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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

From Academic Kids

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a law passed by the United States Congress in 1986 intended to reduce "hacking" of computer systems. It was amended in 1994, 1996 and in 2001 by the USA PATRIOT Act.

The USA PATRIOT Act increased the scope and penalties of this act by:

  1. raising the maximum penalty for violations to 10 years (from 5) for a first offense and 20 years (from 10) for a second offense;
  2. ensuring that violators only need to intend to cause damage generally, not intend to cause damage or other specified harm over the $5,000 statutory damage threshold;
  3. allowing aggregation of damages to different computers over a year to reach the $5,000 threshold;
  4. enhancing punishment for violations involving any (not just $5,000) damage to a government computer involved in criminal justice or the military;
  5. including damage to foreign computers involved in US interstate commerce;
  6. including state law offenses as priors for sentencing; and
  7. expanding the definition of loss to expressly include time spent investigating and responding for damage assessment and for restoration.
Contents

Criminal Offenses Under The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

  1. Knowingly accessing a computer without authorization to obtain national security data
  2. Intentionally accessing a computer without authorization to obtain
    1. Information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer.
    2. Information from any department or agency of the United States
    3. Information from any protected computer if the conduct involves an interstate or foreign communication
  3. Intentionally accessing without authorization a government computer and affecting the use of the government's operation of the computer.
  4. Knowingly accessing a computer with the intent to defraud and there by obtaining anything of value.
  5. Knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code, or command that causes damage or intentionally accessing a computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage that results in:
    1. Loss to one or more persons during any one-year period aggregating at least $5,000 in value.
    2. The modification or impairment, or potential modification or impairment, of the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, or care of one or more individuals.
    3. Physical injury to any person.
    4. A threat to public health or safety.
    5. Damage affecting a government computer system
  6. Knowingly and with the intent to defraud, trafficking in a password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization.

Decisions referring to this act

  • [1] (http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/packets/vol_1_no_1/001500.shtml) Theofel v. Farey Jones, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 17963, decided August 28, 2003 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit). Using a civil subpoena which is “patently unlawful”, “bad faith” and “at least gross negligence” to gain access to stored email is a breach of this act and the Stored Communications Act.

See also

External link

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