However, changing a culture takes time so Part IV also proposes a private law scheme in which intermediaries are unable to wave the “flag of immunity,” as they do now. The guiding philosophy for this proposal is that harmed parties should be permitted to recover damages directly from “bad” intermediaries.