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Ethics and Federal Laws as to Computer Crime

As technology advances, the number of those who commit computer crimes also increases. These ushers in a new era of crimes, which differ from old crimes, cannot be formally defined. It is becoming an increasing hazard to society, and it is produced by criminals or irresponsible persons who take advantage of the Internet’s general use. It poses a significant obstacle to the ethical use of information technology. Most corporate systems’ integrity, safety, and existence are also threatened by cyber-crime. We will look at difficulties connected to computer crime and address ethical dilemmas that arise from them throughout this paper.

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When utilizing a computer, several crimes are easy to conduct. Fraud, false inputs, phony output, forgery, information theft, and eavesdropping are examples of simple crimes. These are only a few, but there are plenty more. Data files, attacks on hardware, theft of software, measuring devices, hacking by both workers and outsiders, and so on are all examples of computer manipulation. (Maxim 1)

There are numerous ways to influence a computer. According to the Department of Justice, computer crimes fall into three categories. The first illegal means by which the criminal obtains computer hardware or software is the first criminal activity. The second action involves the planning of the crime, which can be done via a computer. The third illegal activity entails various attacks on a computer or system, such as worms and viruses. (United States Department of Justice, 3)

Computer ethics is concerned with the rules, norms, and practices that govern the process of consuming computer technology and associated disciplines without endangering or violating any individual’s, organization’s, or entity’s moral ideals and beliefs. It was first established as a subject of study by MIT professor Norbert Wiener in the early 1940s while working on developing an anti-aircraft weapon capable of shooting down rapid warplanes. Wiener made it apparent that the integration of computer technology into society, in his opinion, will result in a societal remaking – the “second industrial revolution” – that will impact every significant facet of existence. (Wiener 27)

The Wire Fraud Statute, which forbids the connection of wires used in interstate or international commerce in an attempt to conduct fraud, was the first statute used to punish computer hackers in the United States. However, this law had significant restrictions, as it could not be used to punish all computer-related offenses. Furthermore, not all computer crimes take place over interstate or international lines. (Maxim 2). As a result, state legislatures enacted legislation that expressly addresses computer crimes. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), passed in 1986, is the most important federal computer crime statute. Altering information and interfering with the authorized use of a computer were all covered by the law (Baase 245).

Apart from laws, technical solutions include software and various programs that detect cybercriminals through data collecting and multiple means. Interception of communication is one possible solution for combating cybercrime. The purpose of communication interception is to obtain information transmitted by criminals without them being aware of it. The goal is to gather evidence that could lead to court convictions. (Base 117) Retention of Data Traffic is another option, which entails storing data delivered or received across computer networks and the Internet. The idea is to follow all types of online activities to investigate crime and terrorist activity. (Base 450) Another potential method for combating cybercrime is to prohibit anonymous access to the Internet and email services (Baase, 162).

Finally, with today’s rapid technological advancements and society’s increasing reliance on computer technology and the Internet, we must be conscious of the potential for cybercrime to create calamity. To avoid more harm, governments, individuals, and corporations should work together to prevent it.

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Works Cited

Maxim, May. Federal Computer Crime Laws. SANS Institute Reading Room, 2004. Web.

Baase, Sara. A Gift of Fire: social, legal, and ethical issues for computing and the Internet. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.

United States Department of Justice. Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section. Department of Justice.

Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine.Technology Press, 1948.

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