Comptuer Crime Legal Resources
Not a day goes by without someone asking me where to find specific
information. After a smart ass response about the value of a search
engine, I can usually come up with a link or starting place for
them. Because of recent articles on HNN
and OSALL, I have received
more requests for information on laws regarding computer crime.
To satisfy the law enforcement types as well as the hackers asking
for the information, hopefully this article will do it. This is a quick
compilation of some of my computer law bookmarks. Along with each
site I will include some additional information about the site so
you can determine if you really want to visit the site. I know that
visiting two dozen sites in a day can get really old.
FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR SEARCHING AND SEIZING COMPUTERS
"These Guidelines are the product of an interagency group, informally
called the Computer Search and Seizure Working Group. Its members were
lawyers, agents, and technical experts from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation; the United States Secret Service; the Internal Revenue
Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the United States Customs
Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the United States
Air Force; the Department of Justice; and United States Attorneys'
SUPPLEMENT TO FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR SEARCHING AND SEIZING COMPUTERS
"This Supplement is intended to update the Federal Guidelines for Searching and Seizing Computers that was
published in July 1994. The Supplement describes relevant federal and state cases decided since July 1994
as well as a number of additional earlier decisions.(1) The cases in this Supplement are organized
according to the sections in the Guidelines.(2) Where a case relates to more than one section, it is
discussed in more than one place."
International review of criminal policy - United Nations
Manual on the prevention and control of computer-related
"The burgeoning of the world of information technologies has, however, a negative side: it has opened the
door to antisocial and criminal behavior in ways that would never have previously been possible. Computer
systems offer some new and highly sophisticated opportunities for law-breaking, and they create the
potential to commit traditional types of crimes in non-traditional ways. In addition to suffering the
economic consequences of computer crime, society relies on computerized systems for almost everything in
life, from air, train and bus traffic control to medical service coordination and national security. Even
a small glitch in the operation of these systems can put human lives in danger. Society's dependence on
computer systems, therefore, has a profound human dimension. The rapid transnational expansion of
large-scale computer networks and the ability to access many systems through regular telephone lines
increases the vulnerability of these systems and the opportunity for misuse or criminal activity. The
consequences of computer crime may have serious economic costs as well as serious costs in terms of human
Depart of Justice: Office of Public Affairs Press Releases
For the most part, some of these are rather dry and they tend to pat
themselves on the back a bit much. However, a rare few actually give interesting
information about computer related crimes and the DOJ response to them. Some
of the more interesting ones recently:
WISCONSIN HACKER CHARGED WITH MILITARY BREAK-IN
"PHONE PHREAKER" SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR DEFRAUDING PHONE COMPANIES, HARRASSING USERS
Argentine Computer Hacker Agrees to Waive Extradition and Returns to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges in Boston
ISRAELI CITIZEN ARRESTED IN ISRAEL FOR HACKING UNITED STATES AND ISRAELI GOVERNMENT COMPUTERS
Law Enforcement Links Directory & Police Search Engine
While not very comprehensive yet, this search engine promises to be an extremely
valuable resource in the near future. My quick searches for various computer crime
fighting LE agencies yielded most of the results I needed.
"The PRC offers consumers a unique opportunity to learn how to protect
their personal privacy. Our publications provide in-depth information on
a variety of informational privacy issues, as well as practical tips on
safeguarding personal privacy."
ONE PARTY/TWO PARTY TELEPHONE TAPE RECORDING LAWS
Also includes: STATE BY STATE LIST & STATE LAW FOOTNOTES
An example of the footnotes that make this page extremely helpful:
AZ is a one party state, ARS 13-3005.A(1)(2), AND also permits a telephone "subscriber" (the person who
orders the phone service and whose name is on the bill) to tape (intercept) calls without being a party
to the conversation and without requiring any notification to any parties to the call, ARS 13-3012(5)(c).
Canadian Criminal Code
The downside to this URL is the entire set of codes is in a single ASCII file.
This is good for those of you who like to parse out specific information, but
living hell on those who like to read consistantly.
Code of Federal Regulations
Fully searchable Code of Regulations. Quite handy for those of you doing a little
more in depth research into the law.
The U.S. House of Representatives Internet Law Library U.S. Code (searchable)
Another good site for searching the US Legal codes.
Cornell US Code Server
My personal favorite for searching through US Law. Their frame system is
easy to navigate and allows for easy to determine absolute URLs. This is
great when you want to find a specific law, and give someone a URL that
points directly to the right text.
Example of State Statutes
Many people ask me about looking up their state statutes. I don't have a single
answer to help everyone, but this site shows a good example of what a little
searching can do. Your state regulations ARE up on the web somewhere. You may have
to dig a bit to find them.
The Colorado Statute Manager Web Site allows search access to the 1999 Colorado Statutes and Court Rules.
This information is easily accessed by typing in keywords or numbers. The Statute Manager program is
supplied by Intellinet as a free public information service. Intellinet also offers a paid subscription
service which provides Annotations for the Statutes and Court Rules as well as a hyperlinked Table of
Contents and Popular Names Index. These are available via the Internet on an annual subscription or on a
"Daily Pass" basis.
Copyright Law and Fair Use
While not comprehensive, this is a great primer for those just getting
started on learning the legal aspects of copyright and fair use.
Search the Copyright & Fair Use Site
Huge legal search engine
State Cases and Codes
Not only US Code, but more importantly, past State Cases. This is ideal for
searching for case law.
Self Incrimination and Cryptographic Keys
Answer that age old question "do I have to give up my pass phrase?!".
As with all things, this is by no means a complete list of legal resources. In
fact, most of these have been collected over the past year or more. All of the
URLs listed here worked as of 12/06/99. I can't emphasize enough the value of
a good search engine. You would be amazed at
the amounts of resources out there just waiting to be used.
Brian Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org)