Exploring Online Illegal Behaviour of Young People - a Common Challenge

In September 2020, the CC-DRIVER project participated in a virtual workshop of the Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies. The event was organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) and focused on Human and societal aspects of the pandemic and beyond: domestic violence, child sexual abuse, infodemic.

The workshop created a forum for research projects to introduce their vision and goals in their fight against crime and terrorism and to identify synergies and opportunities for future collaboration. The discussions also highlighted new challenges and phenomena that emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reflected on possible solutions and actionable insights.

The CC-DRIVER project was represented in the “child sexual abuse” section by Professor Julia Davidson from the University of East London, whose work in the project focuses on exploring the drivers of juvenile cyber delinquency. The CC-DRIVER project builds on earlier research by Professor Davidson, Professor Mary Aiken and Dr Philipp Amann on “Youth Pathways into Cybercrime” which also informed the Europol Cybercrime Centre (EC3) EU campaign on raising awareness among young people about the consequences of criminal hacking.

The plenary discussions and breakout sessions of the workshop were attended by more than a hundred representatives working on security research projects in the area of Fighting Crime and Terrorism (FTC), including several projects that are part of our security projects cluster that offers a platform to discuss and address best practices in this sector.

The Community of Users initiative aims to support those who are combatting various threats targeting European citizens and promotes sharing information across Member States by bringing together the latest policy and research developments.

CC-DRIVER project’s broader focus

CC-DRIVER has a special focus on investigating the factors that lead young people to cybercrime, but it also aims to draw a clearer picture of the whole cybercrime ecosystem and will translate new research findings into a wide range of innovative tools, including cybercrime awareness and investigation tools for law enforcement agencies and a policy toolkit on cybersecurity legislation to recommend good practices to European policymakers.

As part of our focus on juvenile cyber delinquency, the project will explore human and technical drivers of cybercrime among young people and investigate youth decision-making regarding criminal behaviour. The project will conduct an online survey of 8,000 young people between the ages of 16-19 in various European countries to investigate motivations of online illegal behaviour and aspects of cyber risky behaviours.

Target countries for our online survey of young people:

¨ France

¨ Germany

¨ Italy

¨ Netherlands

¨ Romania

¨ Scandinavia (Sweden+Norway)

¨ Spain

¨ United Kingdom

The survey will provide a unique insight into understanding better young people as perpetrators and offer a broad view of illegal online behaviours in terms of prevalence and experience. As highlighted at the workshop, the survey investigates specific types of online behaviour including access and distribution to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), sharing of self-generated content and online grooming.

As part of our focus on juvenile delinquency, the findings will inform the development of evidence-based educational, awareness and intervention tools and programmes, in particular:

  • a "pathways into cybercrime" checklist (PCC) resource for parents, caregivers and educators designed to help recognise youth behaviours or attitudes that may facilitate cybercriminality;

  • a youth self-assessment metric (YSM) designed to assess the vulnerability of young people to cybercrime and to divert youth from cybercrime into more socially beneficial contributions;

  • online deterrence mechanisms aimed at mitigating juvenile criminality, for instance issuing warnings regarding legality of tools and services.

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Download this blogpost in Spanish:

Explorar el comportamiento ilegal en lín
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The content of this website reflects only the CC-DRIVER project group’s views. Neither the European Commission nor the Research Executive Agency is liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 883543.

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