Email and Social Media Hacking
Recent technological advances have made it easier than ever for people to remain constantly connected. Whether this involves posting comments on online forums, checking our emails, or using online banking, this type of conduct has become commonplace. In recognition of these changes, both state legislatures and Congress have put laws in place to help protect the privacy of email and social media users. For instance, the hacking or unlawful use of information obtained from someone else’s email account without permission is unlawful under state and federal law.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to be unfairly and wrongly accused of hacking into someone else’s email or social media account. Furthermore, the consequences of being convicted of this type of crime are serious, making it especially important for those who have been accused of a computer crime, to speak with an experienced federal crime attorney who can help them begin formulating a defense.
Most allegations of hacking involve one of the following scenarios:
- Improperly accessing someone else’s personal information;
- The introduction of a virus onto another person’s computer;
- Manipulating the data on someone else’s account without permission; or
- Improperly accessing someone’s email or bank accounts.
While it is unlawful for people to take part in these types of activities when the victim is an individual, criminal hacking charges are raised most often in cases that involve large companies. In many situations, this involves allegations of the disclosure of trade secrets, or the stealing of the personal and confidential information of employees or clients.
However, before a person can be convicted of social media or email account hacking in federal court, prosecutors must be able to prove that the defendant, with intent to defraud, knowingly accessed a protected computer without authorization, or exceeded authorized access, and obtained:
- Information related to national defense or foreign relations that could be used to the injury of the U.S.;
- Information contained in the financial records of a bank or card issuer;
- Information held by any U.S. department or agency;
- Information from any protected computer;
- Anything of value; or
- A program, information, code, or command.
Trafficking in passwords or similar information that allows for the accessing of a computer without authorization also falls under the purview of federal law if the trafficking affected interstate or foreign commerce, or if the computer was used by or for the federal government and the actions were taken with the intent to extort money from another person. Those who are accused of this offense in federal court and are later convicted could face decades-long prison sentences and exorbitant fines, so if you are being investigated for your involvement in an email or social media account hacking scheme, it is critical to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible about planning your defense.
Call Our Office Today
To speak with experienced Miami federal crime attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. about your own pending computer crime charges, please call 305-670-9919 today. Initial consultations are offered free of charge.