Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome Free Essay

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a collection of conditions that impair the connective tissues and ligaments that support the skin, blood vessels, bones, and a variety of other tissues and organs. Connective tissue malformations cause these disorders’ signs and symptoms, which vary from minimally lax joints to deadly conditions. Numerous classification systems have been used to categorize the various types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Initially, 11 subtypes of Ehlers-Danlos disorder were designated using Roman numbers (type I, type III …). In 1998, researchers suggested a more simplified categorization that cut the number of categories to six and assigned descriptive names to each class depending on their main characteristics. In 2017, researchers revised the categorization to include newly identified infrequent kinds of Ehlers-Danlos disorder. The classification done in 2017 describes 13 varieties of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (Jacobs et al., 2018).

Jacobs et al. (2018) state that, in the overall population, the prevalence of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which includes all variants, is around 1 in 2000 and 1 in 6000. Since genetic origin was not a cornerstone for classification in the 1998 nosology, little epidemiological evidence is based on the latest 2017 classification scheme. One in 10,000 to one in 20,000 people are thought to be affected by the classical form of EDS. Only roughly 60 cases have been diagnosed with the EDS kyphoscoliotic variant, and only a single family has been diagnosed with the EDS dysfibronectinemic variant, making the remaining subtypes extremely rare. Some moderate cases of EDS may go unrecognized since they don’t have enough symptoms to warrant a visit to the doctor, so the overall incidence is vastly underestimated. If this is the case, mild signs and symptoms may make a diagnosis difficult; hence genetic screening is not recommended. Men are mostly infected at an average age of 5–10years, while women are diagnosed at an average age of 15–20 years. It is common to acquire Ehlers-Danlos condition through the autosomal dominant, x-linked, or autosomal recessive modes of inheritance. The average lifespan of a child with EDS depends on the form of the disorder (Jacobs et al., 2018). Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are hereditary illnesses induced by abnormalities in numerous genes such as TNXB, PLOD1, COL5A2, etc.

In EDS, organ and vascular ruptures are the most frightening and fatal consequences. Vascular and kyphoscoliotic syndromes are the most prevalent, but they have also been documented in the more popular options. The hypermobile variety of Ehlers-Danlos disorder has an extensive range of hypermobility. The lack of muscle strength in hypermobile infants might hinder the progress of motor abilities, including sitting, walking, and standing. They are susceptible to fracture and chronic discomfort. Infants with arthrochalasia suffer joint problems and both hips dislocated at birth. These diseases cause delicate, velvet skin, which is elastic and brittle. Those with the illness tend to get bruised easily, and some varieties induce aberrant scarring.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a collection of genetic connective tissue illnesses that typically affect the skin, blood vessel walls, and joints. Connective tissue is a unique protein mixture and other elements that give your body’s fundamental structures strength and suppleness. Our muscles, bones, and joints are all held together by ligaments and tendons. EDS can cause loose joints and thin, easily damaged skin. Additionally, it can impair the function of organs and blood vessels. To a more significant, all forms of EDS could be traced back genetically to changes in genes encoding connective tissue chains or biogenesis-related proteins. The biomechanical repercussions of changed collagen fiber in producing tissues and the variation in impacted collagen types in the muscles distinguish EDS variations clinically. According to the previous classification, most patients with traditional EDS, i.e., types I and II, have two heterozygous genetic changes in the genitival encoding of the prevalent collagen type V sequence (COL5A1 and COL5A2).

However, vascular EDS is caused by a mutation in the gene for collagen type III found in vascular vessels, which accounts for more than 94% of cases. Four kinds of EDS, i.e., cardiac-valvular, arthrochalasia, osteogenesis imperfecta, and vascular rapture, result from dominant or recessive gene encoding alterations in collagen type I (Jacobs et al., 2018). Collagen I biogenesis-related enzymes/proteins are the sources of a few EDS-afflicting phenotypes. Dermatosparaxis is caused by ADAMTS2 mutations, which produce an N-proteinase implicated in the deletion of N-propeptides necessary for collagen I development. Kyphoscoliotic EDS is caused by a PLOD1 lysyl hydroxylase one deficiency, which affects the hydroxylation of collagen I and II lysine residues. Immunostaining on tissue samples from EDS individuals with tenascin X-deficient EDS owing to TNXB gene mutations reveals moderately decreased collagen VI expressions. Studies indicate that Tenascin X’s absence reduces gene levels of COL6A1, COL6A2, and COL6A3. Two muscle illnesses, Bethlem myalgia, and Ullrich fetal muscular dystrophy, are caused by mutations in these genes and share specific characteristics, such as atrophic scarring and EDSs.

