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NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Dated: (Spring 1993) Pages: 495-522
B J Hurewitz; A M Lo
Date Published
28 pages
After defining "computer crime" and identifying types of computer-related offenses, this article describes Federal, State, and international legislative efforts to address computer crime and considers some issues in computer-related cases.
"Computer crime" is defined as "any illegal act for which knowledge of computer technology is essential for prosecution." There are three types of computer crime distinguished by the computer's role in the offense. First, a computer may be the "object" of a crime, meaning that the computer itself is the target of the crime; second, the computer may be the "subject" of a crime, meaning that the physical computer is the site of an offense that accesses, alters, destroys, manipulates, or sabotages computer data; third, a computer may be an "instrument" used as a means of committing another more traditional crime such as theft, fraud, embezzlement, or trespassing. An examination of major Federal statutes directed at computer-related crimes focuses on computer fraud and abuse acts, criminal copyright infringement, and other statutes useful in prosecuting computer-related crimes. Also discussed under Federal approaches to computer-related crime are enforcement strategies, defenses, sentencing, and statutory reforms. An overview of State criminal codes' computer-crime statutes is followed by a review of international computer abuse laws and international cooperative efforts to combat computer crime. The ancillary issues discussed are search and seizure, computer records as evidence, and reliance on computer listings. 196 footnotes


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