Aspects of Law Not Based on Morality

In the late 1990s, computer viruses were generally spread via the Internet,either in e-mail (e.g., a virus contained in a MicrosoftWord macro, or a worm contained in an attachment to e-mail)or in programs downloaded from a website.

Two comments on word usage in this essay:

Experts in computer security, who are  attorneys,speak of

I originally wrote this essay in May 1999.

Journalists play an important role in this deterrence by reportingon the crime (and how people were harmed), arrest, trial, andsentence of the guilty criminals.

There are three major classes of criminal activity with computers:

However, thereappear to be no reported court cases in the USAthat have decided this issue.

There is another remedy in civil law, besides damages awardedin tort litigation:a victim can get a temporary restraining order (TRO),then an injunction,that enjoins continuance of wrongs(e.g., disclosure of proprietary or private data)that will cause irreparable harm or for which there isno adequate remedy at law.

One of the functions of the criminal justice system is to crime by other people.

Unauthorized UseUnauthorized use of computers tends generally takes the following forms:
The traditional laws were no longer adequate topunish criminals who used computer modems.

There are several basic ways to get these data:

So, even if one accepts the reasoning that malicious code is desirable because it increases awareness of security issues, the increased awareness is practically effective, hence this "justification" fails.

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That computer stored records of cancerpatients' radiation treatment.

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Moreover, many of the clauses of the Constitution have moral implications:

The eighth Amendment has a host of moral concepts embedded in it:

When a parent has (1) special reason to know of the need to control a child and (2) the ability and opportunity to control that child, she may be negligent in failing to do so.