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Laws Relating to Computer Crime
From the hacking that started in the 1970s to the sophisticated phishing attacks of today, cyber threats have grown in scope and complexity. Just to give a brief timeline of the history of cybercrime starting in the 1970s: In 1971 John Draper, a phone phreaker, used a toy whistle from a cereal box to hack into the AT&T phone system and make free long-distance calls. In 1973, A New York bank teller uses a computer to embezzle more than one and a half million dollars. It was not until 1981until the first cybercrime conviction happened. Ian Murphy was convicted for hacking into the AT&T network and changing internal clocks to charge off-hour rates at peak times. A year later in 1982, the first computer virus was created. Elk Cloner, created by a fifteen-year-old student, infected Apple computers via floppy disk. The first malicious internet code, the Morris worm, was released in 1989 by Robert Morris. The internet code spread to 6,000 computers including computers within NASA, the Pentagon and universities. The first ransomware attack was also conducted in 1989 when the malicious software was distributed to 20,000 attendees of the World Health Organization’s AIDS conference. 10 years later in 1999 the first mass emailing virus, the Melissa, interrupts more than a million email accounts worldwide and caused an estimated $80 million in damage. In 2002, the FBI Cyber Division was created focusing on fraud, identity theft and intellectual property rights violations. In 2010, cyber-attacks grew in sophistication with the Chinese hackers steeling Google’s intellectual property. In 2013, as most of us are aware of, the Target Breach happened where illegal hackers gained access to 40 million credit and debit card accounts. Just last year, 144 U.S. universities and 176 foreign universities were attacked by Iranian hackers. Due to these attacks in the past and the anticipation of future attacks many laws have been enforced since the 70’s. This paper will briefly discuss nine of the laws relating to computer crime, keep in mind these are just nine laws out of many dealings with the everchanging cyber world.
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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, mainly focuses on medical identity theft. Criminals commit digital a crime of medical identity theft because patients’ personal medical information can be stolen from their medical records (). HIPAA develops and regulates codes and regulations on how private information and data is to be utilized and disclosed. This law is considered to be the most paramount law in protecting individual’s health data and privacy in the United States. Unlike other forms of computer crimes, which primarily focus on individual groups of people, like credit card holders and driver’s licenses databases, the HIPAA laws affect everyone. This is because everyone at one point in time needs healthcare.
If a patient’s protected health information is stolen, it can translate into a cybercrime. It is such because that data that is contained within a patient’s protected health information includes personal facts about the patient such as medical information, past health problems and billing information. HIPAA is unique because it is dealing with the theft of information cyberly. So instead of the traditional definition of crime, “the taking of property with the intent of permanently depriving the owners of their property or service” it is defined as “depriving a person of information.” The computer crime of medical identity theft is related to the HIPAA laws because a cybercriminal can use a patient’s improperly discarded medical information in order to steal their identity. There are several other reasons why identity theft would be going on, it could be to sell the stolen identity to a fugitive on the run from the law or to ruin a person’s reputation. Because HIPAA directly relates to medical identity theft, which can harm its victims by creating false entries in their medical records at hospitals, doctor’s offices, insurance companies, and pharmacies.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbox).
The Sabans-Oxley act of 2002 brought on laws that are used to hold major corporations accountable for their actions that helped destroy lives and ruined retirements of many people. The Sarbanes-Oxley act enacted certain laws and laid guidelines for how corporations handle paperwork. The act also made so that if a senior person in the company made fake records that would throw off the market they would be held liable for their actions. It further put into effect the handling rules necessary to achieve proper records handling in the corporations. The act also made guidelines and rules for how the IT branch of these company will keep records and for how long. this is to ensure that in case of an audit the records even past records are available for inspection.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA).
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was mad because of the rapid growth of marketing and data collection that has swept the country. The COPPA act puts in place restrictions for age of children that information can be collected from. The act defines certain situations where a child under 13 needs parents’ consent and outlines what must be in the discloser agreement. The act also provides way for the parent to verify the age of themselves with a credit card, it also makes it to where the websites must have clearly marked consent forms that are downloadable. The act in whole is meant to protect the gathering of information from persons who are not of legal age to give consent of such information gathering.
California Database Security Breach Act of 2003.
The California Database Security Breach Act was put interlace to help protect the consumer. The act provides protection in the form of notification when there is a data breach. The Act stipulates a data base be form collecting the information of the consumers so that in the event of a data breach the consumers can be notified of the breach. The thought is that the notification would allow the consumer to take actions to prevent indent theft.
The Computer Security Act.
The Computer Security Act states steps that the U. S. Government must take to ensure compliance with information that is stored on network computers. The Act furthermore makes it mandatory that a security plan be established for computers processing this sensitive information. The At also makes it mandatory that employees using these computer workstations have the security training necessary to keep everything safe.
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The Privacy Act of 1974 set fourth a series of laws governing how information can and cannot be retived. The information protected by the Act is easy accessible through the use of things like name, Social Security number or other information that can be sourced through various means from someone that has started the identity theft process. It also makes it easier for the real person to amend any such information through the process of paperwork that identifies them as their selfs.
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act made it so that transactions that are done electronically can be legally binding. Before if any paperwork in a transaction was electronic it could crumble the entire real and live a party of the transaction with the bad end of the deal. the Act made it to where both parties have legal protection just as if the paperwork had been signed in person on traditional legal documents. Tis Act however does not apply to wills, or codicils.
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act is very similar ti the UETA in the effect that it made electronic signers binding during transactions and also made it to where a transaction cannot be thrown out of court foley based on the fact that part of the transaction was done electronically. What the ESGNCA did was expend the reach to include bigger global organizations while including the governmental legal framework as well.
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act.
The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act enables protections for transactions done over software. This is to included user agreements and to hold these agreements up when confronted in court. It makes it to where everything agreed upon when purchasing the license to a software suit is enforceable by law and held up in court. It makes the same rules apply for software that the sellers of goods enjoy being objected by,
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