Translated from French
LAW ON CYBERCRIME
The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) constitutes a
major turning-point in human civilization in this early part of the twenty-first century.
The Internet today is the perfect illustration of the possibilities afforded by information
and communication technologies, which, through the services it offers (digital
technologies for the communication, transmission and archiving of information, etc.),
remains a powerful means of communication used by millions of people.
In fact, the transition from analog to digital heralds the arrival of a new age and of a
genuine "digital revolution" that has profoundly changed the face of traditional society,
which has very quickly been transformed into an information society where the
possession of information has become a coveted strategic asset.
However, while the permanent interconnectedness of computer networks offers States a
major opportunity to exploit the potential of information and communication
technologies to promote the development goals set out in the Millennium Declaration and
the development of commercial transactions and good governance, the digital
environment offered by information and communication technologies, particularly the
Internet, is increasingly a place where reprehensible acts of all kinds are committed,
damaging the interests both of private individuals and of the general public.
The emergence of this new criminal phenomenon known as cybercrime, which is
transnational, intangible and volatile in nature and whose perpetrators are anonymous,
has contributed to the blurring of reference points in the penal system, whose traditional
and ongoing responses, conceived and developed for a tangible and nationally based
environment, have quickly proved to be inappropriate and unsuitable for dealing with the
new reality of the digital era.
A review of Senegalese criminal legislation has thus shown that it is ill-equipped to deal
with the specific nature of digital crime in terms of both substantive and procedural law.
With regard to substantive criminal law, the analysis of Senegalese legislation has
revealed legal situations in which computer systems, computerized data and computer
networks are targeted by cybercrime. It has also highlighted other cases in which the law
has been found to be inadequate, where information and communication technologies, in
particular the Internet, are used as a means to commit wrongdoing.
In criminal procedural law, the regulations that should govern all stages of cybercrime
proceedings (investigation, prosecution, examination proceedings and judgment) have
been found to be inadequate.