Federal Computer Crime Laws, more info/
Why I Write About Computer Law

Federal Computer Crime Laws, more info/
Why I Write About Computer Law
by Sue Basko

In the last blog post, I listed Federal Crimes and the legal code sections under which they are actually prosecuted by the federal prosecutors.  This information is direct from the prosecutorial handbooks. I did not research these myself, I simply cribbed what the prosecutors use. 

A young man on Twitter was questioning whether some of these laws pertain to computer usage.  I have not read all of them, but these are in fact the code sections applied by federal prosecutors who are assigned to bring evidence to a grand jury for an indictment and then later to prosecute the case.  The sections that I have read do apply to computers, often by referring to "electronic communications," "electronic transmissions," "telecommunications," and the like. 

The same young man also questioned how it is that he might possibly have broken federal law many times on Twitter and yet, he was still a Twitter user.  The answer for this is quite simple: Twitter is not enforcing the law.   That's not their job.  Twitter is only slightly responding to Abuse Reports.  It would be the FBI that would handle complaints of computer crimes such as stalking, threats, and obscenity that might take place on Twitter.

Also, please keep in mind that the FBI does not have power to remove things off of the internet, other than if it is a true national security concern.  Go onto Youtube and watch the Barrett Brown videos where he talks about his dealings with an FBI agent.  Barrett has been charged with various crimes based on the videos, but the videos remain up on Youtube.   Also, the Stratfor emails are online, but Jeremy Hammond sits in jail for allegedly hacking them.   There are many other similar examples.

WHY I PROVIDED THE COMPUTER CRIMES LIST:  I provided the computer crimes list and will provide more information on how the federal prosecutors are told to interpret the law in upcoming blog posts.  My reason for doing this is to inform people of REALITY.  Right now, I see infiltrators running certain groups on the internet and obviously trying to influence the followers into committing crimes. I noticed a few such leaders of entrapment groups mocking the blog post or mocking me, trying to diminish the truth or trying to discredit me.

These ridiculous people call me stupid, crazy, delusional, etc -- to try to discredit me because I am  presenting the young people online with what the law actually is.   I consider the people making those attempts to discredit my work to be pathetic, shills, selling their souls for a paycheck.  I want you to know the truth and am willing to tell you, even if it means I get called names by some wicked people who do not want you to know the truth because they want you to go to prison.  They want you to fill the cement cellblocks so that a corporation that runs prisons can have a bigger profit.  They want you to go to prison so they fill their own scorecard and get promoted on the job.  I am telling you the truth, so you can know what the law is and not be entrapped.  I want you to have information so you can make wise decisions.  You can do as you wish with the information, but I want you to have it.   

 I think our government should be TEACHING young people, NOT ENTRAPPING them.   And my effort at teaching them, at teaching you, is giving you the truth.  Unlike those whose jobs it is to entrap you, I have nothing to gain one way or the other.  But as a lawyer who cares deeply and truly about young people, I care if you get tricked or fooled into believing your actions are legal when they are not.

In the entrapment groups, they are surrounding you to try to make you feel like everyone is doing itit is the cool thing to doyou will lose your friend circle if you don't participate. These are typical entrapment tricks that the "leaders" have been taught in special training. Please try to see if for what it is.  Consider whether you want to wreck your life to please some goofed-up character on the internet who collects his or her paycheck and lives a real life at the end of their shift of toying with you. 

Federal Computer Crimes List

Federal Computer Crimes List
by Sue Basko

Below is a partial list of U.S. Federal Computer Crimes and the sections in the Federal code that pertain to them.  In addition, there are Internet Hate Crimes, which come under Civil Rights laws. There are also federal laws against internet gambling, and sales of drugs or alcohol on the internet.

In addition to federal crimes, most states have computer crimes laws, especially laws against harassing or cyberstalking.   The laws that apply are the ones where the perpetrator is located, where the victim is located, or where a company is located if a website or service is involved.  

The CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) refers to a "protected computer."  In 2008, the CFAA was changed to include any computer connected to the internet as a "protected computer." 

I will cover some of these laws in-depth in upcoming blog posts.  If you want to know about a certain one, please send an email.    YES - There are a lot of computer laws! 

