The Technological Neutrality Principle and Its Significance in Formulating and Explaining the Offences Against the Security of Electronic Data and Information Systems

Renata Marcinauskaitė


The article discusses the fundamental aspects of the technological neutrality principle application in explaining the signs of the offences against the security of electronic data and information systems. It also analyses if the legal regulation of being neutral to technologies conforms to the especially important principles of legality and legal certainty in Criminal Law.
In the sphere of regulation of information and communication technologies, this principle ensures equivalent evaluation of technologies as it forbids giving to any one of them priority over the other. As a result, it helps to avoid restrictions on law application, which arise due to the usage of specific terms related to technologies. If choosing the criminal legal regulation as one of the possible control measures of dangerous acts in cyberspace, this principle becomes relevant when explaining the signs of the offences against the security of electronic data and information systems.
According to the conclusion drawn in the article, the idea of legal regulation being neutral to technologies, which may seem advanced at first sight, in the context of Criminal Law could become open to criticism due to non-conformity of such regulation to the principles of legality and legal certainty. Although the principle of technological neutrality is considered to be an effective instrument when coordinating rapid development of information and communication technologies with the set legal regulation, it cannot guarantee fulfilment of the completeness, accuracy and clarity requirements for legal definition of the criminal act. In the process of resolving the above-mentioned problems, considerable attention is paid not only to the importance of appropriate concepts but also to case law (court practice). According to the author of the article, the decision to admit or disclaim having committed the criminal act in the case law could be motivated by the criteria of criminalisation (decriminalisation) and the principles of Criminal Law ensuring appropriate application of Criminal Law.


technological neutrality principle; technological specific principle; criminalization; the principles of Criminal Law

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236