EDS subtypes such as musculocontractural and progeroid are caused by alterations in genes encoding for proteins that are crucial to the production of proteoglycans and constituents of the CT extracellular components and display close ties to collagen fibers. Recessive variations in FKBP14 might play a role in developing kyphoscoliotic EDS. There is a possibility that this chaperone gene might affect the way the outer layer is assembled by acting as an FK506-binding peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans type of enzyme. Unlike other EDS variations, EDS-HT does not have a recognized genetic abnormality. A small number of papers have attempted to shed light on the mystery in the past. According to certain molecular studies, researchers have foTNXB mutant, or monozygotic twin mutations have been found in less than 6% of EDS-HT individuals.

Pain and exhaustion are nearly common in Ehlers-Danlos disorders. Clinical signs of an EDS are mainly joint and tissue linked, including Excessively flexible joints. Since the collagen that keeps joints together is loose, the joints may move well beyond the usual flexion and extension. Joint discomfort and misalignments are prevalent. Poor muscle tone may impair the growth of motor abilities, including walking, sitting, and standing, in young children with joint problems. Painful dislocations and long-term dislocations may result from lax joints. Babies with EDS arthrochalasia are born with hypermobility and misalignments in both hips. Skin that can be stretched. The skin will be able to stretch far more easily if you have poor connective tissue. Patients may be capable of pulling a small amount of skin from their flesh, but once it is let go, it snaps back into place. Some people report that their skin feels smooth and velvety. Those with the illness are more susceptible to bruising, and certain varieties of it may also produce irregular scarring. Wounds break open with minimal blood in the traditional type of Ehlers-Danlos disease, leaving scars that enlarge over time to create distinctive “cigarette paper” marks. In the dermatosparaxis variant, there may also be additional (redundant) flaps of skin on the face and body.

A physician suspects Ehlers-Danlos disorder when a set of symptoms and signs that have been previously characterized are found to be present in the patient. After this suspicion, a patient’s early symptoms should be evaluated to establish whether they are genuinely congruent with EDS. After a diagnosis of EDS, the first step should be to determine the degree of the disease’s effects on the health. In the case of traditional EDS, Malfait, etc., a physician suggests a method that begins with a skin examination and ends with the Beighton test. In newborns and kids, motor learning should undergo examination. Practitioners also recommend baseline echocardiography for kids under ten years. Whether simple bruising is a problem, practitioners should assess coagulation factors to identify if another concurrent bleeding disease is present. After physical manipulation, the ability of readily loose skin to instantly restore to its previous form or shape helps to assess and distinguish skin hyperextensibility from other syndromes like cutis laxa. Using MRI, echocardiography, and CT, typical cardiovascular problems, including aortic enlargement and mitral valve prolapse, may be evaluated if EDS is detected. Although certain specialist laboratory tests may be significant, EDS is normally not diagnosed by bloodwork. Unless there is an underlying problem, persons with easy bleeding and bruising will have regular coagulation testing and bleeding rates. A geneticist is subsequently recommended to be referred to for a particular subtype-level prognosis. Skin histopathology with electron microscopy can be carried out to look for traditional malformations in collagen presentation.

In EDS, arterial and tissue bursts are some of the most dreaded and fatal consequences, respectively. However, they are seen in less frequent variants and the more common cardiovascular and kyphoscoliotic varieties. The abdomen and thorax are the most common places for avascular rupture. An internal fracture is most likely to occur inside the uterus during pregnancy and the liver, spleen, and transverse colon, among other places. Regurgitation may or not accompany mitral valve collapse. Although more severe versions are less prevalent, regurgitation may vary in severity from moderate to severe (Leganger et al., 2022). Cardiomyopathy and pulmonary embolism are the usual signs and symptoms of mitral regurgitation; however, it may not become clinically relevant until a physiologic strain like during pregnancy (Bennet et al., 2021). Because of the anomalies in the fibrous tissue, patients are more susceptible to cervical failure, and labor might develop early or suddenly. There is an increased chance of major vaginal and periurethral gashes, which may lead to both disease and mortality (Pezaro et al., 2018). Osteoarthritis may be caused by recurrent joint injuries, particularly in hypermobility and traditional varieties, which may need many orthopedic surgeries.

