'A Tale of Two Cities' in three themes –A critique of the European Union's approach to cybercrime from a 'power' versus 'rights' perspective

Given the recent adoption of a new directive on cybercrime by the EU, comparison with the US approach in this field becomes a useful tool for ascertaining whether Europe is on the right path. This paper attempts to answer that question by developing three pertinent themes: first, the structure of authority through which cybercrime regulation is channeled; second, substantive law choices made in defining offenses committed in cyberspace; and, third, the role of fundamental rights – and notably freedom of expression as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the First Amendment to the US Constitution- as limiting factors to governmental power. Accordingly, three respective lessons are drawn, converging on a single point: from a comparative perspective, measures that have proved effective in a given system cannot be 'transplanted' to another absent functional equivalence.

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