Alleged online criminal behavior. Targeted computer-based offenses. Cyber crime.
Are those … what? The same? Somehow different?
Many Colorado residents who follow criminal law stories and legal updates might find those posed questions to be linked with an obvious answer. It is likely a reasonable assumption, though, that legions of people don’t think the answer is quite so clear.
After all, the computer-centric world we now live in is complex and ever-evolving. New terms, concepts and user platforms seemingly proliferate with each passing moment. What was once common parlance can easily become outdated and fall out of use quickly. Games, programs, processes, information conduits, behind-the-scenes access – all these things and more emerge, morph, wither and surge in one huge and ongoing online avalanche of constant global activity.
In such a world, it is arguably the case that nothing at all is static, simple or readily definable.
Including the realm of computer crime, which can go by many names and assume many forms. Whether denoted by a “cyber” designation or something else, the bottom line concerning Internet-tied criminal activity is that it is of an almost limitless and steadily evolving nature.
Internet crime: a virtual A-Z compendium
Colorado prosecutors and their federal peers hardly have to deal with a limited slate of entries when they contemplate potential charges in the computer crime realm. One legal overview underscoring the scope and variety of cyber criminal conduct duly notes that, “The Internet is used for an ever-widening range of crimes, from sex and stalking crimes to fraud and theft.”
That source spotlights alleged illegal behaviors like the following:
- Fraud on sales platforms like eBay and Craigslist
- Credit card schemes
- Wire fraud
- Identity theft
Another national media source providing a rundown of computer crime ticks off various additional offenses such as these:
- Unlawfully accessing (hacking) a computer network or system
- Impermissibly altering or using proprietary data
- Contaminating a computer system with a virus or malware
- Encrypting computer information to commit a crime
- Engaging in acts of extortion such as so-called “ransomware”
- Committing social networking crimes such as cyberbullying, sexting and the promotion of hate crimes
Although much is complex and even sometimes murky concerning the Internet crime sphere, this takeaway is decidedly clear: Task forces and law enforcers employ an exacting focus – coupled with deep pockets and a resolve to obtain maximum criminal penalties – when investigating alleged computer-tied wrongdoing.
Many targeted or criminally charged individuals reasonably seek timely and knowledgeable help from a proven criminal defense legal team.