Cyber crime penalties: are they too strict?

Needless to say, the Internet is hardly as simple as it was two decades ago. Because of its diverse and expansive global reach, countless crimes take place online. While these crimes can be incredibly damaging to the victim, many argue that the penalties for such actions are too severe. Californians charged with an Internet crime can often expect a long and arduous road ahead.

Those wading through the tough process of a cyber crime charge may benefit from learning more about federal efforts to combat the problem. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently added new departments to its cyber crime task force, including a Cyber Division at FBI headquarters, new Cyber Action teams and specially trained cyber squads. The Cyber Division aims to address Internet crimes in a timely and efficient manner, while the Cyber Action team can make last-minute international travels to combat computer intrusion cases. Cyber squads work toward protecting against computer intrusions, theft of personal information and other crimes. 

Cyber crimes are no light matter, but some experts argue that the penalties attached to these crimes are too severe. Scientific American provides a scope into Internet crimes and their penalties, noting that, at the time of the article’s release, the U.S. Congress had recently considered making changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — the main law regarding fraud and cyber crimes. Reminding readers of the unfortunate case of Aaron Swartz, SA explains that countless Americans face overprosecution for cyber crimes; some even face the same time behind bars as those convicted of child sex abuse and gang affiliation. SA continues to critique the CFAA’s antiquated system that treats many cases as if they were computer terrorism. Again, although some crimes on the Internet come with mountainous damages, others slap defendants with crippling penalties. 

 

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