Many laws apply to internet usage, and the everyday citizen is probably unaware of most of them. However, running afoul of these laws could result in serious consequences. In fact, violating some laws could result in decades behind bars, stripping an individual of his or her freedom, good name, and ability to live a normal, productive life. Therefore, it is important that Californians become educated about these laws so that they can avoid criminal wrongdoing or, in the event that they face computer crime allegations, they can adequately defend themselves against the charges.
One important law regarding internet crimes deals with unauthorized access. According to federal law, it is illegal for an individual to knowing access a computer without proper authorization or to access a computer to an extent that goes beyond authorization. In order for a crime to have occurred, the unauthorized access must be used to obtain information, cause damage, or extort. The statutory law here is relatively dense, so those concerned about this area of the law may want to delve into the matter further rather than relying on this article, as this post is not to be considered legal advice.
That being said, it is important to note that internet crime is a budding area of law. With this in mind, it is important to realize that the law is constantly shifting, making it difficult to stay abreast of its current state. However, by seeking out legal assistance, those accused of these crimes can assure that they understand the current status of the law and the defenses that may be available to them.
Facing criminal accusations can be surprising and quite stressful. However, in order to be convicted of a crime, including a computer crime, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high hurdle to clear. Therefore, putting forth a strong criminal defense is imperative.
Source: Legal Information Institute, "18 U.S. Code §1030," accessed on Feb. 13, 2015