Defending Computer Criminals presented at CODEBLUE2020 2020

by Andrea Monti,

Summary : This paper is about defending a person accused of computer crime and computer-related crime in Court. It is intended as a primer for those defence counsel who have no experience in the specific field of criminal trials involving computer, digital assets and the Internet. At the same time, it provides insights to computer experts wanting to enter into the digital forensics sector, because it offers a way to understand how a lawyer thinks, and what are his needs when designing a defence strategy.The focus is on the practical issues, as emerged from the direct trial experience of the author and of other criminal trial lawyers, therefore the legal theory and the ICT technical aspects are not discussed in detail. Both the legal and the IT professional, though, can find in the discussion enough hints to widen their understanding of the matter and improve the effectiveness of their strategies.The paper is structured in three part: a criminological profile’s taxonomy of the defendants, the analysis of the digital investigation carried on by the prosecution to build the case, and the trial strategies of the defence counsel.Finally, a note on the cases discussed in this paper: where possible, references to court decisions are available, but in some cases, for confidentiality reasons, the paper analyses the relevant elements without providing further information.