Study of Russian and the UK Legislations in Combating Digital Crimes

Author Name(s): Alexandra Yu. Bokovnya, Zarina I. Khisamova, Ildar R. Begishev
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The purpose of this article is to formulate proposals to improve the criminal law of the Russian Federation on liability for digital crimes on the basis of a comparative legal study of the UK legislation in this area. The work provides a detailed comparative legal analysis of the UK legislation in the field of combating digital crimes. Based on the study, we proposed some mechanisms for ensuring the security of relations in the digital field. The cross-border nature of these attacks among the main tasks includes unification of legal norms governing the IT sphere, creation of a single mechanism to hold accountable for attacks in the IT sphere worldwide, regardless of geopolitical boundaries. A separate direction of the internal criminal policy of all countries shall be the creation of effective mechanisms for applying the provisions of legislation in the digital sphere; any legislation, even the most progressive, is useless and only declarative in nature without the necessary mechanism for its application. Evidence of the person’s guilt is required in order to prosecute. The informational nature of infringements necessitates expanding the boundaries of the powers of law enforcement agencies, which inextricably leads to the problem of finding a balance between observing the freedoms of citizens in the information space and ensuring the universal information security. In the UK, as in all countries of the world, the answer to this question has not yet been found.


Transition from a production to a digital model of the economy has covered almost the entire world community. There is a widespread adoption of technologies for storing big data, digitalization of the banking sector, healthcare and education systems, and other industries. It is only natural that the widespread adoption of digital technologies is directly dependent on the prevalence of their use for illegal purposes. The legislative acts that outlaw certain types of activities are being developed to prevent the growing threat and minimize the existing consequences. The UK experience as the most “digital” country in the world in combating crimes committed using digital technologies seems to be needed and relevant as never before. Today, the country has transformed into a leading global digital economy. The UK has the most productive scientific base, and ranks first in many key global indicators of research quality.


The following should be noted in the summary. A fairly coherent system for ensuring the security of relations in the digital sphere has been created in the UK today; the country has adopted and successfully applies the criminal law in this area. In our opinion, the casuistic nature of Anglo-Saxon law and its flexibility have a particular advantage in the face of constant transformation and changes in legal relations in the digital sphere. However, the conducted comparative analysis allows making a conclusion that the provisions of the Russian criminal law, as well as the British one, reflect an adequate reaction to the emerging criminal assaults. However, in the conditions of continuous improvement of digital technologies and their quick adaptation for criminal purposes, we consider it appropriate to create more universal standards in Russian legislation with a certain “strength threshold” for new types of threats.


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