With constantly advancing technology and the increasing number of internet users, the number of internet crimes committed has also increased in recent years. Internet users engage in various activities daily, and some of these activities could unintentionally lead to criminal charges. Some people use the internet to commit crimes intentionally, and many of these crimes don’t even make it to the headlines. The normal internet user is not even aware of the different kinds of crimes that can be done electronically, and that’s why they may become victims of internet crimes. Some common internet crimes committed are listed below:
Spoofing or Phishing (Business and Professions Code Section 22948.2)
Spoofing or phishing is the act of accessing a computer without authorization and sending multiple email messages in order to deceive the recipient. False information may be sent to the recipients who then become victims of this kind of internet crime. Anyone arrested for this crime can face a possible jail sentence of three years for a first offense. If the sender is also spamming for commercial gain, they may face up to five years in prison.
Extortion or Blackmail (PC 524)
When someone uses the internet to cause damage with the intent to extort money or something of value from another person, it is referred to as blackmailing. The hacker or person engaging in such activity may be threatening the victim to expose confidential information about them in exchange of money. Offenders can face hefty fines and a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
Prostitution (PC 647(b))
When someone tries to coerce, engage, or entice another individual into prostitution, they may face up to 20 years in prison.
Criminal Copyright Infringement (18 U.S.C. Section 2319)
Infringing a copyright or distributing someone’s work for financial gain on a computer network can carry a possible sentence of three years in prison. The penalty and consequences will double for repeat offenders.
Child Pornography (18 U.S.C. Section 2252)
Using the internet to transmit child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 5 years, up to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
When someone anonymously uses the internet to threaten, abuse, harass, or annoy someone, they could face criminal charges that carry up to two years in prison. Continue reading →