Since EDS is not curable, a comprehensive approach to individual treatment and care should be used to avoid the disease from progressing and its associated consequences. Patients with pathology-related concerns are often cared for by specialists who focus on a narrow area of expertise. For instance, a cardiologist can evaluate and manage cardiovascular issues; similarly, an orthopedist would assess and handle musculoskeletal problems. A geneticist or a general practitioner often makes referrals to these experts. The collagen anomalies in the skin’s surface predispose them to poor tissue regeneration and necrosis. Because of this, wound healing should be careful, such as thorough closures, and stitches should stay in the restored tissue for a long time. Regular cardiovascular examination is essential for reducing the impact of the risks to the greatest extent feasible. Since hypertension burdens an otherwise vulnerable vascular system, it should be treated aggressively. Regular cardiovascular examination is essential for reducing the impact of the risks to the greatest extent feasible. Since hypertension burdens an otherwise vulnerable vascular system, it should be treated aggressively. Echocardiography is used to screen for pathological changes in the heart, including mitral valve anomalies, which may need surgical treatment to avert collapse or heart failure.

The prognosis can vary greatly depending on the variant and whether disease or death rates are more important. Patients’ environments and subtypes significantly impact morbidity and mortality (Leganger et al., 2022). Weightlifting, for example, is a risky activity for people having Ehlers-Danlos disorder hypermobile type. Still, if they are educated about it earlier and abstain from it, their life expectancy may be extended significantly. On the other hand, substantial morbidity could be predicted if the same person is repeatedly subjected to physical trauma, resulting in recurring joint destruction that may require surgical treatment (Simmonds et al., 2019). Generally, the lifespan of individuals with hypermobility and typical variants is not impacted by the condition. The longevity of individuals with arterial and kyphoscoliotic variants is considerably decreased. An individual with the vascular kind is prone to face a major cardiovascular incident by 40 years with an average longevity of 47. Additionally, individuals with the kyphoscoliotic variety have vascular shocks or even obstructive lung problems, which are recognized to diminish their life span.

This projective has been very informative since I have gained vast knowledge of the Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome. I have known that hereditary gene mutations cause EDS and affect the connective tissues. I have learned that connective tissues are made of chemicals and proteins that offer strength and elasticity to the body. Since EDS is not curable, I have learned that a comprehensive approach to individual treatment and care should be used to prevent the disease from progressing and its associated consequences.

I have known that people with Ehlers-Danlos disorder often have abnormally flexible joints and elastic, delicate skin. This may be an issue if one has a cut that needs sutures since the skin is typically not tough enough to keep them in place. The research also informed me that vascular EDS, a more severe version of the illness, may burst the walls of one’s blood vessels, intestines, or uterus. In light of the dangers of pregnancy in women with Ehlers-Danlos disease, one should seek genetic counseling before having a family.

References

Bennett, S. E., Walsh, N., Moss, T., & Palmer, S. (2021). Understanding the psychosocial impact of joint hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers–Danlos syndrome hypermobility type: a qualitative interview study. Disability and Rehabilitation43(6), 795-804.

Jacobs, J. W. G., Cornelissens, L. J. M., & Veenhuizen, M. C. (Eds.). (2018). Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a multidisciplinary approach. IOS Press.

Leganger, J., Fonnes, S., Kulas Søborg, M. L., Rosenberg, J., & Burcharth, J. (2022). The most common comorbidities in patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a 15-year nationwide population-based cohort study. Disability and Rehabilitation44(2), 189-193.

Pezaro, S., Pearce, G., & Reinhold, E. (2018). Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. British Journal of Midwifery26(4), 217-223.

Simmonds, J. V., Herbland, A., Hakim, A., Ninis, N., Lever, W., Aziz, Q., & Cairns, M. (2019). Exercise beliefs and behaviors of individuals with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/Ehlers–Danlos syndrome–hypermobility type. Disability and Rehabilitation41(4), 445-455.

