The Director of the FBI has gone on record as saying the most serious threat to Americans today is cybercrime. Since most all of us go online as part of our daily routine now, it opens us up to the constant threat of having our private information compromised. That means things like spam, viruses, and identity theft are a constant possibility. Fortunately, Connecticut has laws in place intended to protect us from fraud or theft online. Here’s a brief summary of computer crimes laws in Connecticut.
There are various types of criminal activities that fall under the umbrella of “computer crimes” in Connecticut. Many people may be familiar with the term “hacking,” however, there are computer crimes that are even broader and cover a variety of topics. Most state laws identify and prohibit a number of offenses collectively called “computer crimes,” which include crimes such as hacking into a secure network or damaging a computer system. Connecticut computer crime laws require the act to be intentional and not a mistake.
Computer Crime Laws in Connecticut
The highlights of Connecticut’s computer crime laws are listed below.
|Code Section||53a-250, et seq.|
|Mental State Required for Prosecution||Knowingly|
|Misdemeanor Computer Crimes||Class A misdemeanor: when unauthorized access to computer systems or theft computer services or interruption of computer services or misuse of computer system info or destruction of computer equipment and total damage exceeds $500; class B misdemeanor: same computer crimes and damages $500 or less|
|Felony Computer Crimes||Class B felony: when he/she commits same offenses listed above and damage exceeds $10,000; class C felony: ditto and damage exceeds $5,000; class D felony: ditto and damage exceeds $1,000 or reckless conduct creates risk of physical injury|
|Attempt Considered a Crime?||No|
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?||Yes|
Computer crimes are generally a subset of “cyber” crimes and can include:
- Use of a computer in a scheme to defraud;
- Introduction of a virus or other contaminant into a computer system or network;
- Use of encryption in aid of a crime;
- Improper access to a computer, system, or network;
- Improper use, copy, modification, damage, or disclosure, of programs or data;
- Interference with another person’s computer access or use;
- Falsification of e-mail source information; and
- Theft of information service from a provider.
A computer crime conviction in Connecticut could be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, as noted above. To help protect yourself against computer crime, be sure to have quality antivirus software on your own computer and take care to keep your sensitive data (passwords, bank account codes, social security numbers, etc.) as private as possible.
Related Resources for Connecticut Computer Crimes Laws:
Computer crime laws are still relatively new and can seem confusing. You can visit FindLaw’s Cyber Crimes section for more introductory information about the topic. If you would like legal advice regarding a possible computer crime case, you can contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.