Denial of Service Attacks  (DDoS, Tango Down):
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A)
(transmission of program,
information, code, or command,
resulting in damage)

18 U.S.C. § 1362 (interfering with
government communication systems)

47 U.S.C. § 223(a)(1)(A) (using
telecommunications device to
make, create, or solicit, and transmit
any obscene comment, request,
suggestion, proposal, image, or other

18 U.S.C. § 1465 (using interactive
computer service for purpose of sale
or distribution of obscene material)

Electronic Threats:
18 U.S.C. § 875 (transmitting
communications containing threats of
kidnap or bodily injury) (Hobbs Act)

18 U.S.C. § 1951 (interfering with
commerce by robbery, extortion, threats or violence) (Hobbs Act)

47 U.S.C. § 223 (a)(1) C) (anonymously using
telecommunications device to threaten person who receives

Electronic Harassment:
47 U.S.C. § 223 (a)(1)
(C) (anonymously using
telecommunications device to harass person who receives communication)

47 U.S.C. § 223(a)(1)(E) (repeatedly
initiates communication with a
telecommunication device solely
to harass person who receives

Cyberstalking: (see also Electronic Harassment)
18 U.S.C. § 2261A (using any facility
of interstate or foreign commerce
to engage in a course of conduct that places person in reasonable
fear of death or serious bodily
injury to person, person's spouse or
immediate family)

Interception of Electronic Communications (hacking emails or voicemail):
18 U.S.C. § 2511 (intercepting
electronic communications)

18 U.S.C. § 2701 (accessing stored

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2) (accessing a
computer and obtaining information

Substitution or Redirection of a website:
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A)
(i) (transmission of program,
information, code, or command,
resulting in damage)

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A)(ii)-(iii)
(accessing a computer without
authorization, resulting in damage)

Password Fraud:
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(6) (trafficking in
computer passwords)

18 U.S.C. § 1029 (access device

18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud)

Child Pornography, Child Luring, etc:
18 U.S.C. §§ 2251, 2252, 2252A
(sexual exploitation of children)

18 U.S.C. § 2423 (transportation
of minors or travel with intent to
engage in illicit sexual conduct)

18 U.S.C. § 1466A (obscene visual
representations of the sexual abuse
of children)

Disclosure of Private Information:
18 U.S.C. § 2511(1)(c) (disclosing
intercepted communications)

18 U.S.C. § 1037 (CAN-SPAM Act)  

Spoofing Email Address:
18 U.S.C. § 1037 (CAN-SPAM Act)

Credit Card Fraud:
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(A) (accessing a
computer and obtaining information
from a financial institution, card
issuer or consumer reporting

18 U.S.C. § 1029 (access device

15 U.S.C. § 1644 (credit card fraud
aggregating at least $1,000)

18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud)

Use of Misleading Domain Name:
18 U.S.C. § 2252B (using misleading
domain name with intent to deceive
a person into viewing obscene
material or with intent to deceive a minor into viewing harmful material)

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(7) (transmitting,
with intent to extort, communication
containing threat to cause damage)

18 U.S.C. § 875(b), (d) (transmitting,
with intent to extort, threat to
kidnap or harm a person, or threat
to injure a person's property or harm
a reputation) (Hobbs Act)

18 U.S.C. § 1951 (interfering with
commerce by robbery, extortion,
threats or violence)

Piracy and Intellectual Property Theft:  
17 U.S.C. §§ 1201-1205 (Digital
Millennium Copyright Act)

18 U.S.C. § 545 (smuggling goods into
the United States)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1831, 1832 (theft of
trade secrets)

18 U.S.C. § 2318 (trafficking in
counterfeit labels)

17 U.S.C. § 506 and 18 U.S.C. § 2319
(criminal copyright infringement)

18 U.S.C. § 2319A (trafficking
in recordings of live musical

18 U.S.C. § 2320 (trafficking in
counterfeit goods or services)

47 U.S.C. § 553 (unauthorized
reception of cable service)

18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud)

Internet Fraud (e.g.,  auction fraud or phishing:
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4) (accessing
a computer to defraud and obtain
something of value)

18 U.S.C. § 1028 (fraud in connection
with identification documents and
authentication features)

18 U.S.C. § 1028A (aggravated
identity theft)

18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud)

18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957 (money

18 U.S.C. § 1001 (making false
statements in any matter within the
jurisdiction of the government)

15 U.S.C. § 45 (unfair or deceptive
trade practices)

15 U.S.C. § 52 (false advertising)

15 U.S.C. § 6821 (fraudulent access
to financial information)

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1) (accessing
a computer and obtaining national
security information)

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2) (accessing a
computer and obtaining information
from any department or agency of
the United States)

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(3) (accessing a
nonpublic United States government

18 U.S.C. § 793 (gathering,
transmitting or losing defense

18 U.S.C. § 798 (disclosing classified