US Computer Crime And Different Legislations – Part 1

Federal Laws Of Computer Crime

Over the past decade, internet has brought revolutionary changes to the world. It has been a boon to all the sectors of our daily life. However, even the moon has spots. The computer world along with the internet is also not an exception. The field of crime is also being enhanced by the advanced use of internet. With the invent of new technologies, the cyber criminals are getting more and more devastating and thus breaking the laws. Almost all the IT professionals have to face the unavoidable risk of computer crimes and have to protect respective networks for their security. To fight against the cyber criminals, it is very important to know the laws related to computer crime. In this article, the major US federal legislation that has been enacted particularly for the computer culprits will be discussed briefly.

Different Computer Crimes

Along with the development of internet with the advancement of new technologies, new crime has spawned and the commitment of older crimes has been easier. Some of the internet crimes are as follows:

1. Child pornography.
2. Cyber stalking.
3. Scams and fraud.
4. Trademark violations.
5. Copyright violations.
6. Concealing identity.
7. Computer and network hacking.
8. Internet pornography.
9. Credit card hacking.
10. Bank account hacking.

In 2003, a survey was conducted by CSI with the assistance of FBI’s San Francisco on 530 members of different US organizations. Among them, 56 percent reported that their computer has been used for unauthorized purposes.

Below are discussed some of the major US computer crime laws:

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

US congress responded to the computer crime problem by enacting several laws in this regard. In this regard, the first ever federal law was the “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 (CFAA).” Under the original CFAA, only one indictment was made. Then it was amended in 1986. The number of indictment under the original CFAA shows the difficulty of writing an effective computer crime legislation. CFAA is the most important computer statute in US because all the other statutes in this regard come from the modification of CFAA.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

This act was passed in 1986. This was an amendment to the wiretap law. According to the wiretap law, intercepting transmitted or stored electronic communications without authorization was illegal. ECPA set the provisions for use, access, interception, disclosure and privacy protections for electronic communications. The act strictly prohibits illegal access as well as disclosure of communication contents in certain aspects.

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