1. What key needs in local law enforcement agencies must be met to improve response to computer crimes? How is the issue of computer crime currently addressed, and how do you feel that law enforcement responses could improve? Explain.
The of the key needs in local law enforcement agencies in improving the response to computer crime is keeping pace with the Tech-savvy criminals. There are has been tremendous changes in the computer field. The computing environment is becoming more and more complex. As such, the computer criminals are also coming up with sophisticated ways of overcoming the security mechanism implied in the new technologies. The local law enforcement agencies should ensure that they are always updated in any technological emergence, the potential cyber crimes and how to handle such crimes. According to Crime Complaint Center (2007), there has been several incidences where a cyber criminal is convicted but the law enforcement officers fail to carry out effective investigation so that they can come up with convincing evidence to convict the culprits.
Another crucial need is putting in place the appropriate infrastructure which will curb the criminal. This ranges from the equipment used to gather evidence, exhibit presentation, prosecution and the penalties given to the culprits. It has been realized that most local law enforcement agencies uses the laws which were enacted more than a decade ago. This implies that the cyber crimes which emerged recently may not have been captured in that act. This implies that the culprit might be set free since there is no law that convicts him. The law enforcement agencies should update their laws in a regular basis so that all emerging cyber crimes are captured.
2. Identify the federal agencies responsible for the prosecution of computer fraud and abuse violations. How do these agencies focus on computer violations, and how do they train their employees to recognize computer crimes?
The United States department of justice is responsible for prosecuting computer fraud and abuse violation cases which are referred from FBI, FDA, ICE and private investigators. The computer crime and abuse violation is among the top departments in the department of justice. The justice department carries out investigation and prosecution of various computer crimes such as computer fraud, computer theft, internet fraud and abuse of user access privileges. The initial investigative responsibilities are carried out by criminal divisions, FBI and the Attorney’s office. The computer crime and intellectual property section (CCIPS) in the criminal division has been in carrying out most investigations.
These agencies focuses on computer crime by contributing and supporting the legislative developments through updating criminal computer crime laws such as PRO act, No Electronic Theft Act and other which curbs any computers crime of any nature and magnitude. They have their well trained officers in every part of the country especially the vulnerable parts. Their officers are subjected to regular training guided by the state’s leading technological investors such as apple and Microsoft (Sommer, 2004). They are also trained on the effective procedures and methods of extracting, processing and handling various cyber crime evidences. They also train their officers on different ways of detecting a possibility or an intention of someone committing a cyber crime using various cloud security analytic tools.
3. Explain the search and seizure law as it pertains to digital crimes. What laws govern probable cause and search and seizure? How is the Fourth Amendment taken into consideration in determining a search and seizure?
Search and seizure as far as digital crime is concern occurs when a computer crime has been committed and the law enforcement officers are trying to gather evidence by obtaining a search and seizure right to carry out search and seize any digital evidence for the purposes of prosecuting a computer crime. The officers try to find evidence which will enable the computer forensic experts to gather information required to carry out proper arrest against eh culprits (Casey, 2011). The most used method of carrying out search and seizure is search with warrant and search without warrant.
The law enforcement officers carrying out the investigation are govern b the privileges in the first chapter of the fourth amendment in the United States constitution while carrying out any search and seizure of computer evidence. However, there are some provisions in chapter one of the constitutions may demand that search and seizure can be carried out without a warrant for the evidence which lies within the boundaries of the government or company’s computer (Moore 2005). In this regard, some statutes and limitation can possibly be observed in case of warrantless search and seizure incident. According to the fourth amendment, the nature of the cyber crime determines whether a warrant of search and seizure should be issued. For instance, in a situation where solid evidence that support the existence of computer crime with dangerous contraband, a warrant of arrest is mandatory.
4. What issues can arise during the admission of digital evidence during a criminal trial? How are computer records viewed in court? Explain two circumstances that generally allow the admission of computer records as evidence.
The most critical issues which may arise during the admission of digital evidence in a criminal trial is when the court demands for a code and the software designer is not willing to provide. This is more prevalent when the person who designed the software is a different entity which is nit related to the litigation. This makes the situation complex because the software code is treated as and intellectual property, therefore protected by the law. In such a situation, the prosecution will not proceed because the admissibility of the evidence is considered inadequate.
The computer records in the court are viewed based on “The Business Exception Rule”. According to Kerr (2012), the computer records focus in a court has concentrated on whether the records meets falls within the scope of “business records exception” and its admissibility. The court confirms its test and admissibility basing on the cases which were previously tried in the court. One of the circumstances that allow the presentation of digital evidence is when the digital forensic expert has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the evidence was collected prepared and stored in the right manner. The other circumstance is when the court and physically attest to the damage of the impact that the said crime was executed using the computer.
5. What are some of the major components of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act? Provide examples of two court cases in which this Act was used. Explain case details and the final decision of the court.
In general, the electronic communication privacy act gives provisions which protect oral wire and electronic communication. The laws cover the sender, the communication on transit and storage. The Act is applicable to telephone conversation, electronically stored data and the email. The act has three specific provisions. These are the ECPA wiretap Act which criminalizes attempted interception, disclosure or intention misuse or interception of oral, wire or electronic communication. The second title is stored communication Act (SCA) which protects the confidentially of the file contents which lies in the hands of the service providers (Mulligan, 2003). The last title governs the trap, pen register and trace devices which requires government agencies to get a court order to authorize the installation and usage of the pen register.
Moore, r. (2005). Search and Seizure of Digital Evidence. LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
Kerr, Daniel J. &Shpantzer, (2008). “Legal Aspects of Digital Forensics” Available: http://www.danjryan.com
Casey, E. (2011). Digital evidence and computer crime: Forensic science, computers, and the internet. Access Online via Elsevier.
Richard III, G. G., & Roussev, V. (2006). Next-generation digital forensics. Communications of the ACM, 49(2), 76-80.
Sommer, P. (2004). The challenges of large computer evidence cases. Digital Investigation, 1(1), 16-17.
Mulligan, D. K. (2003). Reasonable Expectations in Electronic Communications: A Critical Perspective on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Geo. Wash. L. Rev., 72, 1557.