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Computer Crimes

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2005 Pages: 223-276
Ryan P. Wallace; Adam M. Lusthaus; Jong Hwan J. Kim
Date Published
54 pages
This article describes recent developments in Federal, State, and international computer-related criminal law.
The United States Department of Justice has defined computer-related crime as “any violation of criminal law that involves a knowledge of computer technology for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution.” Types of computer-related offenses fall into three broad categories defined by the computer’s role in the crime: computer as “object” of a crime; computer as “subject” of a crime; and computer as “instrument” of a crime. The major Federal statutes governing computer-related crime are described, followed by a review of Federal enforcement strategies and the constitutional issues brought up by the enforcement of computer-related statutes. Constitutional concerns include first and fourth amendment protections as well as statutory issues regarding the manner in which law enforcement may search for and seize electronic evidence. State approaches to the enforcement of computer crime statutes are described followed by a discussion of international enforcement approaches, which focus on Internet-related regulation. The far-reaching consequences of computer-related crimes underscore the importance of increased international cooperation, including the need to develop a uniform transnational legal framework for addressing computer-related crimes that transcend international borders. Footnotes