The Fourth Amendment gives every U.S. citizen the right to privacy. The government can only invade your home, search your person - or monitor your emails or Internet activity - in certain circumstances. Unless stringent requirements are met, any unwarranted invasion of privacy by police departments or federal agents is unconstitutional and illegal.
In our last post we began speaking about the importance of working with an experienced attorney when facing prosecution for computer crimes. In addition to the reasons we’ve already mentioned for this—the variety and complexity of federal laws targeting computer crime and the need to navigate federal sentencing guidelines—there are other special issues that come into play in computer crime cases.
The Internet can be a force for good, but like anything good, it can also be a medium for criminal activity. For the FBI, keeping up with constant changes in technology and the way it is used to advance criminal activity is a real challenge. On its website, the FBI lists several key priorities under the heading of cyber crime: computer and network intrusions; identity theft; and fraud.
In our last couple posts, we've been looking at the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, particularly its role in the case against former New York police officer Gilberto Valle and the different ways the law has been applied to "outsider" and "insider" defendants. One of the important issues right now with the law is how to apply the sections dealing with exceeding authorized use of a protected computer.
In our last post, we mentioned the case of Gilberto Valle and its connection to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The law, which is an amendment of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, is aimed at targeting aspects of cybercrime that aren't adequately covered by federal mail and wire fraud laws.
Maryland readers may remember the story of Gilberto Valle, the former New York Police Officer who was tried for kidnapping conspiracy after it was discovered that he had participated in online chat discussions about abducting, abusing and eating women and used a work computer to search for information on a woman he had known since high school. The charges earned Valle the nickname "cannibal cop."
When building a strong criminal case, it is important for defendants to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to highlight the aspects of their case which will go toward minimizing the penalties. This can include a variety of strategies, from challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to mounting procedural challenges.
In our last post, we talked about Cyber Monday and how the day of the most online sales is also a reminder that the day is also a huge target for internet crime. Following up on that post comes some news from the Pew research center, which seems to indicate that while internet crime will never truly be a thing of the past, people are taking steps to improve online security.
As many Baltimore residents know, today is Cyber Monday -- the online extension of Black Friday, and the busiest online sales day of the year. All day people will be surfing the web, looking for the best deals on electronics, home decor, shirts, toys, cooking materials, and any and all deals in between. It will be a major shopping day, and it is a crucial cog in the holiday economy.
Nowadays, the internet is taken for granted. It's a basic human need. People have to have access to the internet for a variety of reasons. But when you really think about it, the internet truly is an amazing advancement in human history, and it's a true privilege to be living in this time. The internet connects the world and it gives us the ability to learn amazing facts and see incredible things.