What are cybercrimes?
In case you are new to the concept, cybercrime is, well, crime that occurs in cyberspace. The field may also be referrered to as “computer crime”, “internet crime”, “high tech crime”, or a variety of other related names. Essentially, we use the term anytime a computer (or cell phone, GPS device, etc.) is used in some way involved in a crime. Sometimes it simply contains evidence of a crime. Other times it was used to commit the crime. And still others, a computer essentially is the “victim”.
Here is a general (non-comprehensive) list of crimes that fit into this category:
- Child pornography
- Copyright infringement, software piracy, trademark violations
- Cyberterrorism or Cyberwarfare
- Denial-of-service attacks
- Drug and weapons trafficking
- Identity Theft
- Online gambling
- Phishing scams
- Viruses, Malware, Spyware
Here is a list of some of the more common sources of law that arises in cybercrime cases:
- Fourth Amendment
- Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Electronic Communications Privacy Act
- Stored Communications Act
- Wiretap Act
- Pen Register Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- U.S. Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act
A major issue that many cybercrime experts study is privacy. While the word “privacy” is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, we use several sources of law to find that Americans do, in fact, have some sort of privacy. When the government or a third party infringes on that right, one or more of these sources of constitutional or statutory protection may come into play.
Cybersecurity is also a term often used in the field. The United States government has expended great resources in recent years to train professionals and to ensure the integrity of our nations’ computer systems – both public and private.
This blog seeks to cover news happening across all types of cybercrime and the interpretation of all major sources of law (as well as proposals) on the subject.