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02Dec

Question: Is an aluminum food container evidence of computer trespassing?

Thus far, no court has found possession of coffee or soup cans to be evidence of computer trespass, although one “cantenna” prosecution has been brought relying on the discovery of a popular food container.  In Elk Grove, California, a high-school student faced eight felony computer-theft charges for allegedly hacking into his school’s computer system and changing his grades. When police searched his home, they found aluminum-lined, cylindrical potato-chip containers that some hackers use as crude antennas to help them intercept wireless signals. Known as “cantennas,” they consist of a Pringles can and some hardware worth $5 to $10 but can be used to amplify a wireless signal several miles away.  However, this hardware might be used to legitimately enhance wireless signals or illegally hack into unsecured networks.

Do you think the aluminum cans can be used as evidence against the high school student?  Do you think it would it be enough to convict him of computer theft?  Please leave your comments.

In Louisiana, computer fraud is the accessing or causing to be accessed of any computer, computer system, computer network, or any part thereof with the intent to:

(1)  Defraud; or

(2)  Obtain money, property, or services by means of false or fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations, or through the fraudulent alteration, deletion, or insertion of programs or data.

Whoever commits computer fraud shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.

In Louisiana, computer tampering is the intentional commission of any of the actions enumerated in this Subsection when that action is taken knowingly and without the authorization of the owner of a computer:

(1)  Accessing or causing to be accessed a computer or any part of a computer or any program or data contained within a computer.

(2)  Copying or otherwise obtaining any program or data contained within a computer.

(3)  Damaging or destroying a computer, or altering, deleting, or removing any program or data contained within a computer, or eliminating or reducing the ability of the owner of the computer to access or utilize the computer or any program or data contained within the computer.

(4)  Introducing or attempting to introduce any electronic information of any kind and in any form into one or more computers, either directly or indirectly, and either simultaneously or sequentially,  with the intention of damaging or destroying a computer, or altering, deleting, or removing any program or data contained within a computer, or eliminating or reducing the ability of the owner of the computer to access or utilize the computer or any program or data contained within the computer.

If you or someone you know has been charged with theft, fraud, or an Internet crime contact Baton Rouge Criminal Attorney Carl Barkemeyer by visiting www.attorneycarl.com.

Source: www.law.com, “The Commonality of Technology as Defense,” November 28, 2011

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