The crime itself was known before computers were

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The crime itself was known before computers were around, but through the use of information and communication technology, it has turned into a very nasty business. Millions of people around the world suffer the financial and emotional trauma of in- dentity theft. In most countries, no legislation exists covering identity theft. One exception is the United States, where federal legislation and almost all states have adopted laws on identity theft that may also be applied against criminal conducts through computer systems. The main section is US Penal Code § 1028. 16 This section criminalizes eight catego- ries of conduct involving fraudulent identification documents or the unlawful use of identification information. Section § 1028 (a)(7) was adopted in 1998, amended in 2004 and reads as follows: "Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (c) of this section- (7) knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of iden- tification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, or in connec- tion with, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section." The term “means of identification” is defined as any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual. The section will apply to both online and manual crime cases, and may be a model law for other countries now facing special laws on identity theft. Aggravated Identity Theft was established in § 1028A as a new offence in 2004. Section § 1028A adds an addi- tional two-year term of imprisonment whenever a perpetrator knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to any felony violation of certain federal offences. In Europe, the new Norwegian Penal Code (2009) has in § 202 a provision on iden- tity infringements that reads as follows: 17 16 See 17 See
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48 “With a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years shall whoever be punished, that without authority possesses of a means of identity of another, or acts with the identity of another or with an identity that easily may be confused with the identity of an- other person, with the intent of a) procuring an economic benefit for oneself or for another person, or b) causing a loss of property or inconvenience to another person.” 6) Spam The term “spam” is commonly used to describe unsolicited electronic bulk communica- tions over e-mail or mobile messaging (SMS, MMS), usually with the objective of mar- keting commercial products or services. While this description covers most kinds of spam, a growing phenomenon is the use of spam to support fraudulent and criminal ac- tivities – including attempts to capture financial information (e.g. account numbers and passwords) by masquerading messages as originating from trusted companies (phishing) – and as a vehicle to spread viruses and worms. On mobile networks, a particular prob-
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  • Spring '12
  • Kushal Kanwar
  • Law, .........

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