International extradition can quickly become a complex process based on the countries involved and types of crime law enforcement alleges. Canada maintains extradition treaties with numerous countries worldwide and it crucial that legal professionals maintain a thorough understanding of changing trends and current developments.
Historically, international extradition has not followed a set path focused specifically on an area of the law. In recent decades, however, extradition requests have seen increased volume based on white collar crimes. These crimes are generally typified by nonviolent, financially motivated actions such as fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. In recent years, however, the trend has shifted to absorb a more digital focus.
Extradition and cybercrime
Certain aspects of white-collar crime naturally evolved to center on the use of remote computers, digital manipulation and the internet. This can add a complex layer of difficulty to legal proceedings as it is common for the individual and alleged criminal activity to occur across international boundaries. This activity can cover a broad range of scenarios, including:
- Computer intrusion: Often generically referred to as hacking, computer intrusion is the act of an individual or organization gaining access to a computer, server or network for which they are not authorized. Once in, these individuals can access secure information or manipulate data for their own purposes.
- Intellectual property: Companies often rely on trade secrets to gain a competitive edge. If an individual uncovers this information, however, the edge could rapidly evaporate. Many organizations store sensitive data on computer networks that could be compromised from thousands of miles away.
Criminal activity across the internet knows no international boundaries. It is possible for an individual to sit comfortably in their home nation while the alleged activity occurs several countries away. While this can create legal obstacles for an accused person, an experienced lawyer can effectively defend any challenged rights and freedoms.