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The Taming of the Sleuth: Problems and Potential of Autonomous Agents in Crime Investigation and Prosecution

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2006


The paper analyses legal issues arising from the use of autonomous agents in crime investigations, in particular the question of evidentiary constraints on undercover operations and their applicability to computer programs. The paper is divided into three parts. First, we give a short introduction to agent technology. In the second part, some existing projects of agent technology for crime investigations are discussed, and one particular legal problem, the law on entrapment, is exemplarily introduced. In the final part, we very briefly indicate how agent communication languages would have to be extended to address some of these concerns.

    Research areas

  • autonomous agents, criminal law, evidence, entrapment

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