Questions like this have become the center point of debate in recent years. As digital technology continues to grow rapidly, more and more people are finding themselves in hot water and facing white-collar crime charges. Computer fraud in particular has been a topic of great amounts of discourse as the charges and penalties for such activities expand.
Unfortunately, the question does not have a simple answer; rather it invites opinions, many of them voiced by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The NACDL postulates that as computer fraud advances along with technology, the laws that govern these acts have exceeded their original intent. Specifically, the NACDL calls out the 2008 amendment to the original Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as the culprit. However, has the amendment actually over-criminalized this type of fraud?
It is true that computer fraud still appears to be growing, but so is technology. Could Congress's response to this threat be overblown or is it actually in keeping with the problem? Again, no answer seems evident, but it is clear that more opinions are needed. If the public speaks out and offers an "every man" perspective on the fraud issues of today, perhaps the government could develop a solution that satisfies a greater segment of the population.
In the meantime, the best thing that Maryland-based defendants of white-collar crimes like computer fraud can do is to seek counsel from a criminal defense attorney. This way, defendants have the best chance of avoiding overblown penalties for the simplest alleged computer crimes such as accessing a computer to obtain information or trespassing in a computer.
Source: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)," accessed April. 02, 2015