Elder Abuse Victims Sample Paper

Introduction

The advancement in medicine has increased the life expectancy worldwide, which has resulted in older adults being the fastest-growing demographics. Experts refer to older adults as people who are 60 years and above, which is when most people go for retirement. The life expectancy in the United States in 2019 was 78.79 years, which is one of the lowest among the wealthy nations (Naleppa et al., 2018). However, despite the extension of their lives, older adults experience several challenges that may decrease the quality of their life and make them susceptible to elder abuse. Elder abuse is a public health issue that includes emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Perpetrators of elder abuse include families, spouses, and staff in living or nursing homes. This paper will provide an overview of the elderly abuse victim population and analyze their needs. Prevention of elder abuse is essential to ensure that all older adults are comfortable and happy during the last years of their lives.

Overview of the Elder Abuse Victim Population

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2021), approximately 1 in 6 people aged 60 years and above experienced some form of abuse in 2020. Elder abuse includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. Physical abuse involves hitting, burning, pushing, kicking, slapping, and other physical forces on an older adult. Sexual abuse involves engaging in unwanted or forced interaction with an elderly. Psychological abuse involves using nonverbal or verbal behavior to inflict fear, anguish, distress, and mental pain on older adults. Financial abuse involves the illegal use by a caregiver of the older adult’s money, assets, belongings, and properties. Finally, neglect is the caregiver to meet the elder’s basic needs. Perpetrators of elder abuse include families, spouses, and staff in the arranged living settings. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022), approximately 1 in 10 people aged 60 years and above who live at home experience neglect and exploitation. More than 643,000 older adults from 2002 to 2016 experienced nonfatal physical abuse, and more than 19,000 homicides occurred. The risk of elder abuse increases with dependency. The dependency may be due to a physical disability that does not allow the older adult to conduct any activity independently with the help of a caregiver. It may be due to cognitive impairments such as dementia, which is an illness in which the cognitive abilities of a person deteriorate over time. According to Naleppa et al. (2018), approximately 24.3 million people globally had dementia in 2005, and one case occurs in every 7 seconds. Research has indicated that about half of older adults with dementia have experienced neglect or abuse (Naleppa et al., 2018). These impairments hinder older adults from leaving the abuse environment and reporting the perpetrator, which has led to few elder abuse cases that do not paint a clear picture of the issue.

However, not all caregivers perpetrate elder abuse willingly, but to some, it is out of frustration and fear (Ludvigsson et al., 2022). For example, a single mother has four children below the age of 18 years, and her mother who have a physical impairment and needs care and constant visits to the doctor due to underlying chronic conditions, and the woman hardly makes enough to take care of her children. In that case, the woman may see her mother as a burden and lash out at her causing her mental pain not because she means to, but because of the financial difficulties, she is experiencing. However, others willingly commit the abuse, primarily financial and sexual abuse (Ludvigsson et al., 2022). For example, a family member may decide to take possession of an older adult’s money and lock them in a facility or leave them in a hospital with unpaid bills. Elder abuse can severely impact older adults because they already have deteriorated health.

Needs of Elder Abuse Victims

Biological Needs

Biological needs are the physical requirements that human beings need to survive. First, elder abuse victims need balanced diet food to maintain and improve their health. The majority of the neglected elders spend most of their alone with nobody to fix them a plate of food. Some of them have impairments that do not allow them to cook or prepare a meal. In most cases, elder abuse victims eat food with no proper nutrition, which can adversely affect their health (Lachs & Karl, 2015). Elder abuse victims also need shelter free of abuse. For example, if an elder lives in a home or facility where they experience any form of abuse. The most appropriate approach is to remove the older adult in that setting and take them to a facility with no abuse. However, this becomes difficult because most elder abuse victims do not report that they are experiencing abuse. However, there are several symptoms that social workers can use to determine if an older adult is experiencing abuse. According to Luvigsson et al. (2022), some symptoms of abuse include unexplained burns, scars, bruises and cuts, lack of medical aids, signs of trauma such as rocking back and forth, trouble sleeping, poor hygiene, weight loss, and physical signs of restraint or punishment.

