"Today’s Interpretation of Computer Laws Developed for a Bygone Age: A Study of Computer Crime, Prosecution & Defense," American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, August 2016.

Many federal criminal statutes governing computer crime were drafted decades ago. In light of the advances in computer technologies and the ubiquitous use of computer communications in everyday commerce and in personal life, it is now difficult to determine what conduct of individuals and businesses in today’s environment were intended to be criminalized by Congress as opposed to conduct that appears to be criminalized due to ambiguities that have arisen as a result of technological changes. These difficulties pose threats to persons who use computers, and raise questions for those who wish to use the laws to protect their businesses and data, and to enforce the laws.

Among the federal statutes that will be examined are the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Electronic Communications Protections Act (ECPA), and the Stored Electronic Communications Act (SECA). This program will examine these statutes as well as recent cases where these statutes have been used and interpreted by the courts.

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