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Fort Worth computer crimes defense attorney hacking

The term “hacking” typically refers to a person, often called a “hacker,” gaining unauthorized access to a computer or network. In recent decades, the so-called “hacker culture” has become mainstream and even glorified. Movies like Algorithm and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo create the illusion that hackers can easily slide under the government’s radar and get away with nearly anything. Many people are under the false assumption that hacking a computer or network is something that an individual can do recreationally with little to no chance of facing significant consequences. These individuals could not be more wrong. The federal government takes internet crimes like hacking very seriously. In some cases, hacking can lead to federal charges and prison time.  

Federal Legislation Prohibiting Unauthorized Access to a Computer

Both federal and Texas laws prohibit certain computer crimes, but many computer crimes are prosecuted by the federal government. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is federal legislation that was originally intended to protect the computer systems of financial institutions and governmental entities. The scope of this law has since been expanded to include virtually every other type of computer system and server, including personally owned computers, tablets, and cell phones. A number of offenses fall under the umbrella of this legislation. Illegally accessing a computer and obtaining information from a protected computer, financial institution, or the U.S. government is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years’ incarceration when the offense includes any of the following:

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