Psychological and Social needs

Psychological needs refer to the needs crucial to a person’s mental health. Elder abuse victims experience mental anguish, regardless of the form of abuse they have experienced. For example, if a family member sexually assaults an elder, the elder may experience psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. Elder abuse victims need psychological help such as counseling or therapy to help them cope with their trauma (Lachs & Karl, 2015). The victims also need to be in environments with no abuse that causes them anguish. A social worker cannot provide therapy to an abuse victim and leave them to stay in the same conditions. The most appropriate would be to remove them from the hostile environment and then provide them with psychological treatment. Security is one of the social needs the elder abuse victims require (Lachs & Karl, 2015). Staying in an abusive environment can be fatal for older adults, keeping in mind that they have deteriorated health. Elder abuse victims need to have a sense of belonging, which can help with mental healing after abuse. Elder abuse victims can form support groups where they can share their pain and experiences. Joining the support groups will help them have a sense of belonging by realizing that they are not the only ones who went through such experiences. Elder abuse victims need their families. All family members do not usually perpetrate abuse, and being able to have a healthy relationship with his family is crucial for an older adult (Lachs & Karl, 2015). Different cultures have different ways of taking care of the elderly. For example, Chinese families bear the burden of taking care of elderly members, and as people age, they are happy to move in with their family members. However, the situation is different in the United States because the elderly strive to maintain their independence and avoid being a burden to their families (Naleppa et al., 2018). However, regardless of the living setting, informing the family member of an assault of an elder will allow them to stop the abuse and help the elderly in recovery. Finally, elder abuse victims need health care to treat their physical injuries and underlying conditions.

Spiritual Needs

Elder abuse victims need social workers to listen to their concerns. For example, an elder is experiencing some form of emotional abuse, but they do not know whether they are overreacting. In that case, the social worker should listen to the patient’s concerns and advise them accordingly. They should use religious beliefs to help elder abuse victims. For example, suppose the victim is experiencing severe mental anguish. In that case, the social worker can use quotes from the bible if the victim is religious and Christian if they are religious to meet their spiritual needs. (Lachs & Karl, 2015) Respecting the elder abuse victims’ privacy is another spiritual need. For example, if an older adult experiences sexual abuse, they may want people to respect their privacy to deal with the trauma.

Elder Abuse Prevention Program

The Elder Abuse Prevention Program will meet the needs of elder abuse victims because it will use the empowerment theory to strive to change oppressive structures (Kirst-Ashman, 2007). The program will provide mandatory training to elders and professionals to help them deal with financial abuse and other forms of abuse. Financial abuse is one type of abuse that can go undetected, and the elders may not even realize that their caregiver is financially exploiting them. Through the training, the elder will be able to put their finance in order, which will allow them to meet their biological and healthcare needs. It will also provide resources for safe housing options. This provision will help elder abuse victims get a shelter free of abuse, which will offer security and social and psychological needs. The program will help rescue elder abuse victims from oppressive conditions before they become fatal for them and cater to their needs to ensure they live the last years of their lives comfortable and at peace.

Conclusion

Elder abuse is not uncommon, and a significant number of older adults experience some form of elder abuse yearly. Elder abuse includes sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse, exploitation, financial abuse, and emotional abuse. The perpetrators are mainly family members and the staff that take care of them in assisted living facilities. Dependence on caregivers due to physical or cognitive impairments increase the likelihood of elder abuse. Elder abuse victims have several needs, including biological, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. The Elder Abuse Prevention Program will meet these needs by providing resources for safe housing and offering training relating to elder abuse.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Violation Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/fastfact.html

Kirst-Ashman, K. (2007). Human behavior, communities, organizations, and groups in the macro social environment: An empowerment approach. Cengage Learning.

Lachs, M. S., & Pillemer, K. A. (2015). Elder abuse. New England Journal of Medicine373(20), 1947-1956.

Ludvigsson, M., Wiklund, N., Swahnberg, K., & Simmons, J. (2022). Experiences of elder abuse: a qualitative study among victims in Sweden. BMC geriatrics22(1), 1-12.

Naleppa, M.J., Kovacs, P. J., & Conlon, A. (2018). Late Adulthood. Sage Publishers.

