Criminal law of Information and Communication Technologies (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Lorenzo Picotti, Roberto Flor
Lorenzo Picotti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2021 dal Feb 15, 2021 al Mar 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course provides the conceptual, methodological and cultural basis to analyze the new cyber-criminality phenomena and to study the Information and Communication Technologies Criminal Law System in Italy, in European and International perspective.
The course aims at providing the knowledge on the categories of computer-related crimes and cybercrimes and the technological investigations laws, developing the capacity in using the specific technical-legal language and the most appropriate legal arguments.


The course is divided into six parts:
1. Analysis of the most recent criminal phenomena in the technological context regarding the illicit use of Internet (online defamations, childpornography, child-grooming, social networks and social media abuse, cyber-attacks, cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare) and of the technological instruments in the fight and prevention cybercrime.
2. Analysis of the international and European sources on cybercrime, with particular attention to the Council of Europe Reccomendations (1989) and Cybercrime Convention (2001), the EU Directives on Childpornography (2011), Cyber-attacks (2013), NIS (2016) and the EU Cybersecurity Act (2019)
3. Analysis of the most important criminal offences of the Italian Penal Code, taking into account the cybercrimes systematic, in particular: artt. 392, 491 bis, 495 bis, 595, 600 ter, 600 quater, 600 quater-1, 600 quinquies, 609 undecies (included the new art. 612 ter), 615 ter, 615 quater, 615 quinquies, 616, 617 quater, 617 quinquies, 617 sexies, 623 bis, 635 bis-quinquies, 640 ter, 640 quinquies
4. Analysis of the criminal offences provided in special laws: Privacy Code (d.lgs. 196 /2003) after the Regulation 2016/679/Ue (GDPR), Cyberbullism; Copyright Protection.
5. Analysis of the most important questions on the Internet Service Providers criminal liability and the criminal liability of bloggers, website managers, online newspapers, user-generator-content sites.
6. Analysis of the technological investigations provided in the Italian Law


Students attending classes:
traditional lectures and workshop, if necessary videoconference, with use of slides and/or video, as well as group discussions and analysis of domestic and European cases, so as to instruct students on how the knowledge acquired through the course can be applied in individual case studies.
Students may write a paper on specific topics, which will be evaluated and will replace part of the final exam.

Students not attending classess:
individual study of the parts of the book indicated in “Reference books”.

Erasmus Students:
Erasmus students must fix an appointment with the Professor in order to select an individual program, taking into consideration also the State of origin. Students may write a paper on specific topics in comparative perspective, which will be evaluated and will replace part of the final exam.


All Students may use the online course (didattica online), which will contain the materials (case studies, judgements or specific scientific works) and the website of the Cybercrime Observatory (
The textbook is indicated in "Reference texts", of which the following pages indicated in parentheses must be studied:

In part I:
chap. II (35-96)
chap. III (98-139)
chap. IV (142-192)
chap. VI (273-284)
chap. VII (285-305)
chap. X-XIV (374-613)
chap. XVII (656-722)
chap. XIX-XX (762-855)
chap. XXV (1020-1044)
chap. XXVI (1046-1171, limited to paragraphs 7 to 12)
In part II:
chap. XI (1522-1550)


Office hours are published on the personal Department webpage. For special reasons students may ask to fix an appointment at different time.


Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. CADOPPI, S. CANESTRARI, A. MANNA, M. PAPA (cur.) Utet, 2019 Cybercrime UTET 2019 Ai fini dell'esame vanno studiate le pagine indicate fra parentesi: Nella parte I: cap. II (35-96) cap. III (98-139) cap. IV (142-192) cap. VI (273-284) cap. VII (285-305) cap. X-XIV (374-613) cap. XVII (656-722) cap. XIX-XX (762-855) cap. XXV (1020-1044) cap. XXVI (1046-1171, limitatamente ai paragrafi da 7 a 12) Nella parte II: cap. XI (1522-1550)

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam is oral and the official language is Italian. Erasmus students may ask, for justified reasons, to take the exam in English.
No midterm exams are planned.
Students must prove to understand the cybercrimes systematic, through the study of the international, European and domestic legal sources, the specific criminal offences and their constituent elements, and the most important questions concerning the interpretation and the application of law.
The oral exam has the purpose of assessing the level of the study and the knowledge, the language properties, the capacity to connect systematically the understanding and the knowledge, and the analytical and the arguing ability.
Grades are awarded on a scale from 18 to 30, where 30 is the highest grade and 18 is the lowest grade to pass the exam.
The exam consists on an open question for each part of the program, which are of equal importance.
In case of an excellent knowledge and a high level of problem-solving capacity the candidate may earn the highest grade with “cum laude” honor.
Students attending classes and Erasmus students may write a paper on specific topics, which will be evaluated and will replace one or more parts of the final exam, depending on the topics chosen.