Computer Crime

Posted by Brad Sorrentino | Mar 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Computer 20crime

Computer Crimes

(C.G.S. Sec. 53 -251)

In today's ever changing world and society's increasing reliance and use of computers, smart phones, and other technology, along with innovation we can also expect the use of technology for nefarious purposes and an influx of computer crimes as well. This is a theme that has been at the forefront of US news surrounding the investigation of any impropriety between the Trump Administration and the Russian state or interference in US elections.

Computer crime is something even prevalent on the local level as well. Our Connecticut legislature has contemplated computer-based crimes is increasingly given it more attention in creating new law and policy. One recent article found that cybercrime is rising steadily, and small businesses increasingly becoming the target of cyber attacks.

Here are some common computer crimes that could land cyber criminals in prison:

  1. Unauthorized Access to a Computer System

A person is guilty of this crime when he/she knows that they are not authorized to access the computer AND either: (a) He/she still accesses the system, OR (b) He/she causes it to be accessed.

In order to be convicted of Unauthorized Access in Connecticut, the state must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt (BARD) that you:

  • (1) Accessed a computer system;
  • (2) That access was unauthorized;
  • (3) You knew you weren't authorized;

In addition, the penalties increase significantly the more damage caused as a result of the breach,

Affirmative Defense to Unauthorized Access:

Notwithstanding the above, one cannot be found guilty of this crime if any of the following apply:

  • The person who accessed the system believes with good reason that he/she is authorized by the owner or a person who may grant the access; OR
  • The person who accessed the system believes with good reason that the authorization from the owner or the person authorized to grant the access would have given to him/her anyway, for example, was expecting authorization in the near future; OR
  • The person who accessed the system did not know that he/she was unauthorized to access the system.
  1. Theft of Computer Services

A person is guilty of this crime when the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused:

  • (1) Accesses computer system or makes it possible to be accessed; AND
  • (2) Accessed a computer system with the intent (was his or her's conscious objective) of getting computer services without authorization; AND
  • (3) The accused eIther (a) caused some amount property damage as a result of the computer breach, and/or (b) the accused acted recklessly or created a risk of serious injury.
  1. Interruption of Computer Services

A person is guilty of this crime when the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused:

  • (1) Without authorization;
  • (2) Intentionally or recklessly; AND
  • (3) Interferes or interrupts a computer service or delivery thereof.

This crime is also committed when the accused somehow causes the interruption of computer service to happen. If the defendant denies an authorized user access to the usage of the computer system, he or she can also be found guilty of this crime.

  1. Misuse of Computer System Information

Misuse of System Information is committed when as the result of the unauthorized access and causing to be accessed, the person intentionally or makes it possible for the data communicated or produced by the company to be displayed, used, disclosed, and/or copied.

A person can be found guilty of this crime when an unauthorized person either:

  • intentionally changes, deletes, tampers with, damages, destroys, or takes data to be used by a computer system or interferes or adds information to the data in the computer system; OR
  • Knowingly receives and keeps data that is considered as theft of computer services, or the unauthorized access of the computer system; OR
  • Reveals data or information that was acquired through unauthorized access or theft of computer services
  1. Destruction of Computer Equipment

The crime of destruction of computer equipment is committed when an unauthorized person intentionally or mindlessly takes, transports, hides, alters, damages, or ruins, any kind of equipment used in the computer system. This is also committed when an unauthorized person makes the above mentioned possible.

If you have been arrested, accused, or otherwise involved in any computer crime, you need to have the best Connecticut defense lawyer to be able to understand everything about the crime.

About the Author

Brad Sorrentino

Attorney Sorrentino, or Brad as he prefers to be called, is an experienced, energetic, and passionate lawyer who is dedicated to working tirelessly to solve your legal issue. Brad prides himself on his ability to relate to his clients’ problem, his efficiency and responsiveness to your concerns, and a client-centric approach ensuring above all, that you receive the friendliest and highest quality service. At the Law Offices of Bradley L. Sorrentino, it's all about the client.


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