From online harassment and cyberstalking to cyberterrorism, cybercrimes have become increasingly common.
If you are under investigation for a cybercrime, you should know that the prosecution will be aggressive and the penalties harsh.
A little history
The first federal case of cyber harassment came to court in 2004. The man accused reached a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to two of 26 counts of internet violations. These included sending harassing and threatening emails to his former girlfriend.
Investigation led to indictment
The discovery of evidence occurred through an investigation by a joint cybercrime task force that included, among other departments and agencies, the FBI, the IRS and the United States Secret Service, leading to the 2004 indictment.
Most likely targets
According to Pew research, internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely targets of online harassment. Men receive most of the online physical threats while women often receive sexual harassment and cyberstalking messages, both through emails and on social media sites. Half of the people who experience online attacks say they do not know who is behind it. Anyone involved in carrying out some form of cybercrime usually feels confident in his or her anonymity.
The cyber units working today
Cybercrime continues to grow. It has become much more sophisticated over the years. Like the agencies that joined forces to pursue the perpetrator in the 2004 case, cyber units exist today, using tactics equally sophisticated to track down people engaged in some form of online criminal activity, from harassment to computer hacking. The FBI is the federal agency that leads investigations, perhaps like the one you have become aware of. This is your cue to explore your legal options. Your next stop may be federal court, where aggressive prosecution is the order of the day. It will be important for you to have an equally aggressive defense against the cybercrime charges coming your way.