Featured News 2012 Define the Law: Cyber Crimes

Define the Law: Cyber Crimes

Since the invention of the computer, America has witnessed the progression of cybercrimes. These computer-related offenses can take on many forms, but all of them are dealt with seriously. If you are caught guilty of a cybercrime, it could mean years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. There are a variety of cybercrimes, each unique and punishable by law.

The first cybercrime is cybersquatting. This is the act or reserving a domain name on the Internet, especially one that would be associated with another company. After securing this name, a cyber-squatter will sell or license their domain name to the company who wants to be associated with it. Businesses around the world rely on honest internet business to get their company website up and running, but any person can unlawfully obtain a domain name for a world-famous trademark. In "typo squatting," the cyber squatter obtains a domain with a typo that is commonly made when searching for a trademark website.

The typo squatters rely on the fact that men and women searching for the trademark website will enter the URL wrong, and link to the typo squatter's site. A squatter site normally has lots of advertisements, and he or she gets paid every time that someone clicks on one of these. Most cyber squatter names will omit a dot in the domain name, use a common misspelling, phrase the domain name differently, or use a variant of the top level domain. Regardless of how they do it, cybersquatting is illegal, because it takes advantage of trademark companies and infringes on copyrights.

Another cybercrime is cyber stalking. This is when a person harasses and annoys someone through the internet by sending e-mails, messages, and contacting on social networking sites. With the introduction of social networking, people started to display a lot of personal information online. Cyber stalking captializes on this free information. This can take on serious consequences, especially when it involves tapping web cameras to infringe on another person's privacy. From flaming to spamming or harassing on live chat, cyber stalking is essentailly any type of nessage where the recipient is uncomfortable. Whatever the medium, these crimes are not tolerated and those who are accused will receive due punishment. Similar to cyber stalking is the crime of e-mail interception. This occurs when a person digitally diverts another person's private messages to his or her account in order to monitor or stalk this person. This is sometimes considered a form of hacking.

Cyber theft is the crime of using a computer to steal someone else's property or interfere with their use and enjoyment of it. Treated like physical theft, cyber theft includes stealing financial or personal information through the use of computers. This is similar to another crime known as internet fraud, where criminals use the guise of the internet to complete false transactions or steal computer data. In internet fraud, criminals may also destroy networks and unleash viruses. People can also use internet fraud to destroy important computer data that is essential to a business or household.

In the category of computer fraud, there are also other illegal actions like telemarketing fraud. This occurs when a person contacts people via the internet and asks for money or misrepresents the value of goods and services for personal gain. This is a form of stealing, and is treated as such by the court. Because cybercrimes all occur under the veil of the internet, framing and deception are common. If you have been falsely accused of any cybercrime, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. You will want the best defense to prove your innocence, so you can avoid the serious punishments that accompany a cybercrime.

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