Internet and Cyberspace Crime Law
This is the Law that governs crimes on the internet. It is regulated by U.S. federal and state laws, as well as international laws. Cyber crime is one of the three general categories of Computer Crime.
They are crimes that are committed through the use of computer networks and devices, although the crime committed does not target the actual computer or the network (Fraud and identity theft: phishing and pharming scams; corporate espionage; embezzlement; cyber terrorism; child pornography trafficking, and more).
State law requires that in order to be convicted of cyber crime, one must willfully, knowingly or purposely access computer-based data and intend to steal, destroy or alter computer-based information, steal services, passwords, or otherwise interfere with hardware or software, etc. It is not criminal, if one accidentally or unintentionally happens upon secure information without intent. Most states classify cyber crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies based upon the amount of damage sustained by the victim, although the amounts vary from state to state.
Cyber Crimes – Agencies for Cyber investigations
In US, Special agencies are created to help track cyber crimes and apprehend offenders both at the federal and State level. These include:
- The FBI: 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 cyber crime.
- WHOA: WHOA is a volunteer organization founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through education of the general public, education of law enforcement personnel, and empowerment of victims. The mission of WHOA is to educate the Internet community about online harassment, empower victims of harassment, and formulate voluntary policies that systems administrators can adopt in order to create harassment-free environments.
- 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 cybercrime.
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