World Health Organization. (2021). Elder Abuse. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/elder-abuse

Electronic E-Commerce And Payment Free Essay

The United Kingdom misuse of computers act 1990 was implemented to protect personal data held by organizations from unauthorized access and modification (BBC, 2022). The Act had four key elements that made it effective in dealing with cyber security. The Act illegalized the following acts. First, it ensures no unauthorized access to computer materials, a hacking practice whereby you enter a computer system without permission. The second illegality outlined by the Act was an unauthorized access to computer materials to commit a crime. Such crime attempts include accessing a computer to steal data, network, or destroy a device. Thirdly, the law prohibited data modification. Deleting, modifying, and conversing to introduce spyware or malware in the computer system was a form of vandalism and theft of information which was highly inhibited. Finally, obtaining, supplying, and making anything presenting a data breach was a formidable offense. The paper aims to discuss fundamental legislative changes that have been made to the UK misuse of computers act 1990 over the years and assess the prospects for further reforms in the crucial area of the law.

Fundamentals of the UK misuse of computers act 1990

Getting the gesture of the critical features of the UK misuse of computers act 1990 is vital to have a smooth trajectory of how the amendments to the Act have transitioned from 1990 to the current state. It will help highlight fundamentals and critiques that could have led to the amendments, making the Act more effective in the advancing global technology experiencing high-tech cyber threats. The four elements of the Act highlighted in the introduction section had respective penalties for the offenders (Mark, 2022). They covered issues of viruses, blackmail, computer fraud, and hacking. Failure to conform and embrace the law led to potential imprisonment and fines.

Unauthorized access to computer material landed the offender to pay a £5,000 fine or be sent to prison for six months. Accessing computer materials illegally to commit a crime attracted a penalty of an unlimited fine and/or five-year prison sentence. Illegal modification of the computer data was responded to by an unlimited fine and/or five-year prison sentence similar to unauthorized data modification (BBC, 2022). Finally, the last element of the Act received an unlimited fine and/or a ten-year prison sentence.

Despite having the law in place, cybercrime in the United Kingdom has risen over the decades. Hackers have reverted to sophisticated systems of committing cybercrimes and scot-free without identifying, jeopardizing the law (Mark, 2022). For the law to be enacted on the offenders, the following scenarios were followed to initiate prosecution;

  • During the time of the offense, the suspect should be located in the united kingdom
  • The targeted computer system was within UK territories
  • The server used in committing the crime was in the UK
  • The committed crime had significant damage to the United Kingdom’s territory

Has the Computer Misuse Act 1990 been effective?

The Act has been in dispensation for the last three decades, approximately 30 years. It has been amended severally to suit the cybercrime evolving threats such as malware development and covering cybercrime-terrorism. For instance, from 2008 to 2018, 422 cases have been prosecuted under the law (Lukings & Lashkari, 2021). 76% of the convictions were of a guilty verdict, amounting to a high conviction rate. The conviction rate shows the law has been effective in combating cybercrime. 16% were sentenced to prison out of the convicted people, while 29% were given a suspended sentence (CPS, 2020). The GDPR and Data Protection Act present obligations to entrepreneurs on securing their data from attackers’ failure, to which the business could be subjected to private legal claims and penalties. Compliance with the Data Protection Act and the GDPR maintained comprehensive and precise privacy policies, adhering to GDPR’s principles of processing data, implemented data protection concepts by default and design, and created IT Security Policy.

Criticism of the Act

The majority felt the Act failed to recognize the value of “white hat” or “ethical” hacking. Upon citing that, critiques stated that developers could be subjected to conviction for involving themselves in legitimate software. The Act was introduced in haste and was poorly implemented, making it unfit for combating crime. The Act was developed from the failure to prosecute hackers of Prestel-BT’s nascent email system (Correia, 2019). The Act was outdated from the 2000s because it did not have a strategy, “wording for distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS),” presenting an acute problem. For example, in February 2000, “Mafiaboy,” a 15-year-old Canadian hacker, affected giant businesses, including eBay and Amazon, through a DDoS attack. The National Hi-Tech Crime in February 2002 issues concerns about the adequacy of the 1990 act for Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks (CPS, 2020). DoS overwhelms networks, systems, and servers with traffic hindering accessibility to users.

In June 2014, before the 2015 General Election, Queen opened the final parliamentary session, and the coalition government reconciled and agreed to amend the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (Correia, 2019). The amendment was to ensure cybercrime sentences reflected the damages caused as inscribed in the Serious Crime Bill because the 1990 act was outdated to deal with current cyber security threats. Additionally, the Act was criticized because few people had access to computers during its implementation, making it unfit for contemporary society. Currently, there are many devices in the jungle, such as PCs, laptops, and tablets used for personal life and work, scenarios that are not captured in the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (Department of Health, 2018). The law had a simple interpretation of the law is not applicable; thus, considering the subsequent reforms in the rest of the paper is crucial for precise understanding by the courts.

