Albania: Cybersecurity 2018

Last Updated: 14 November 2017
Article by Renata Leka and Eno Muja

1 Criminal Activity

1.1 Would any of the following activities constitute a criminal offence in your jurisdiction? If so, please provide details of the offence, the maximum penalties available, and any examples of prosecutions in your jurisdiction:

The "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" does not explicitly provide a literal denomination of the criminal offences listed in the following, but, nevertheless, the content of these offences can be found in various articles of the Criminal Code as stated below.

Hacking (i.e. unauthorised access)

Hacking constitutes a criminal offence in the Albanian jurisdiction. Article 192/b/1 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that unauthorised access or excess of authorisation to a computer system or part of it, through violation of security measures, is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to three years. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, four cases have been recorded by the Prosecution body, but no further details are given.

Denial-of-service attacks

Article 293/c/1 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that the creation of serious and unauthorised obstacles to harm the function of a computer system, through insertion, damage, deformation, change or deletion of data, is punishable with imprisonment from three to seven years. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, three cases have been recorded by the Prosecution body, but no details are given on the cases.

Phishing

Article 143/b of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" states that adding, modifying or deleting computer data or interfering in the functioning of a computer system, with the intention of ensuring for oneself or for third parties, through fraud, unfair economic benefits or causing a third party reduction of wealth, is punishable by imprisonment from six months to six years and punishable by a fine from 60,000 Leke to 600,000 Leke. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, 51 cases have been recorded by the Prosecution body, seven of which have ended with the sentencing of the accused, but no further details are given.

Infection of IT systems with malware (including ransomware, spyware, worms, trojans and viruses)

Article 293/b of the "Criminal Code of Albania" provides that damage, deformation, change or unauthorised deletion of computer data is punishable by imprisonment from six months to three years. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, 64 cases have been recorded by the Prosecution body, three of which have ended with the sentencing of the accused, but no details are given on the cases.

Possession or use of hardware, software or other tools used to commit cybercrime (e.g. hacking tools)

Article 293/ç of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that manufacturing, keeping, selling, giving for use, distribution or any other action to place at disposal an equipment, including a computer program, computer password, access code or any other similar data, created or adapted for breaching a computer system or a part of it, with the aim of committing a criminal act, as provided in articles 192/b, 293/a, 293/b and 293/c of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania", is punishable by imprisonment from six months to five years. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, one case has been recorded by the Prosecution body.

Identity theft or identity fraud (e.g. in connection with access devices)

Even though the "Criminal Code of Albania" does not explicitly mention or provide an article dedicated to identity theft, article 186/a states that modifying, deleting, or omitting computer data, without the right to do so, in order to create false data, with the intention of presenting and using them as authentic, even though the created data is directly readable or understandable, are all punishable by imprisonment from six months to six years. According to the Final Report of the General Prosecutor on the state of criminality for the year 2016, 23 cases have been recorded by the Prosecution body, one of which has ended with the sentencing of the accused, but no details are given.

Electronic theft (e.g. breach of confidence by a current or former employee, or criminal copyright infringement)

Article 186/a/2 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that when the aforementioned criminal act, as described in the provision of identity theft above, is done by the person responsible for safekeeping and administering the computer data in cooperation, more than once, or has brought forth grave consequences for the public interest, is punishable by imprisonment from three to 10 years.

Any other activity that adversely affects or threatens the security, confidentiality, integrity or availability of any IT system, infrastructure, communications network, device or data

Article 293/b/2 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that damage, deformation, change or unauthorised deletion of computer data, when done on military computer data, national security, public order, civil protection, and healthcare or in any other computer data with public importance is punishable by imprisonment from three to 10 years.

Failure by an organisation to implement cybersecurity measures

In virtue of Law No.2/2017, "On cybersecurity", failure by an organisation to implement cybersecurity measures does not constitute a criminal offence. Article 21 of the Law "On cybersecurity" provides that failure to implement cybersecurity measures is considered an administrative violation and is punishable by a fine.

1.2 Do any of the above-mentioned offences have extraterritorial application?

The Convention "On cyber crime", ratified in Albania on 25.04.2002 through Law No.8888, provides, in article 22, that Member States of the Convention, must determine the jurisdiction in cases when a cyber crime is committed in their territory or by a citizen of that state. Article 6/2 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that Albanian law is also applicable to Albanian citizens who commit a crime in the territory of another state, when the crime is at the same time punishable and as long as there is not any final decision by any foreign court for that crime. Also, article 7/a of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" states that the criminal law of the Republic of Albania is also applicable to foreign citizens who have committed a criminal act outside the territory of the Republic of Albania for which special laws or international agreements, of which the Republic of Albania is a part of, determine the application of the Albanian criminal legislation.

1.3 Are there any actions (e.g. notification) that might mitigate any penalty or otherwise constitute an exception to any of the above-mentioned offences?

Article 48 of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides mitigating circumstances for any penalty. These circumstances include, but are not limited to: a) when the criminal act is driven by motives of positive moral and social value; b) when the criminal act is done under the influence of psychic shock caused by provocation or unfair actions of the victim or any other person; c) when the criminal act is done under the influence or unfair instruction of a superior; ç) when the person responsible for the criminal act shows deep repentance; d) when the person has replaced the damage caused by the criminal act or has actively helped to erase or minimise the consequences of the criminal act; dh) when the person presents him/herself at the competent bodies after committing the criminal act; and e) when the relations between the person who has committed the criminal act and the person who has suffered the consequences of the criminal act have returned to normal.

1.4 Are there any other criminal offences (not specific to cybersecurity) in your jurisdiction that may arise in relation to cybersecurity or the occurrence of an Incident (e.g. terrorism offences)? Please cite any specific examples of prosecutions of these offences in a cybersecurity context.

Article 74/a of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" states that distributing or offering to the public through computer systems materials that deny, minimise, or significantly approve or justify acts which constitute genocide or crimes against humanity is punishable by imprisonment from three to six years. Also, article 84/a of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that serious intimidation to kill or seriously injure a person through computer systems because of ethnic belonging, nationality, race or religion is of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" states that offering or distributing to the public through computer systems materials with racist or xenophobic content constitutes an administrative violation and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to two years. Article 119/b of the "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania" provides that a public insult involving ethnic belonging, nationality, race or religion through a computer system constitutes an administrative violation and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to two years.

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