Computer Crimes

By Benson, Carl; Jablon, Andrew V. et al. | American Criminal Law Review, Winter 1997 | Go to article overview

Computer Crimes


Benson, Carl, Jablon, Andrew V., Kaplan, Paul J., Rosenthal, Mara Elena, American Criminal Law Review


I. INTRODUCTION

A. Defining Computer Crime

B. Types of Computer-Related Offenses II. FEDERAL APPROACHES

A. Federal Criminal Code

1. Computer Abuse Amendments Act of 1994

a. Offenses Under the Statute

b. Defenses

2. Other Statutes

a. Copyright Act

b. National Stolen Property Act

c. Mail and Wire Fraud

d. Electronic Communications Privacy Act

e. Telecommunications Act of 1996

B. Enforcement Strategies

C. Sentencing

1. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

2. Other Statutes

a. Copyright Act

b. National Stolen Property Act

c. Mail and Wire Fraud

d. Electronic Communications Privacy Act

D. Ancillary Issues

1. Searches of Computer Records

2. First Amendment Issues III. STATE APPROACHES

A. Overview of State Criminal Codes

B. Conflict Between State and Federal Laws

C. Prosecution of Computer-Related Crimes IV. INTERNATIONAL APPROACHES V. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

I. INTRODUCTION

This article tracks developments in computer-related criminal law and legal literature. An analysis of federal computer crime legislation and enforcement, and a discussion of state and international approaches are presented in the article. Finally, recent developments in this area are reviewed.

A. Defining Computer Crime

The rapid emergence of computer technologies has spawned a variety of new criminal behaviors and an explosion in specialized legislation to combat them.(1) While computer crimes include traditional crimes committed with a computer, the term also encompasses offenses against intellectual property and other crimes that do not fall within traditional criminal statutes. The diversity of computer-related offenses thus demands a broad definition. The Department of Justice defines computer crimes as "any violations of criminal law that involve[s] a knowledge of computer technology for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution."(2)

Estimates of the predominant sources and extent of computer crimes vary. Many experts value losses due to computer crimes in the hundreds of millions and even in the billions of dollars.(3) While the exploits of youthful computer hackers have received the most press coverage,(4) experts maintain that insider crimes committed by disgruntled or greedy employees have caused far more damage.(5)

B. Types of Computer-Related Offenses

There are no "typical" computer-related crimes and no typical motive for committing such crimes.(6) Computer criminals can be teenage hackers, disgruntled employees, mischievous technicians, or international terrorists.(7) However, classifying computer-related crimes by considering the role the computer plays in a particular crime is possible.(8)

First, a computer may be the "object"(9) of a crime, meaning the computer itself is targeted. In this category are theft of computer processor time and computerized services. Second, the computer may be the "subject"(10) of a crime. In these cases, the computer is the physical site of a crime, or is the source of or reason for unique forms of assets lost.(11) The use of "viruses'"(12) and "logic bombs"(13) fit into this category. These crimes present novel legal problems because of the intangible nature of the electronic information that is the object of the crime.(14) Third, a computer may be an "instrument"(15) used to commit traditional crimes, such as theft, fraud, embezzlement, or trespass,(16) but in a more complex manner.(17) For example, a computer might be used to scan telephone codes automatically to make unauthorized use of a telephone system.(18)

II. FEDERAL APPROACHES

A. Federal Criminal Code

Congress has treated computer-related crimes as distinct federal offenses since 1984 after passage of the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Law. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Computer Crimes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.