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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

COMPUTER-RELATED crime grew exponentially throughout the 1990s. Into the 21st century, computer-related crimes have become more and more prevalent and diverse. The primary federal statute used in combating the various types of computer crime is 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1)-(a)(7). Section 1030, is better known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

It was enacted originally in 1986 and has been several times by Congress. The CFAA includes an extremely expansive definition that includes coverage of all “protected” computers from a wide variety of activities of unauthorized access to and/or theft of information from “protected” computers.

A “protected” computer includes any computer “used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication.” In other words, the CFAA allows punishment of all unauthorized assess to and/or theft of information, in ...

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