Cybercrime: Crime For a New Age

In our ever-connected global community, there are bound to be fraudsters and scammers who are looking out for an easy way to make a few bucks or to pull the wool over an unsuspecting consumer’s eyes. 

Cybercrime is becoming more and more prevalent as each year brings us closer to total connectedness, and should be taken just as seriously as any other criminal action.

Unsure of what qualifies as cybercrime? Take a look below to learn more about the types of cases that fall under these charges as well as the consequences that can come from them. 

 

What Is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime encompasses a wide variety of different criminal charges, and generally is said to be any criminal act that is committed over the web, whether using a mobile device or directly on a desktop computer. These can vary from the minor crimes of defamation all the way to very serious charges of creating or using ransomware, programs that hackers use to lock down important or highly confidential information and “ransom” it back to companies. 

To show you how seriously these types of crimes are taken, in the United States the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in charge of investigating cybercrime charges, particularly those attacks that target critical infrastructure and governmental operations. If you have been hit with charges of a cybercrime, you could be dealing with a long and tiresome investigation by this federal bureau as well as eventual jail time and financial penalties.

What are the Legal Penalties for Committing a Cybercrime?

There are different types of penalties depending on the type of cyberlaw that has been broken, who has been injured, and where the crime happened. Not all cybercrimes lead to jail or prison, although many can and do lead to long prison sentences depending upon where they were committed. 

For example, breaking the rules on a website that cause your account to become suspended or banned and your IP address blocked is not a crime per se, but merely a consequence of violating a companies’ terms of service or rules. However, if you posted a defamatory post to a blog, or posted an article that alleges a person committed a crime, you can be sued for a cybercrime. Being sued for something that you posted online can seem like a petty or silly thing, but it can lead to real criminal charges and even jail time depending upon the offense.

For more heinous crimes, such as hosting or sharing child pornography or participating in human trafficking, you will be facing much more serious consequences that will not only ruin your reputation, they might end your freedom as you know it. 

In the United States, for instance, being charged with sharing or having child pornography, even as a first time offense, can lead to up to 30 years in federal prison as well as a long investigaton by the FBI into your personal life. This is not including all of the court fees and fines that will be levelled against you during a case life this, even if you are found to be not guilty. If you’ve been accused of a serious cybercrime, get in contact with one of our expert attorneys immediately. 

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Some Examples of Cybercrimes That Can Lead to Jail or Prison

Here are a few examples of the different types of computer crimes in common use today that can be punished under criminal laws. Some of them may seem to be harmless, but in truth, they can cause significant damage:

Creating malware is the writing and allocating of malware viruses and spyware usually through email. Malware and spyware target confidential information in computer systems and can cause issues such as computer problems, identity theft, and more.  

Cyber terrorism is the hacking, use of threats, or blackmailing of a business, person, or government. While this type of terrorism is relatively new, cyber terrorism has been used to hack into the files of government and military personnel and used against them by ISIS–in 2016, the first charge of cyber terrorism was leveled by the Justice Department against Ardit Ferizi. 

Child pornography is the searching for, possession of, the making of, or distribution of any pornography involving minors. As we mentioned above, possessing child pornography can lead to decades in prison and is one of the most serious types of cybercrimes.

Cyberbullying or cyber stalking is the harassing and/or stalking of others online.

Copyright violation is the stealing or using another person’s copyrighted material without their permission.

Cracking is the decrypting of codes that protect data. 

Cybersquatting is registering the domain name of another person or company as a scheme of selling it to them later at a higher price.

Human trafficking is the buying or selling of other humans. This charge is often brought against those who create child pornography and can lead to life in prison. 

Espionage is the spying on a person or business. 

Fraud is the manipulation of computer data such as banking records or participating in credit card fraud.

If you’ve committed or have been harmed by these serious offenses you must call us today before additional action is taken against you.

Cybercrime Experts At Your Service

While there are malicious hackers out there who are attempting to steal information online, many cybercrimes may not be serious enough to warrant legal action, such as sharing a photo of someone online without their permission. However, if you have been accused of committing a more serious crime over the internet, such as fraud, creating malware, using ransomware, or any other more serious criminal action, you need to contact an attorney as soon as you possibly are able. 

If you do not take this seriously, it could have huge and far-reaching consequences on your life for years to come. Cybercrime does not just stay online–it can follow you for the rest of your life, even across borders if it is serious enough to warrant extradition. To avoid these issues and ensure that they do not become more serious, give us a call or an email to begin your consultation today. 

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