Internet crime is a relatively new frontier in criminal justice. The topics are related to previous legal matters, but the tools of communication are diverse and novel. Additionally, the way people interact with web-based communications is always changing. Here is a brief look at the current status of cybercrime defense in this context.
As stated on its official site, the FBI sees national and international cybersecurity investigations as falling within its jurisdiction. This wide focus, combined with the various federal laws governing interstate crime, often means that prosecutors may attempt to direct cybercrime cases to federal courts.
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However, there are various specific situations surrounding actual internet crime allegations. There are also many different categories of crimes. Here is a selection of different offenses that might occur over the internet.
One common cyber-crime allegation involves the production of non-consensual or child pornography. Prosecutors often bring this particular charge in association with cases of extortion. In addition to sensitive photos, private information may also be a factor. As indicated in the Cyber Misbehavior Report from the Department of Justice, this type of accusation may also be linked to charges of domestic violence due to alleged psychological harm.
The DOJ also lists several other types of misbehavior, including cyber threats stalking and harassment. The federal statute on various crimes, including cyberstalking, threats, and computer hacking may apply in various situations.
Investigations into these matters by the FBI and joint state task forces often uncover a great deal of highly technical evidence. Where, how and if this information is applicable to a certain situation depends on the location of the alleged actions, on the way the evidence was collected and on various other factors. Therefore almost all details, including venue charges and potential consequences, should typically be considered on a case-by-case basis.