Computer Fraud & Abuse Act

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With the emergence of computer technology, the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) was enacted by Congress in 1984. As computer technology advances, and access to the internet spreads, the CFAA has taken on greater importance in battling computer crimes.

What Is the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act?

The CFAA was initially written to protect federal classified information maintained on federal computers, as well as financial and credit records stored on government and financial institution computers. Later, the federal government sought to expand computer protection, and now the CFAA protects all computers involved in interstate and foreign commerce as well as connected to the internet.

What Does the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act Cover?

The CFAA is very broad and encompasses seven different acts of computer related crime:

What Are the Penalties?

If you are found guilty of committing any of the crimes listed under the CFAA you will face a fine and possible imprisonment. The fine for committing a first offense averages about $5,000 per crime and the imprisonment ranges from 1 to 10 years.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been accused of violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act or accused of committing a computer related crime, an attorney specializing in cyberspace law can review your case and ensure that you are represented.

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Last Modified: 12-27-2012 03:07 PM PST

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