Computer Crime Law
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) divides computer crime into three general categories: 1) The crime of obtaining computer hardware, peripherals, and software illegally; 2) Crimes that actually target a computer network or device directly (Computer hacking; viruses; worms; Trojan horses; logic bombs; malware; sniffers; bots, spyware, etc.); and 3) Crimes committed through the use of computer networks or devices (Cyberspace Crime), although the crime committed does not target the actual computer or the network (Fraud and identity theft: phishing and pharming scams; corporate espionage; embezzlement; copyright infringement with software, music and movie piracy; cyber terrorism; child pornography trafficking, and more).
There are more than 40 federal statutes that govern the prosecution of computer-related crimes, as well as various state statutes.
To consult State Legislation regarding computer crime laws and regulations please see the Criminal Code by State page. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Computer Crime Law - US
- Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)
In response to concerns that emerging technologies such as digital and wireless communications were making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to execute authorized surveillance, Congress enacted CALEA on October 25, 1994. CALEA was intended to preserve the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct electronic surveillance by requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have the necessary surveillance capabilities.
- Computer Crime Cases
Presentation of a summary chart of recently prosecuted computer cases. Many cases have been prosecuted under the computer crime statute, 18 U.S.C. §1030. This listing is a representative sample; it is not exhaustive. Click on the name of the case to read a press release about the case.
- Computer Software Privacy and Control Act
To prevent deceptive software transmission practices in order to safeguard computer privacy, maintain computer control, and protect Internet commerce.
- Department of Justice - Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) is responsible for implementing the Department's national strategies in combating computer and intellectual property crimes worldwide. The Computer Crime Initiative is a comprehensive program designed to combat electronic penetrations, data thefts, and cyberattacks on critical information systems. CCIPS prevents, investigates, and prosecutes computer crimes by working with other government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, and foreign counterparts.
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was enacted in 1998. The basic purpose of the DMCA is to amend Title 17 of the United States Code and to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty, which were designed to update world copyright laws to deal with the new technology.
- Economic Espionage Act (EEA)
In addition to laws specifically tailored to deal with computer crimes, traditional laws can also be used to prosecute crimes involving computers. For example the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) was passed in 1996 and was created in order to put a stop to trade secret misappropriation.
- Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Passed in 1986, Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was an amendment to the federal wiretap law, the Act made it illegal to intercept stored or transmitted electronic communication without authorization.
- FBI - Cyber Crime Division
The FBI's cyber mission is four-fold: first and foremost, to stop those behind the most serious computer intrusions and the spread of malicious code; second, to identify and thwart online sexual predators who use the Internet to meet and exploit children and to produce, possess, or share child pornography; third, to counteract operations that target U.S. intellectual property, endangering our national security and competitiveness; and fourth, to dismantle national and transnational organized criminal enterprises engaging in Internet fraud. Pursuant to the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace signed by the President, the Department of Justice and the FBI lead the national effort to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.
- Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Computers
Section 1030(a)(1) makes it illegal to access a computer without authorization or in excess of one’s authorization and obtain information about national defense, foreign relations, or restricted data as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 19549, which covers all data concerning design, manufacture or utilization of atomic weapons and production of nuclear material. It is worth noting that section 1030(a)(1) requires proof that the individual knowingly accessed the computer without authority or in excess of authorization for the purpose of obtaining classified or protected information. Section 1030(a)(1) criminalizes the use of a computer to gain access to the information, not the unauthorized possession of it or its transmission.
- Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act
FOISA attempts to tackle the problem of criminals registering online domains under false identification, it includes a provision that would increase jail times for people who provide false contact information to a domain name registrar and then use that domain to commit copyright and trademark infringement crimes.
- Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008
To establish broadband policy and direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband Internet access services, and for other purposes.
- National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996
The National Information Infrastructure Act (NIIA) was passed in 1996 to expand the CFAA to encompass unauthorized access to a protected computer in excess of the parties’ authorization.
- The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, first enacted in 1984 and revised in 1994, makes it certain activities designed to access a "federal interest computer" illegal. These activities may range from knowingly accessing a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access to the transmission of a harmful component of a program, information, code, or command. A federal interest computer includes a computer used by a financial institution, used by the United States Government, or one of two or more computers used in committing the offense, not all of which are located in the same State. The Legal Institute provides Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which encompasses the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Computer Related Crimes Law
- CA Global Security Advisor - Viruses, Spyware, Malware and Worms
CA's Global Security Advisor is the place to check for current information on global threats that is researched and published via a network of rapid response centers around the world delivering: Comprehensive validated virus, spyware and vulnerability databases Clean-up utilities, detection signatures files and remediation instructions Valuable documentation on implementing complete threat protection and security management solutions.
- CAN-SPAM Act
Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.
