From reading articles to shopping online, the internet offers a one stop shop for accessing information. With internet accessible at any time or place, criminals have taken it upon themselves to use the internet as a tool to hijack users and steal content, passwords and personal identities. While there are multiple levels of Internet Law that allow for infringement, there are three most common law violations concerning the internet. The first is copyright Infringement, the second is password trafficking and the last is computer fraud.
Under the federal copyright law it is illegal to use someone else’s content for profit without gaining consent from the original author or crediting them with the work. A copyright protects content on a website, article, legal document, etc., written by an author, which gives them and only them, exclusive rights to their words. With so much content flying around on the internet, some people consider it “free” information. However, under the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997, copyrighted content is protected and if it is discovered that someone else is claiming it their own, legal action can occur.
The legal penalties for copyright infringement can include fines, jail sentencing, or both. The civil penalty can cost the abuser up to $150,000 per violation.
Although some websites may seem safe when entering personal information, password hackers have the ability to steal personal information from websites that may seem secure. Password trafficking, which includes the buying, selling or sharing of passwords with another person or group of people, is actually a very successful market behind the internet that profits off of civilians personal information. If a theft is caught stealing or trafficking personal passwords via the internet there are legal repercussions which can include fines or imprisonment.
The best time in the life of a fraud criminal is when a person clicks the “ok” button to submit an online purchase. Online shopping is popular all over the globe, which has triggered a successful business sector that hacks personal credit card information from online shopping websites. Computer fraud is the leading cause of identity theft and with online shopping becoming more and more popular, fraud is occurring on a regular basis all over the globe.
Computer hackers can face fines and serve anywhere between five and ten years of jail time for their offenses.