Government Contracts and Computer Crime
When a company accepts a government contract, it is important for all individuals involved, including government employees and the contractor’s employees to clarify whose computers will be used to fulfill work obligations and who has access to the contents of those devices. Those who fail to make this distinction could end up being unfairly accused of computer fraud, which can have dire consequences for the accused, including lengthy prison sentences and ruinously expensive fines, so if you are being investigated for your involvement in a government contract-related computer crime, it is critical to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who can defend your legal rights and interests by helping you formulate a strong defense.
The Importance of Computer Ownership
In many cases that involve allegations of computer fraud, whether a person can be charged with a crime depends on who owned the computer, whether the accused was granted access to the device, and what files the individual viewed. For instance, if a business entered into a contract with a government agency and used its own machines to fulfill resulting obligations, then access would usually be made available to any employee of that business who was involved with the contract. On the other hand, the computers located in a government facility, on which contract-related files are stored, can only be used by those who have been explicitly granted access and authority to use the information found therein.
Examples of Computer Crimes
Being charged with a government-related computer crime often involves accusations of one or more of the following actions:
- Accessing a government computer without authority;
- Copying or removing valuable data, files, personal information, or monetary funds;
- Intercepting an electronic transmission that was intended for someone else;
- Using a government computer to access personal information for unlawful or fraudulent purposes;
- Copying confidential information contained on a government computer without authorization and with the intent to sell it;
- Using a government computer to change information without authorization from a government agency; and
- Intentionally interrupting access to a computer’s network.
In some cases, the person being accused of these offenses is actually the owner or employee of the company that accepted the government contract. Depending on the severity of the offense, the accused could face both criminal and civil charges for the lost value of the information taken.
In fact, a person who is accused of destroying or damaging the information contained on a computer could result in the filing of a civil claim even if the computer did not belong to a government agency.
Criminal Defense for Computer Crimes
If you have been accused of committing a computer crime, you need the advice of a dedicated attorney who has the resources and experience to help you begin formulating a strong defense. Please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys at 305-670-9919 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Miami white collar crime attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.