- Computer Crime Research Center - Computer Piracy
Computer piracy is reproduction, distribution and use of software without permission of the owner of copyright. Kinds of illegal software use that can be qualified as copyright violation: - selling of computer facilities with illegally installed software; - replication and distribution of software copies on information carriers without permission of the copyright owner; - illegal distribution of software through communication networks (Internet, e-mail, etc.); - illegal use of software by the user.
- Computer Hacking Laws
The news said that another person had their identity stolen. It happened again. You might even know of someone that had it happen to them. We often hear of percentages - and they are surprisingly high. Enforcement is taking place, but we have to wonder if computer hacking laws are really having any effect against cyber hacking. This article will show what is being done against cyber crime.
- Denial-of-Service Attacks
In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting your computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites you are trying to use, an attacker may be able to prevent you from accessing email, web sites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer. The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker "floods" a network with information. When you type a URL for a particular web site into your browser, you are sending a request to that site's computer server to view the page. The server can only process a certain number of requests at once, so if an attacker overloads the server with requests, it can't process your request. This is a "denial of service" because you can't access that site.
- Internet Investment Scams - SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which receives about 300 complaints a day concerning online scams, devotes one-fourth of its enforcement staff to computer-related offenses.
- Internet Scam and Hoaxes
Email hoaxes spread misinformation, waste bandwidth, and lessen the effectiveness of email as a communication medium. Hoax-Slayer helps stop the continued circulation of these hoaxes by publishing information about them. Hoax-Slayer allows Internet users to check the veracity of a large number of common email hoaxes. Information about new hoaxes is added on a regular basis.
- Internet Stalking and Harassment
Although no universally accepted definition exists, cyber stalking is generally defined as the use of the Internet, e-mail or other electronic communications device to stalk or harass a person. .
- National Consumers League - Online and Internet Fraud
Our mission is to give consumers the information they need to avoid becoming victims of telemarketing and Internet fraud and to help them get their complaints to law enforcement agencies quickly and easily.
- Online Safety - Phishing
Phishing e-mail messages are designed to steal your identity. They ask for personal data, or direct you to Web sites or phone numbers to call where they ask you to provide personal data.
Computer Crime Law - International
The tremendous growth in the use of information technology and Internet has brought us great convenience. However, it also creates a great potential for abuse by criminals. With the cross-border, open-platform, highly-interconnected nature of this virtual dimension, the impacts of cyber crimes are far-reaching, and would require integral effort from all parties involved in order to effectively combat cyber crimes.
- Integrated Technological Crime Unit - Computer Crimes Legislation - RCMP
Canada was one of the first countries to enact criminal laws in the area of computer crime and continues to adjust to ever-evolving technologies.
Organizations Related to Computer Crime Law
- Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC)
As agreed by the AHTCC Board of Management, the four core functions of the AHTCC included: 1. Policy advocacy; 2. Strategic intelligence support; 3. Crime prevention and education; and 4. Capability development. In June 2007, the AHTCC Board of Management agreed that the AHTCC would transfer from being a nationally-governed centre to becoming a dedicated AFP portfolio, retaining its national focus. The transfer became effective 1 October 2007, and a new High Tech Crime Operations (HTCO) portfolio was officially launched on 1 March 2008.
- Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public policy organization dedicated to promoting the democratic potential of today's open, decentralized global Internet. Our mission is to conceptualize, develop, and implement public policies that will keep the Internet open, innovative and free.
The CERT® Program is part of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a federally funded research and development center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following the Morris worm incident, which brought 10 percent of internet systems to a halt in November 1988, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) charged the SEI with setting up a center to coordinate communication among experts during security emergencies and to help prevent future incidents. This center was named the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC).
- Computer Crime Research Center
The Computer Crime Research Center was created in 2001 to conduct research in legal criminal and criminological problems of cybercrime with the purpose to render scientific and methodical aid, consulting. We accumulate experience and perform analysis of results of scientific practical research in counteracting and preventing computer crimes. We collaborate with The Security Engineering Research Center (SERC), Hannam University (Korea), The Zaporizhzhya National University "ZNU" (Zaporozhye, Ukraine) and other universities, institutes and research centers.
- Forum of Incidence Response and Security Teams
FIRST is the premier organization and recognized global leader in incident response. Membership in FIRST enables incident response teams to more effectively respond to security incidents reactive as well as proactive. FIRST brings together a variety of computer security incident response teams from government, commercial, and educational organizations. FIRST aims to foster cooperation and coordination in incident prevention, to stimulate rapid reaction to incidents, and to promote information sharing among members and the community at large.
- G8 (Group of 8) and the G8's Subgroup on High-Tech Crime
On May 10-11, 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge met in Washington, DC with the Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs from the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom) and with the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. There were four primary topics of discussion: prevention of terrorism and serious criminal acts; border and transportation security; combating cybercrime and enhancing cyber-investigations; and fighting foreign official corruption and recovering stolen national assets.
