The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a computer security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills crack and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions.
Subsection 1030(b) makes it a crime to attempt to commit any of these offenses. Subsection 1030(c) catalogs the penalties for committing them, penalties that range from imprisonment for not more than a year for simple cyberspace trespassing to a maximum of life imprisonment when death results from intentional computer damage. Subsection 1030(d) preserves the investigative authority of the Secret Service. Subsection 1030(e) supplies common definitions. Subsection 1030(f)
disclaims any application to otherwise permissible law enforcement activities. Subsection 1030(g) creates a civil cause of action of victims of these crimes.