Computer Crime Law

Section 1, Spring 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 76/80
Credits: 3
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • MTR
  • 1300-1400
  • WB126
01/24/2022 04/28/2022

Course Description

This course surveys the domestic legal framework governing computer crime and certain aspects of data privacy. Given modern capabilities, it is now possible for one person anywhere in the world to launch a sophisticated and potentially crippling attack on vital data networks. At the same time, it is possible for governments to collect information in bulk on a scale previously unimaginable. The course will explore the complex legal issues raised by these new capabilities and related technological advances. Topics will include the application of the Fourth Amendment to computers; the scope of criminal prohibitions on "hacking," such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; and the scope of statutory provisions authorizing electronic surveillance, such as the Wiretap Act, the Pen/Trap statute, the Stored Communications Act, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The course will focus on the use of these laws in the criminal context, but some attention will also be given to their civil liability implications. Throughout the class, we will wrestle with the balance between privacy and law enforcement interests in this area. Although much of the course involves the application of legal principles to computer technology, no technical background or knowledge is required. A prior course in criminal procedure may be helpful, but is not required, and all Fourth Amendment concepts necessary for understanding the materials will be explained in class.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): Flex
Description: Flex exam at end of semester.

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: No
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Thursday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, May 01, 11:59 PM