- High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA)
The High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) is designed to encourage, promote, aid and effect the voluntary interchange of data, information, experience, ideas and knowledge about methods, processes, and techniques relating to investigations and security in advanced technologies among its membership.
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes
- Internet Fraud Watch (IFW)
The Internet offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. But crooks also recognize the potentials of cyberspace. The same scams that have been conducted by mail and phone can now be found on the World Wide Web and in email, and new cyberscams are emerging. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online sellers and criminals who use the Internet to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of Internet fraud, it's important to report the scam quickly so that law enforcement agencies can shut the fraudulent operations down.
- IT Security and Crime Prevention - Interpol
Interpol has actively been involved for a number of years in combating Information Technology Crime. Rather than ‘re-inventing the wheel’, the Interpol General Secretariat has harnessed the expertise of its members in the field of Information Technology Crime (ITC) through the vehicle of a ‘working party’ or a group of experts. In this instance, the working party consists of the heads or experienced members of national computer crime units. These working parties have been designed to reflect regional expertise and exist in Europe, Asia, America and in Africa. All working parties are in different stages of development. It should be noted that the work done by the working parties is not Interpol’s only contribution to combating ITC, but it certainly represents the most noteworthy contribution to date.
Publications Related to Computer Crime Law
- DSP - Computer Crimes in Canada
The advent of the computer did not create a new crime, any more than than development of the automobile created a new form of larceny. As with the automobile, the criminal use of computer technology has increased the vulnerability of the community, and to the extent that the definition of crimes and the enactment of prohibitions is directed to the protection of the community, computer technology is a legitimate area of penal concern.
- QuickLinks - Information Society and Internet Policy
Articles on HG.org Related to Computer Crime Law
- Law against Internet Solicitation in FloridaInternet solicitation of children and teens has been a persistent problem following the immense popularity of the Internet as a means of information and communication. The state of Florida has put in place adequate laws to deal with this problem firmly and reduce the risk of Internet surfers becoming victims of such online solicitation.
- Florida’s Cyberstalking LawsWhile the Internet, email, smartphones, and the widespread usage of social media sites have improved our lives in many ways, they have also unfortunately become the breeding grounds for new types of crime.
- Federal Child Porn Sentencing GuidelinesIn imposing sentences in Federal Court judges are required to consider the advisory sentencing guidelines adopted by the United States Sentencing Commission.
- Theft Crimes and Using Fake ID's in Las Vegas - An OverviewUsing False Identification - According to law enforcement, technology and the Internet makes it easier than ever to obtain high quality fake identification. Unfortunately, some young people think that using false IDs are simply a rite of passage. There are also individuals who use the documents to conceal information that prevents them from obtaining decent paying jobs.
- Finding a Job After a Criminal ConvictionEmployers are becoming increasingly concerned about knowing whether applicants have criminal records. Part of this concern stems from large jury verdicts that have been rendered against employers for negligently hiring people with criminal histories who subsequently caused harm to others while on the job.
- Gray Area on “Possessing” vs. “Viewing” Creates Porn AmbiguityWe’re at the beginning of the debate on what’s legal and illegal when it comes to computers and pornography. Recent cases suggest that it’s only a matter of time before the state legislatures are forced to take a closer look at how the law impacts our activities online.
- When Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Goes Wrong in MarylandAt sentencing, the judge indicated that he believed the defendant, yet because of mandatory minimum sentencing, he was obligated to sentence him to serve time behind bars anyway. A 45-year-old tow truck operator, searching for adult pornography on the Internet, claimed to have accidentally stumbled on a site linked to child pornography. The man then made a big mistake: he unintentionally downloaded 25 images of child pornography onto his home computer.
- Surprising Crimes in the CasinoIt may surprise you to learn that the majority of crimes committed inside of casinos do not involve the gambling itself. Instead, the 10 casinos in Pennsylvania reported that accounts of theft of wallets and purses for this year far outweighed the crimes of passing counterfeit money and forgery. Part of the reason for this shift in the type of crimes committed involves the modernization of gambling machines.
- Cyberstalking is a Crime in IllinoisA little over a year ago, Naperville Illinois resident Travis Edwards was convicted of computer fraud, computer tampering and cyberstalking related to his ex-girlfriend, who was attending Northern Illinois University.
- Cybercrime Under the CFAA: It Depends on the JurisdictionIn a decision filed on April 10, 2012, the Ninth Circuit in United States of America v. Nosal, No. 10-10038 (9th Cir. 2012), put itself squarely in conflict with the Fifth, Eleventh and Seventh Circuits.
- All Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law including: arson, assault, battery, bribery, burglary, child abuse, child pornography, computer crime, controlled substances, credit card fraud, criminal defense, criminal law, drugs and narcotics, DUI, DWI, embezzlement, fraud, expungements, felonies, homicide, identity theft, manslaughter, money laundering, murder, perjury, prostitution, rape, RICO, robbery, sex crimes, shoplifting, theft, weapons, white collar crime and wire fraud.