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CHAPTER 33. Cyberlaw. Click your mouse anywhere on the screen when you are ready to advance the text within each slide. .

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Chapter 33



Chapter 33

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Quote of the day

Quote of the Day

“The moving finger writes; and, having writ

Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line.

Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”

Omar Khayyam (1050?-1123?), Persian poet, astronomer and mathematician



  • Personal communications and private information such as financial data may be exposed when transmitted via the internet from three main sources:

    • Internet tracking

    • Computer hard drive

    • E-mail

Of cookies and caches

Of Cookies and Caches

  • A cookie is a small file that includes an identification number and personal data such as your name, address, phone and credit card numbers and Internet searches you have made.

    • Cookies are used to target ads to the specific interests of a user.

    • Cookies allow “one-stop-shopping” on sites where the user has registered information.

    • Some cookies work only on a specific web site; others follow a user from site to site.

  • A cache file stores a record of what Web pages you have visited.

Chapter 33

Government Regulation of Online Privacy

  • Federal regulations

    • Members of Congress have filed many bills to regulate online privacy, but no consensus—and little law—has emerged. There has, however, been some government regulation.

  • Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits unfair and deceptive practices.

    • The FTC applies this statute to on-line privacy policies: It does not require Web sites to have a privacy policy, but if they do have one, they must follow it.

Chapter 33

Government Regulation of Online Privacy

  • Constitutional Protections

    • The First Amendment to the Constitution protects free speech, including Internet postings and websites.

    • The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. This extends to digital files on computers.

Electronic communications privacy act of 1986

Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986

  • Prohibits the unauthorized interception or disclosure of wire and electronic communication.

    • The intended recipient of an e-mail may disclose it to anyone she desires.

    • ISPs are generally prohibited from disclosing electronic messages to anyone other than the addressee.

    • An employer may monitor e-mail only in certain situations.

    • The government must have a search warrant to access e-mail messages.

Children s online privacy protection act of 1998 coppa

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA)

  • This statute prohibits Internet operators from collecting information from children under age 13 without parental permission.

  • It also requires sites to disclose how they will use any information they acquire.

Chapter 33

Government Regulation of Online Privacy

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Privacy Act of 1999

    • Requires banks and other financial institutions to disclose to consumers any non-public information they wish to reveal to third parties.

    • Also prohibits pretexting, a process by which information brokers use deception to find out private financial information.

  • State Regulations

    • A few states have enacted online privacy statutes.

  • European Directive

    • Prohibits transfer of personal data to any countries that do not provide adequate privacy protection.



  • Spyware is a computer program that slips onto your computer without your permission – through e-mails, Internet downloads or software installations.

  • These programs monitor your activities, log your keystrokes and can report e-mail addresses, passwords and credit card numbers to outsiders.

  • Congress has considered legislation to control spyware, but has not taken final action.

Chapter 33


  • Unsolicited Commercial (or Bulk) e-mail

    • Creates additional cost to internet users, as the ISP’s costs rise for processing the excessive e-mails.

  • Fraudulent Spam

    • Up to 80% of all e-mail is spam; roughly half of all spam is fraudulent.

    • FTC has attacked fraudulent spam, but enforcement is difficult.


    • The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) is a federal statute regulating spam.

Communications decency act of 1996

Communications Decency Act of 1996

  • An ISP is not liable for information that is provided by someone else, even if it is transmitted through its service.

Crime on the internet

Crime on the Internet

  • Hacking: gaining unauthorized access to a computer.

  • Fraud: deception of a person for the purpose of gaining money or property from him.

    • Internet auctions are a venue for fraud

      • Shilling: bidding on your own items for sale or agreeing to cross-bid with a group of sellers

      • Selling defective or non-existent items

  • Identity Theft: not a new crime, but made easier with the Internet.

Identity theft

Identity Theft

  • The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 prohibits the use of false identification to commit fraud or other crime and it also permits the victim to seek restitution in court.

  • Phishing is the use of a fraudulent e-mail to entice the recipient to enter personal (usually financial) information.

Chapter 33

“The law in this area is so young and unformed that oftentimes we must ask not only, ‘What is the law?’ but also, ‘What should the law be?’”

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