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How law enforcement was ill prepared for the rise of the internet

Internet usage is at an all-time high. Most people in California and across the country use it every single day, multiple times a day. It is used for recreation, business and financial reasons. With this rise in internet use, comes a rise in internet crime. Like any innovation before it, people have learned to use the internet to commit crimes. Unfortunately, as Government Technology notes, the law has not quite caught up to the internet criminals.

What are some important internet laws I should know?

When you use the internet in California, you are not in some lawless space where your actions carry no consequences. There are actually plenty of laws governing the internet and your activity when you are online. It is important for you to understand these laws, so you do not face penalties or legal action against you.

The effects of the internet on intellectual property rights

Protecting your intellectual property in California has gotten a bit more difficult as technology has advanced. The internet has opened doors to allow people to easily copy and reproduce your material without permission. At Millstone, Peterson & Watts, LLP, we understand that protecting your property is essential to ensuring only you are able to profit from what is rightfully yours. However, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on the laws and on the risk because they both are constantly changing as technology evolves.

How is internet crime regulated?

The internet is a huge non-tangible thing that has taken over the world. Even though you are using it in California, you may be looking at content that was created half-way around the world in another country. This leads to many questions about how law is maintained on the internet. In the United States, the Department of Justice states that various law enforcement agencies at all levels help to monitor the internet and keep it from total anarchy.

How social media is used in law enforcement investigations

Any information that a person in California puts online becomes public information. Even with security and privacy tools being used, this information is still available to anyone who really wants it, including, in many cases, law enforcement. In fact, the use of the internet, specifically social media, by law enforcement in the investigation of crimes has become rather popular. According to Small Business Trends, detectives are routinely using social media to gather clues and evidence to use against criminals in court.

Spam laws in California

Spam is when someone sends an email to a person who has not asked to receive it and who has no established relationship with the sender. The California legislature has enacted a law to ensure that consumers are protected against spam. Anyone found breaking this law can be sued by anyone they send spam to, as well as by the Attorney General or email providers involved. Violators may be charged with a misdemeanor and may face up to six months in jail, along with being ordered to pay fines, fees and/or restitution.

How do I protect my intellectual property online?

Anything creative that you put on the internet instantly becomes available to anyone in California, the country and the world. It also provides a lot of opportunities for people to filch your work. According to the International Academy of Design & Technology, to protect your intellectual property, you need to clearly communicate through a disclaimer or statement predominantly displayed on your website that the work is copyrighted or trademarked, or has other intellectual property protection.

Criminal activity through social media

There’s no question that millions of people are updating their statuses, loading pictures or taking videos of their most prized life moments and posting them on various social media sites. While Californians want to protect their personal information and lives, many choose to share these intimate details with their friends and family online. Unfortunately, this leaves a perfect avenue for criminals to gain access to private files and use them for purposes that may not always be good.

The detection, prosecution and prevention of internet crimes

For years, deceptive people in California and throughout the nation have been able to gain access to peoples’ private information through the internet. These cybercriminals steal personal financial information, medical data and other crucial details simply by hacking into a software system or performing some other act of internet fraud. In an attempt to stop this criminal activity from happening, the United States government created the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3. Not only does this agency help to detect and intercept internet crimes, but it focuses on prosecuting and preventing internet misconduct.

Internet romance schemes victimize innocent people

With the continuing advancement of internet technology, incidents of computer crimes in California and across the nation have run rampant. Millions of people have come forward claiming that they have been victims of internet crimes, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Officials state, however, that only 15 percent of all internet crimes are actually reported to law enforcement officers. Other incidents either go undetected or are simply unreported. Although there are many types of online crimes, internet romance schemes stand out as one of the most emotionally devastating.

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