juries and judges to understand the aspects and elements of computer crime. Whatever the reasons may be, when all tolled the number of actual prosecutions of computer crimes remains low, “There was one indictment under the 1984 Computer Abuse Act. To date , there have been few indictments issued under the 1986 federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The number of prosecutions either under federal or state computer crime statutes is low; from 1978 to 1986, fewer than 200 state or federal prosecutions were initiated” (Castillo et al., 1992, 225). Of course, as more computer crime cases are successfully prosecuted and as computer crime levels continue to increase, more prosecutors are willing to issue an indictment against computer criminals.
One of the biggest challenges with computer crime statutes is the rapidly changing nature of technology, and, thus, computer crime itself. Many states tried to adopt general criminal codes already in use at the beginning of the computer era but found that they were typically unsuccessful in terms of the technology involved. As the computer era evolved, states began making specific statutes aimed solely at computer crime. There are seven general categories into which state computer crime statutes can be separated:
Expansive Definition of Property. Some states have attacked computer crime under the existing criminal statutory framework by expanding the notion of property to include emerging and computer technologies.
Destruction. Many state statutes directed at computer crime criminalize acts which alter, damage, delete or destroy computer programs or files.
Use To Commit, Aid or Abet Commission of a Crime. Some states prohibit use of a computer to facilitate the commission of c a crime such as embezzlement or fraud.
Knowing Unauthorized Use. Other states prohibit knowing unauthorized use and have defined it broadly as activity which modifies, destroys, discloses, us...