The research program for 2011-2016, continues the activities carried out in previous years by expanding the questions which focused on specific forms of technological crimes such as identity theft or cybercrime. The results of this research led me to reconsider the crimes associated with new technologies, which it seems appropriate not to approach them as new forms of crime and formed with specific characteristics, but as the result of process adaptation of traditional crime to changes in its socio-technical environment. It follows that it becomes difficult or impossible to understand the new forms of crime without simultaneously studying the technical innovations which they exploit vulnerabilities, or to rule on the effectiveness of control mechanisms implemented - or conceivable - without confronting them with technology features on which they seek to exercise their influence.


Therefore, the overall objective of this program is to develop an innovative theoretical framework to understand the technological crimes as a result of the interdependence and mutual technical adaptations, criminals and regulation ecosystems. This framework will produce new actionable knowledge to improve the safety of users.
To achieve this, four Specific Objectives have to be achieved :

  • Define the characteristics of the technical ecosystem that guide decisions of designers, manufacturers and distributors of new security technologies and their receptiveness to different forms of regulation;
  • Understanding the factors that contribute in the criminal ecosystem transition to new forms of crime, whether the detection of new opportunities , changes in transaction costs ( most advantageous distribution of risks and benefits ) induced by them, the transformation of the learning process and knowledge transfer , or the emergence of decentralized structures and division of work facilitating the realization of complex projects criminals;
  • Analyze the ecosystem of the regulation in terms of the main mechanisms ( legal, technical , social, economic ) mobilized to control the technological crime and the implementation details of these mechanisms by various public and private institutions;
  • Identify patterns of interaction that link these three ecosystems them to discover interdependencies and the resulting adjustments resulting.


The technological delinquency, particularly the one associated with the development of computer and communications networks, is often presented as a "new" form of delinquency whose properties are fundamentally different from the traditional criminality. Thus, the term "cybercrime" conveys the idea of ​​a distinction between crimes committed in a digital area without geographical or time constraints (cyberspace) and those within the physical space (Ghernaouti-Helie, 2009: 15 ). Yet the two are closely interlinked, and if the first cases of hacking or online fraud could strike the minds by their ingenuity and exceptional nature, omnipresent in every sphere of daily life (work, leisure, consumption, communication ... ) equipment and computer applications gradually emptying this approach is its heuristic power. For example, many studies still define "cyber crime" as the phenomenon by which offenders dual use computers as a means of committing crimes or target them (Taylor et al. 2006, Wall 2007 Quémener and Ferry 2009). Such a definition could be agreed at a time when IT remained a tool reserved for organizations and some privileged, but is far too wide in a society where 80% of the population (up to 98% in some classes age) regularly uses the internet (Statistics Canada 2010).

Faced with such findings, some propose to expand the reference framework. Rather than seeking to characterize the technological delinquency depending on what distinguishes it from more traditional types of crimes, we propose to focus on the notion of continuity, examining the co-evolution (or mutual adaptation) of several organizational and social ecosystems. This approach builds on the work of the "natural security" which examine the risks and threats faced by human societies based on knowledge gained by biologists (Sagarin 2008). Indeed, living organisms evolve for over three and a half billion years in hostile environments which led them to develop diversified responses to mitigate the impact of risks jeopardizing their survival. Many analogies may be drawn up between those observed strategies and management of criminal risks by human societies.

It is not to literally apply the theoretical framework developed by evolutionary biologists to the human social universe, mainly because the cognitive dimension and the ability to act (agency) that characterize the human species are unique thereto. However, biologists have established strong useful conceptual tools to apprehend the notions of complexity, interdependence and adaptation, whose potential remains largely untapped by the social sciences in general and in particular criminology - for a notable exception, however, see Felson (2006). As part of the proposed research program, this approach will result in a broader consideration of those involved in a criminal phenomenon (the three aforementioned ecosystems) and a comprehensive analysis as possible of associations and connections that linked them, sometimes against their will. We adopt a similar approach to examine the regulatory mechanisms of technological crimes, by example by examining their ability to deal with phenomena who take place on an international scale and have a great amount of uncertainty. The resource allocation process will be examined to.


This content has been updated on December 19, 2017 at 15 h 16 min.