As the Internet becomes a part of everyone's daily lives, more laws have been passed in regards to Internet crimes. Because this area of law is very new and vague, it is vital to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side that has defended Internet crimes in the past. Being charged with an Internet crime can be very frightening because you do not know what you did wrong. There are a number of different Internet crimes, but some include: Pirating, Phishing, and Spamming.
Pirating, under California Penal Code § 653, prohibits any person from "knowingly and willfully" using any recorded sounds, live shows and audiovisual material with the intent to sell them or use them for commercial purposes for private financial gain without the consent of the owner. Similarly, it is illegal to use a recording devise in a movie theatre while the movie is being shown. Pirating is a very common method of obtaining music and movie, but the penalties for the crime are severe.
Phishing is a different type of Internet crime. The laws regarding Phishing are described in the Anti-Phishing Act of 2005. Under California Penal Code Section 22948.2, it is illegal for any person to use a web page, email or the internet in an attempt to trick a person into providing information about their identity by pretending to be a legitimate business. Identifying information includes:
- social security number,
- driver's license number,
- bank account number,
- credit or debit card number,
- electronic signatures,
- or any similar information.
A third type of Internet crime is Spamming. Under California Penal Code 17529.2, it is illegal to "advertise in an unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisement from California" or advertise through e-mail to a California e-mail address.
Recently, the Government has taken severe action against Spammers. According to legislature, nearly 40% of the e-mail traffic in the United States is spam. Additionally, the legislature has been forced to make harsher penalties for spamming because spam drains corporate budgets and threatens the usefulness of email, one of the most important tools of the Internet age.
Pirating, Phishing, and Spamming can all be very costly accusations to face. Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP not only has experience defending internet crimes, but they also are experienced defending the following charges:
- credit card fraud,
- internet sales,
- and child pornography.
If you or a loved one is facing any kind of Internet crime charge, nothing will bring you more peace then discussing your case with a skilled and aggressive attorney. Call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP for a free consultation.