Case Study Example on Digital Crime Laws within the United States

3 pages
649 words
Middlebury College
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Case study
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In recent years, there has been an unprecedented surge in the rates of digital crimes also referred to as cybercrimes. Cybercrime has been propelled into being one among the most red-level forms of crime. As such, multifarious nations all around the globe have aggravated the laws concerning cybercrime so as appropriate punishment is meted out on all those found capable. The United States has clearly spear-headed the fight against cybercrimes. Within this paper, a description of three cybercrimes within the United States will be comprehensively provided.

In the United States, there are substantial cybercrime laws which vary distinctively. For instance, the cybercrime laws in the United States vary from laws prohibiting child pornography, hacking, the intrusion or infiltration of systems concerning computers, gambling through online platforms, theft based on online identity among many others (Winmill 2010). One of the most notable federal statute law concerning digital crime in the United States is The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (Doyle 2014). This particular statute law is instrumental by virtue of the fact that it outlaws or illegalizes the victimization of computer systems through any forms of inappropriate conduct (Doyle, 2012).

Within the confines of The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, all computers within banks, the federal institutions, as well as any other computer that may be in connection to the internet are duly provided with an adversary (Doyle 2014). Primarily, the computers from the aforementioned sectors are adversarial from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud (Doyle, 2014, p.1). This federal statute law provides discrete penalties when a suspect is found or proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The penalties range from minor ones such as imprisonment for a term not exceeding a single year to imprisonment for life. The latter occurs when the digital crime results to any deaths (Doyle 2014).

The other notable and essential law with respect to digital crimes is The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act that was formulated in the year 1988 (Winmill, 2010). As I had mentioned in a previous section of this paper, identity theft has also been pointed out as a predominant digital crime in the United States and thus, necessitated appropriate formulation of laws to counteract it. Primarily, the application of this federal statute is on network crimes, and prohibits a person from transferring, possessing, or using any means of identification of another person without authorization with the intent to engage in any activity that violates Federal law (Winmill, 2010, p.25). In an event that a suspect brought before a court of law is found guilty of identity theft consequent to being proven as guilty beyond reasonable doubt, this particular statute guides the court of law in meting out the appropriate penalties.

By virtue of the aforementioned, the statute provides that an individual be given a prison term limit not exceeding two years if and when they are found guilty (Winmill, 2010). The other federal law statute concerned with digital crime is the Access Device Fraud Act 18 U.S.C, section 1029 (Doyle, 2012). The Access Device Fraud is essential by virtue of the fact that it makes illegitimate any actions associated with the stealing of money through the use of access devices (Winmill, 2010). An access device may be anything ranging from a plate code, mobile number, account number, any card, or simply, any other service closely affiliated to the telecommunications sector that may be used to illicitly attain money or any other financial funds (Winmill, 2010). The charges provided by these act vary distinctively with the case at hand.



Doyle, C. (2012). Cybercrime: an overview of the federal computer fraud and abuse statute and related federal criminal laws. Diane Publishing.

Doyle, C. (2014). Cybercrime: an overview of the federal computer fraud and abuse statute and related federal criminal laws. Diane Publishing.

Winmill, B. L., Metcalf, D. L., & Band, M. E. (2010). Cybercrime: Issues and challenges in the United States. Digital Evidence & Elec. Signature L. Rev., 7, 19.


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