Key legislative changes for the Act

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 underwent amendment bills in 1998, 2005, and 2008 enacted in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (McCallion, 2019). The amendments ran from section 34 to section 86, schedules 1 and 4The new current legislation covered three offenses;

  • Illegal access to computer materials was enshrined in section 35 Illegal access with intentions of committing or facilitating commission for further offenses.
  • Illegal acts with intentions for impairing, or with recklessness as to impair and operate computer evident in section 36

Part 3 of the Police Act 1997 was more controversial and the amendments targeted to remove ambiguity for investigating cybercrime and interactions with relevant parties (Correia, 2019). The amendment did not apply to the law enforcement agencies as it clarified the existing powers. It provided insight into the 1990 Act. However, the reforms were contested by the civil rights groups such as privacy international, claiming the law was broad and needed changes to make it more specific. Subsequently, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 has been amended twice by the Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Serious Crime Act 2015 (McCallion, 2019). The two amendments introduced more offenses;

  • Illegal acts lead to or create a risk of severe damage, and
  • Obtaining, supplying, and making articles to facilitate crime under all sections of the law under section 37

The chronological amendments of the Act were significant for the UK government. . Section 34 of the Police and Justice Act of 2006 was inserted, which made surveillance of the cybercrime threats by cyber security researchers and intelligence difficult even for the white-hat hackers and ethical hackers. Section 38 focused on transitional and saving provisions (Noble Solicitors, 2022). Amendments from sections 35 to 38 formed part 5 of the Justice Act of 2006. Researching security threats from Section 3A to section 42 of the Act was compromised. Judges had difficult times interpreting and making rulings on cybercrime based on the amendment.

Sections 41 to schedule 4 were formed part 2 of the severe Crime Act 2015. The Serious Crime Act 2015 amendment introduced the three alterations above in the existing elements of the original law under section 3ZA to section 41 (Postoeva & Shestak, 2022). The crime attracted 14-years imprisonment and a fine. It aimed to reflect on economic and personal harm caused by cyber-attacks in the European Union Directive. It made prosecution easier in the UK territories, especially on the information systems. The amendment allowed the Crown Prosecution Service and police to prosecute United Kingdom people for cybercrimes outside UK boundaries.

The obtaining, supplying, and making amendment hit the cyber security hard according to the Serious Crime Act, section 42. A written parliamentary question in December 2018 sought indulgence on the possibility of amending section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (Noble Solicitors, 2022). The requested amendment authorized the United Kingdom intelligence researchers and cyber security to offer utmost protection by supplying threat intelligence information. The Home Office affirmed that it keeps the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in check, and it is under regular reviews to determine potential drawbacks and benefits that can prompt legislative changes.

Section 43 was the amendment of the original Act sections 4, 5, and 10. Section 44 illustrated the savings amendment of sections 10 and 16 covered enactment and seizures. In contrast, section 47 tackled Serious Crime Prevention Orders, which added severe offenses such as computer misuse under Serious Crime Act 2007. Section 86 wanted reinforcement of sections 42 and 43 before their application (SCL, 2020). Schedule 1 amendment was similar to Scottish law. Finally, Schedule 4 was consequential and minor amendments changing Computer Misuse Act 1990 and Armed Forces Act 2006 (Davies, 2018).

Prospects for further reforms on the Computer Misuse Act 1990

As time progresses, fundamental key areas should be considered to make the Act more effective and valuable in combating cybercrime. First, there is a knowledge gap that should be addressed. Generally, the Act has not been effective for the Crown Prosecution Office, law enforcement officers, and cyber security practitioners. Judges are faced with challenges in interpreting the Act putting their judgments in jeopardy. For the successful prosecutions conducted in Southward Crown Court, the levels of acknowledging the computer crime were not good, and it was inadequate to handle cases well (Davies, 2018). The court is the most renowned specialist fraud center that deals with significant fraud and severe cybercrime cases in Wales and England. Therefore, for successful and practical application of the law, there is a need to address the knowledge gap primarily through amendments proposed in the 2018 parliamentary inquiry.

