Legal Treatment of Cyber Crimes Against Women in USA

Legal Treatment of Cyber Crimes Against Women in USA

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-830-9.ch005
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US, is one country, which started the evolution of the Internet and also the first to be affected and the first to retaliate to the ugly side of the Internet, the cyber crimes. US saw a sea of growth in the cyber crimes against women and created new laws to mitigate such crime and prevent future victimization. In this chapter, we discuss about various laws developed by the US to prevent cyber victimization of women as well as conventional laws that were applied to protect women in cyber space. Regulation of crimes in cyber space such as cyber bullying, cyber stalking are examined in detail. The issue of privacy in cyber space vis-à-vis the laws related to that are identified and analyzed.
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Hacking when described in legal terms in the US, may mean unauthorized access to computer as a machine, the computer network, the data stored therein and modification of such data. Hacking in general is regulated by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is again encompassed by Title 18, USC 1030. A brief examination of the provisions therein will show that this particular legislation is made for national security and protecting financial frauds. As such, this Act safeguards “protected computers” more and not private individual’s private data excluding those stored for government purposes.4 Hence, hacking email ids, personal websites, modifying and misusing them etc, are considered more as invasion to privacy of common cyber users where unauthorized access to computer data and modification of the same are used as tools. As such, personal information of women stored in personal computers, websites, social networking profiles, email data, blog profiles etc are highly sorted after targets by miscreants, online harassers and those who set up personal enmity with the female victim(s) due to her ideologies or romantic breakups or even professional as well as personal ego-clashes. The hacking of the email id of the former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the then US Vice-Presidential nominee, could be taken as prime paradigm of victimization of women based on the above mentioned issues. Her Yahoo account was breached and private emails were posted online by a college student (O'Connell, 2008).

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