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Explaining the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

by | Apr 26, 2018 | White Collar Crimes |

Technology continues to change at an incredible pace. Since the internet was invented, we’ve seen a major shift in the way businesses, schools, the emergency services and individuals operate. As technology continues to adapt and change to our lives, so too does the criminal code that regulates it. This code is known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which was enacted in 1986.

The CFAA was created in an effort to curb various technological and computer crimes that have sprouted up over the last 30 years. A major amendment to the law was made in 2008 in an effort to cover criminal conduct that was not touched on in the original legislation from 1986.

The CFAA helps prevent people from intentionally accessing a computer without proper authorization or from doing so in excess of given authorization. There is a problem with this and that is that the CFAA does not define what it means when it says without authorization.

Some of the crimes the CFAA covers and their sentences are listed below:

  • Accessing a computer and acquiring information (One to five years. Ten years second conviction).
  • Acquiring information regarding National Security (Tem years. Twenty years second conviction).
  • Trafficking passwords (One year. Ten years second conviction).
  • Accessing a computer in an effort to defraud (Five years. Ten years second conviction).
  • Computers used in extortion (Five years. Ten years second conviction).

Violating the CFAA can bring massive penalties, including lengthy jail time and hefty fines. These laws are in place to regulate how technology is used, including the internet and what technology can be used for by anyone in Orlando, Florida and beyond.