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NCJ Number: 82000 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Suggested Legislative Approach to the Problem of Computer Crime
Journal: Washington and Lee Law Review  Volume:38  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1981)  Pages:1173-1194
Author(s): R M Couch
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Suggestions are offered for Federal legislation that will counter computer crime.
Abstract: The Federal Computer Systems Protection Act (FCSPA) was introduced in Congress in 1977. As revised in 1980, the FCSPA would prohibit the use or attempted use of a computer, either as an instrument or a symbol, for any fraudulent purpose. The FSCPA provides a maximum penalty for its violation of 5 years in prison and a fine equal to twice the amount of gain derived from the crime or $50,000, whichever is greater. The FCSPA also prohibits the unauthorized, intentional damaging of a computer. For the FCSPA to make a significant contribution to the control of computer crime, substantial revisions are necessary. The current form of the bill does not encourage increased prevention, detection, and reporting of computer crime. To remedy the deficiencies of the FCSPA, Congress should consider measures directed at those groups that can have the greatest deterrent effect on computer crime, i.e., managers, computer manufacturers, and computer system auditors. A requirement that users and auditors report detected computer improprieties to the proper authorities is a legislative possibility. Legislation could also provide economic incentives to computer manufacturers to lessen the gap between data processing technology and security technology. Congress could also exert pressure on the auditing profession to adopt standards that shift some legal responsibility to auditors for the overall integrity of an audit client's system of computer security. Further, Congress could adopt a course of action designed to inform computer users of the computer's potential for crime and the punishment that computer criminals can expect upon conviction. A total of 164 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Computer crime prevention measures; Legislation
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