Secondly, there is an inevitable evolution of cyber threats requiring modern mechanisms to combat and address them. New threats emerge more often as the law was designed to combat cybercrime over the past three decades when computer literacy was low (Adams-Collman, 2018). The modern cyber-crimes are sophisticated, and cyber security policies need a facelift to make them effective and protect the business. For example, the DDoS threat requires similar cyber protections to combat. The new threats are evolving, making the law outdated (SCL, 2020). According to Crime Statistics in September 2019, a Crime Survey conducted in Wales and England showed that Action Fraud was the central growing crime area. It was developed for hacking resulting in extortion.

Hacking for extortion doubled in 2019 with 4,133 cases from 2,147 in previous years annually. Even though the cases have increased, the hacking issues and computer misuse have dropped significantly based on the UK malware and virus reports. In June 2019, UK Finance reported an increased Authorized Push Payment Frauds from £354m to £413m in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the hacking into email systems and accounts recorded 84 000 cases, while in 2019, it recorded over 108 000 cases (UK Gov. Legislation, 2022). Reflecting on the UK Finance report shows there is a problem in combating cybercrime. The problem with the Act is the visible difference between the computer consideration as the key section of the fraud and the use of computers in committing cybercrimes. The Act should be reviewed to highlight all potential offenses areas to protect sustainable solutions to the threats.

Thirdly, web-scraping is deemed lawful. Compared to the United States of America (USA) law, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) enacted in 1986 catered for cybercrime. It was amended into the current computer fraud law and was absorbed in the Comprehensive Crime Control Act 1984. However, the law has been subjected to various amendments to cope with increasing technological advancements (UK Gov. Legislation, 2022). The United States Appeals Court ruled in favor that web-scarping for public sites was lawful and did not contravene CFAA legislation.

Besides, the court automatically illegalized competitors from information withdrawal on public sites. Site owners design technical obstacles as a competitive mechanism for protecting copying of non-copyright such as user profiles, product details, and ticket prices since they own the information, thus opting for web scraping. However, web scraping is considered theft. However, in the U.S. Case study, technical measures must be implemented to block web scraping interference because customers rely on the data (Lukings & Lashkari, 2021). Like the UK Act, such strategies should be made to avoid malicious interference with a contract as prohibited in American law. It will be a game-changer in the UK law and prevent web scraping.

Fourth, there is a lack of protection for justified hacking in UK law. The Computer Misuse Act 1990 has criminalized cyber security professionals’ investigations and cyber threat intelligence in the UK. The defensive forces undertake cyber threat intelligence to investigate cyber security issues, which is difficult to achieve under the dispensation of the UK Act. Cyber security professionals are supposed to interrogate, scan, and interact with criminal systems and compromised victims according to cyber threat intelligence (UK Gov. Legislation, 2022). Obtaining such information may require authorization and explicit permission, or owners might not have allowed the cyber security professionals to access the information.

The Act presents a technical challenge because it prevents and criminalizes computer access making it difficult for the defense security intelligence and research. There is a need to reform the Act similar to the United States, which has a whole industry for vulnerability scanning providing intelligence with possible cyber security issues such as terrorism. UK-based companies are prohibited (Button et al., 2021). Thus it’s an appeal for the UK companies to be allowed to compete on the international playing level field levels similar to U.S. based companies.

Finally, the UK Act has no scope for hacking back. The law does not allow in-depth investigations of cybercrime by law enforcement agencies. The current amended Computer Misuse Act 1990 lacks scope for vigilante-style hacking-back (Uk Politics, 2021). For example, gaining access to the criminals’ systems unauthorized attracts legal proceedings, thus being a criminal liability (Gashi, 2021). The Act should allow a degree of fighting back as it has increased pressure for developing and defining surrounding circumstances for hacking back. The reform will enable legal entities to establish attribution of an attack for retrieving and destroying stolen files. Besides, cyber security intelligence and researchers can monitor the behaviors of criminals and disrupt their malicious acts of cyber-attacks even without damaging other’s computers. Overly, a branch and root review of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 would fit the growing needs for cybercrime protection in the current world (Uk Politics, 2021). Applicability of the past three-decade legislation is like using trap and pony speed hindrances on modern vehicles.

Conclusion

In conclusion, critiques of the 1990 Act led to the amendments making it more relevant to the cybercrime threats. However, more reforms are required to cope with the advancing technology. The reforms will facelift it to cover the current trends of cybercrimes.

References

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