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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

1. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and evaluate its impact on society in the U.S. and / or global environment.

Computer fraud and abuse act was enacted to ensure that computers of the federal government and other financial entities owned by the government are protected from hacking.  The act was put in place to safe the information of the federal government and to ensure that no military information is leaked by an unauthorized people in the society. The law traverses issues of access to computers to spread of government information, cyber crime to internet crime that might interfere with the dignity of information and the negative impacts in the society. The law is ensures that crimes that are related to the computer world are properly dealt with to safe guard the interest of the government (Doug, 2010).

The act is one of the most suitable laws to control issues of fraud that emerge in computer world. Most countries across the world have adopted similar acts to ensure that cyber crimes and frauds can be eradicated in the society.  However different states provide different penalties to the act depending on the judicial provision on how to deal with crimes conducted under the act.

2. Describe the penalties and fines that exist for offenders of the selected law.

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has been rated as one of the acts with exaggerated penalties by the legal experts, take a case scenario where a student in Massachusetts Institute of Technology was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for downloading academic papers from an electronic journal website. Legal activists have called for a reduction in the penalties that this has been in vain. The penalties provided by act could be range from months to 35 years in prison depending on the nature of the crime committed and the level of damages caused to the accuser. Fine in the act range from $ 5000 to millions of dollars depending on the value of the damages caused (David, 2011).

The penalties and fines are charged according to the violations done on the various sections of the act, for instance one could be charged $ 5000 for just obtaining information from unauthorized website, and this does not consider the intent of the ac. statutory penalties may range from $ 100,000 to $ 250,000 or one year imprisonment. However, if the individual has committed some crime which is related to the crime under this section the penalties may increase up to ten 10 years imprisonment or a fine of $ 250,000, business entities commit crimes under this section may face a fine of $ 500,000.

3. Analyze the effectiveness of the law at convicting offenders to determine any modifications that should be made to the law

The act has made tremendous changes to protect the private sector computers and ensure that businesses in the state can enjoy information security.  Information security enables a firm to safeguard leakage of important information that is meant to ensure that it can sustain its operations in the industry. It is important to note the law plays an important role in ensuring information security for the government and the private sector, however significant modifications should be to done to the law to enhance its effectiveness in convicting offenders. Such changes should entail determining the element of intent and willingness when one commits the crimes that are provided in the act.  The penalties and fines charged should also be revised to ensure that they are not exaggerated.  The act should emphasize on the preventive facet to ensure its effectiveness (McCool, 2011).

4. Suggest a change or ratification of the law and explain how your changes will impact society as well as those convicted of the crime

The government should label different sites and computers as public and private, the public sites should be accessible to everybody who needs information, private sites should be safeguard by putting the best security methods to avoid intrusion.  The penalties and charges should be revised to ensure that they conform to the situations in the society. The n should launch a public campaign initiative to change the people’s perception on the act. These recommendations stand the better chance to transform the society and eliminate computer crimes (McCool, 2011)

5. Summarize the challenges the prosecution faced in a trial from your research and whether you believe they could have handled the challenges differently.

The challenging case for the prosecution was the case of United States Vs, Kramer where a mobile phone was used to force a child to engage in sex. The prosecution had the difficult in classifying a mobile phone as computer and therefore deals with as a computer crime.  the challenges in the above case could handled by identifying the element of forcing a minor into sex no matter the medium used to conduct the enforcement. The prosecution could charge the case on the grounds of using electronic medium to transmit incriminating messages (Doug Stanglin  2010).

References

David Kravets  (2011). Appeals Court: No Hacking Required to Be Prosecuted as a Hacker, , Wired, April 29.

Doug Stanglin ( 2010). “School district accused of spying on kids via laptop webcams”. USA Today.

McCool, Grant,(2011).  Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: The 1980s-Era Hacking Law Out Of Step With Today’s Internet, Analysts Say, Reuters as published in the Huffington Post, 29 July 2012.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Stored Communications Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Provide Cause of Action for Plaintiff | Stanford Center for Internet and Society”. Cyberlaw.stanford.edu.

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