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The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

While there was a time when people believed that the Internet was a fad that would quickly fade, that mentality is a thing of the past. Most Oregon residents understand the importance of the Internet and of technology in their daily lives.

In fact, many people have immersed themselves in computers and technology; whole industries, even, have been created involving these things.

With this expansion of technology has also come computer-related crimes. To combat these issues, the federal government has passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in addition to several other laws.

According to the Department of Justice, the CFAA set strict federal penalties for certain computer-related crimes. This law has tried to keep up with the changing face of technology. Currently, seven types of crimes are covered under the CFAA. They include trafficking computer passwords, recklessly and negligently causing damage with intentional access, accessing a computer to defraud, trespassing on a government computer and damaging by knowing transmission. The CFAA also includes extortion involving computers and obtaining national security information.

The penalties for these crimes are severe in many cases. Depending on the specific charges, a person that faces these allegations can be sentenced to a very long prison term. The minimum penalties for these felonies range from one to 10 years in prison. The maximum penalties, depending on the specific charges, can be up to 20 years in prison.

Federal charges like those under the CFAA often carry severe penalties and other harsh consequences. People who have been accused of computer crimes or other federal technology related charges should make sure to understand their legal rights. An attorney can be helpful in making sure these rights are protected.


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