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ch11 - Chapter 11 CYBERLAW Introduction to Cyberlaw...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 11 CYBERLAW Introduction to Cyberlaw Cyberlaw is not a new body of laws. Cyberlaw is the application of existing laws and legal precedent to new problems presented with the technology of the Internet. Cyberlaw issues include: Torts Contracts Constitutional Restraints and Protections Intellectual Property Criminal Law Securities Law 2 Tort Issues in Cyberspace Privacy: E-mail sent over an employer's network is not guaranteed private. E-mail sent over a home-use network may be intercepted; this issue is still developing. 3 Tort Issues in Cyberspace Privacy: Web Site Information & Privacy. Websites routinely collect information about their customers; this information may be sold to other businesses. Identity theft, or the use of someone else's identity to purchase or obtain credit, is a growing problem. Most web merchants minimize this problem by providing a secure mode of transmitting personal information. Statutory Protections: ECPA, CFAA, COPPA. 4 Tort Issues in Cyberlaw Appropriation (the unauthorized use of someone's image) is illegal both on the Internet and elsewhere. Defamation in Cyberspace. 5 Contract Issues in Cyberspace Formation of Contracts. Though most contract issues have not changed with the Internet, a few new questions have arisen. At what point is the contract formed? Is an electronic signature valid? Misrepresentation and Fraud. Fraud is the most reported crime committed via the Internet. This is in part due to the high volume of sales transactions over the Internet. 6 Intellectual Property Issues The Internet has not actually changed intellectual property rights, but has facilitated the illegal copying of copyrighted material. The best known case dealing with intellectual property via the Internet is the suit against Napster, the web site which facilitated the free downloading of copyrighted songs. 7 Criminal Law Issues A computer may be the target of the crime, as when someone "hacks" into a bank's computer records. Sometimes the computer is the tool of the crime, as in the transporting of pornography across state lines. Criminal Procedures. The fourth amendment protects against unlawful search and seizures. Applies to search of homes, offices and computers. 8 Constitutional Restraints First Amendment Rights Internet free speech is protected as it is anywhere. Violations outside the First Amendment protection are common on the Internet due to ease of communication and anonymity. Commerce Clause issues. Nexus for Taxes. Where is the office? 9 Constitutional Restraints Due Process Issues. What about fairness and minimum contacts in interstate commerce? When should an internet company be required to defend itself in another state? 10 Securities Law Issues The Internet has facilitated new methods of securities trading, including day trading and minute-by-minute tracking of stock performances. Abuses have arisen from the use of the Internet; most notably the practice of "pump and dump." This is where a trader spreads false information about a stock to quickly raise its price, then selling existing shares at an inflated price. 11 ...
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