Computers

Computers in the United States

Introduction

According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, the “rapid advance of computer technology has drastically expanded our ability to store, analyze, and disseminate information. This development has implications for three areas of constitutional doctrine: the right of privacy, procedural due process of law, and the freedom of speech”.

Legal Materials

The Lexis CYBERLAW library includes computer-related cases, statutes, regulations, legislation and a half dozen “cyberlaw” publications (ex. Computer Lawyer).

Articles: You can search for computer-related articles using CoRR, which searches a substantial collection of computer-related articles.

Company Information: CorpTech posts information on computer companies and other high-tech manufacturers. UpsideToday offers a deep, searchable database of articles on computer companies and their executives. For more on company research, see “Company Information.”

Dictionaries: One good option is the Microsoft Computer Dictionary.

News: C/net Online posts free computer technology news. Wired has RSS feeds for both. Links to more computer news sites are posted in Yahoo! News and Media.

The Lexis CMPCOM library has searchable databases of articles from computer & communications-related newspapers and trade journals, as well as industry reports. Searchable archives of computer news articles and trade journals are also available from Westlaw (PCNEWS and TECNEWS) and ProQuest Dialog (Gale Group Computer Database, UMB Computer Full Text).

Product Reviews: See “Product Reviews and Related Information.”

Reference Materials: To decipher computer-related abbreviations try BABEL: A Glossary of Computer Oriented Abbreviations and Acronyms. For definitions, try the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures.

Search and Seizure: The Department of Justice manual on Searching and Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence in Criminal Investigations is posted at www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/docs/ssmanual2009.pdf.

Shareware: Large shareware libraries are available at www.cnet.com, www.zdnet.com and www.tucows.com.

See Also

Modified: Relaxation of License Requirements for Computers in the History of U.S. Economic Sanctions Imposed against China

Date of the sanction(s): DECEMBER 9, 1993

The Department of Commerce issued revised Export Administration Regulations to allow for the export to China and other controlled destinations, without a validated license, of computers with a data processing speed of up to 67 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) [44].

Sanctions by Authority:

15 CFR Parts 771 and 799 (58 F.R. 64674)

Occasion(s) Detailed

See May 27, 1991, for original sanction

Note: Based on the China: U.S. Economic Sanctions Report.

Computers Used in Furtherance of the Administration of Justice, National Defense, and National Security

Note: This information about Computers Used in Furtherance of the Administration of Justice, National Defense, and National Security is based on an United States Sentencing Commission report to the Congress on penalties for cyber security offenses. In this case, the content of this section deals with the implementation of the Homeland Security Act Directive in relation to Computers Used in Furtherance of the Administration of Justice, National Defense, and National Security. The first enhancement of the new specific offense characteristic in §2B1. 1 also addresses the factor of computer systems used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security. This factor is derived from the statute. Section 1030(a)(5) prohibits causing damage to a protected computer through either the transmission of a program, information, code or command, or as a result of unauthorized access, and requires proof of one of five harms listed in the statute: loss of at least ,000; impairment of medical treatment; physical injury; threat to public health or safety; or damage affecting a computer system used in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security. See 18 U. S. C. §1030(a)(5)(B). The last harm, damage affecting a computer system used in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security, was added to the statute as part of the USA PATRIOT Act. Previously, the guidelines did not distinguish between violations of section 1030 that involved one of these important government computer systems and those that did not. The United States Sentencing Commission concluded that such a distinction is warranted because computers used in furtherance of national defense, national security, or the administration of justice are deserving of heightened protection. Computer offenses involving one of these important government computer systems may be more serious because of the potential significance of the information compromised or the harm caused or risked to these systems. Because of the importance of these types of computers, the United States Sentencing Commission did not limit application of this new enhancement to section 1030(a)(5) violations. Rather, the enhancement may apply to any conviction of 18 U. S. C. § 1030 sentenced under §2B1. 1 that involves such computers. In addition to the changes in §2B1. 1, the proposed amendment also modifies §2B2. 3 (Trespass) and §2B3. 2 (Extortion by Force or Threat of Injury or Serious Damage) to expand existing enhancements in those guidelines to provide increased punishment for trespass and extortion offenses involving computer systems used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security.

Resources

Notes and References

  1. 44 Lelyveld, Michael. “Allies' Move to OK High-Tech Exports May Hurt US.” Journal of Commerce, December 13, 1993. p. 3.

Computers: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Computers. This part provides references, in relation to Computers, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Computers by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Computers and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Computers or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Computers and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Computers. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Computers should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Computers when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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