Computer Crime Law
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.
Flex exam at end of semester.
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the 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.