New York Federal Cybercrime Lawyer

With the mainstreaming of the internet in the 1990’s and its global spread in the 2000’s, the world became a much smaller place. The ability to communicate, do business, and share information became as simple as knowing which buttons to press on a keyboard. 

As the online world grew, the federal government reacted by passing a wide assortment of laws that control how people can use computers while on the internet.

Many of these laws contain criminal penalties for those convicted of cybercrimes. New York federal cybercrime lawyers are experienced in defending those accused of all forms of cybercrimes in US District Courts.

Defining a Cybercrime

When dealing with the spread of cybercrimes, the US. Government chose to amend many of the existing laws that control how people could use technology that allowed interpersonal communication. As a result, laws governing the use of telephones, telegraphs, and fax machines were widened to include the use of computers.

One clear example of this is 18 US.C. §2511, the prohibition on intercepting wire communications. This statute explains how it is illegal to intentionally intercept, or to attempt to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication. This statute would have evolved from an older version in that it also criminalizes the interception of telephone calls and telegraph messages.

It is also illegal to accept any communications when the receiver knows that the law has been violated in obtaining the information. In paragraph four, any person convicted under this statute can be sent to jail for no more than five years, and face fines.

What is Illegal Access to Stored Communications?

Another example of a cybercrime is the illegal access to stored communications. This can often be accomplished through the use of a computer. States that any unauthorized person who intentionally accesses any facility through which electronic communication is provided is guilty. If this access was made for a commercial purpose, such as to steal money or to affect stocks, the maximum penalty is five years in prison for a first offense. However, if the access was made for any other purpose, the maximum penalty is reduced to one year in jail.

How does the Government Conduct an Investigation?

Most alleged crimes concerning computers are complex matters. Even when a computer is connected to the internet, people have a right to privacy concerning their search history and actions. While a user’s internet service provider, or ISP, can track their activities, the government requires a warrant in order to access those records.

The same can be said for any surveillance conducted on a suspect. The use of tools such as wiretaps, recording devices, or tracking bugs all need a court’s approval before they can be used. Whether or not this approval was properly obtained is a core question in many cybercrime cases. New York federal cybercrime lawyers are familiar with these privacy and evidentiary questions.

Seeking the Help From an Attorney

The statutes and investigatory methods used to pursue cybercrime charges are fairly new in US law. Even though a person’s activities are undertaken in a public forum, the internet, they still have the right to privacy. 

Federal agents will often employ their own cyber attacks in an attempt to investigate and punish alleged acts of cybercrime. New York federal cybercrime lawyers are familiar with these techniques and the ways that agents can abuse their power. Attorneys work to bring these abuses to the court’s attention to protect the rights of the accused.