For years when one thought about cyber crime, the focus was on the theft of classified data from government or corporate computers. But cyber crimes encompass acts far beyond hacking into confidential materials to cause financial harm or technical disruptions. Whatever your involvement in the world of cyber activity, you will need a good criminal attorney if indicted for cyber crimes. Because computer crimes encompass a vast array of activities, a short overview of common cyber crimes may be helpful.
U.S. Code 18 Section 1030 addresses computer fraud. It is defined as the unauthorized access of financial records, consumer data, or other information from protected or government computers. Often these crimes involve foreign commerce, extortion, and/or threats to destroy stored data.
It is unlawful to create and unleash malicious software for the purpose of observing another’s browsing routines, altering settings, or otherwise creating errors.
The law prohibits the creation of emails or web pages designed to steal online credit card, banking, or login data. Designing the fake pages that look legitimate just to scam people’s information can land offenders in jail.
The practice of taking a small percentage of every transaction in order to build up a large sum of ill-gotten gains may seem like a smart way to get away with a crime without being noticed. However, federal prosecution of this crime can cost years of one’s life.
Stalking or Harassment
Laws addressing online stalking or harassment exist in most states, in addition to the U.S. Code 18 section 875, which prohibits threats of injury or kidnapping online. One famous 2016 case involved two siblings, who, along with their mother, each received a life sentence as a result of their cyber stalking, harassment, and misinformation campaign centered around the ex-wife of one of the siblings.
When child pornography is transmitted via the Internet, it is a violation of federal Code 18 section 2251. While the law clearly applies to adults who traffic in explicit images of underage children, many individuals may not realize that there are other common violations of the law. Young people who take nude selfies and post them on various social media outlets, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, are also in violation of federal law. Minors are not exempt from federal prosecution. To be clear, a child needn’t necessarily be engaged in sexual activity for the image to meet the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct.
You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer when charged with a cyber crime. Cyber crimes can expose you to significant fines, asset seizures, and lengthy prison sentences. Contact Deric Zacca, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale for a consultation to discuss the particulars of your case today.