Law 795:  Cybercrime

This course will explore legal and practical issues that relate to the rapidly evolving world of cybercrime. The goals for the course are to gain an understanding of (1) how new technology has made certain crimes easier to commit and more difficult to investigate and prosecute, and (2) how new technology has created challenges courts in adapting existing legal doctrines to the virtual world.

During the course, we will first examine the elements of several substantive computer crimes, to include computer-related fraud schemes, misuse statutes, child pornography and enticement offenses, cyberterrorism, and others. We will also study sentencing issues. Next, we will consider how cybercrime has caused courts to reconsider traditional approaches and doctrines that were originally designed for conduct committed in the physical world. There will be significant focus on the Fourth Amendment’s application to communications and other data stored on the internet and on digital devices. We will also study the legal and practical limitations that encryption and the dark web pose. Finally, we will review the law of electronic surveillance.

The course will touch on several themes, to include the rules applicable to, and ethical responsibility of corporations in preserving and disclosing data to law enforcement, the balance between security and privacy, jurisdictional and practical limitations of international cybercrime, and the interplay between the First Amendment and certain internet crimes.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: In-class, standard, final exam

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