Defending Against The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is tasked with investigating all types of white collar crime, that occurs at the federal level. In this context, white collar crime encompasses crimes that are committed by people who are involved with businesses or the government. Fraud is one of the most common types of crimes committed by companies and as a result, it is rigorously prosecuted by the FBI. If you are charged with violating any law related to computer fraud, it is critical to obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.  

Important Details About the CFAA

Since the 1980s, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has been used by the federal government to prosecute computer fraud including hacking and illegal sharing activity. The CFAA prohibits people from obtaining unauthorized access of computers connected to the internet. More specifically, the CFAA prohibits accessing a computer with the intention of defrauding another, compromising the confidentiality of sensitive information, damaging a computer or electronic information, obtaining access to national security details stored on a government computer, threatening to damage a computer or access sensitive details, trafficking stolen passwords, or trespassing on a government computer. For the purposes of the CFAA, protected computers include those that are operated by financial institutions, the government, or within foreign commerce. In addition to computers, the CFAA can also apply to cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices that can be used to access the internet. In accordance with violating federal law, a person faces up to 10 years in prison for a single violation of the CFAA and up to 20 years for a second or subsequent offense.

The Stored Communication Act

In addition to the CFAA, the Stored Communication Act (SCA) is a federal law designed to protect personal information that is stored by providers of electronic communication services. This law has been construed by federal courts to apply to cloud based systems, internet service providers, and social media platforms. For example, while a person who accesses a protected computer in an unauthorized manner would face charges under the CFAA, a person who accesses an online platform would be prosecuted under the SCA.

The Children’s Online Privacy Act

The Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA) helps to control the collection of information about children who are under the age of 13. This law applies to the operators of commercial website as well as the developers as applications. If a website or application might have users under the age of 13, it is important that compliance with COPPA occurs.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is charged under the CFFA, SCA, COPPA, or any other federal law designed to control computer fraud, you need the assistance of strong legal representation that can help create a strong defense. The attorneys at the Federal Criminal Law Center have significant experience defending against a variety of federal criminal charges. Contact our law office today for an initial free consultation.