Computer Fraud And Abuse Act ( Cfaa ) And Cyberbullying Essay

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Emily Jessep
Intellectual Property Crimes
Professors Dreyfuss and First
November 15, 2016

INCOMPATIBLE: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and Cyberbullying

I. Introduction

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) does not cover cyberbullying done via social networking websites and should not be used to prosecute it. Application of the CFAA to cyberbullying prosecutions is inconsistent with the intended scope of the statute and the existing interpretations of its provisions. Practically speaking, nothing in the history of the CFAA suggests that Congress envisioned a cyberbullying prosecution under the statute. The CFAA itself was developed in response to the emerging problems of cybercrime. Mail and wire fraud statutes could not adequately deal with the issue. This shows that once technology develops, the legislature and laws must develop with it.
Constitutionally, the CFAA fails as a tool to prosecute cyberbullying because, when applied to that conduct, the statute is void for vagueness. First, the statute does not place an ordinary person on notice that their conduct is illegal. Second, the statute does not give minimal objective criteria to assist law enforcement agencies in its application.
Part II of this paper will discuss the cultural and legal definitions of cyberbullying and briefly touch upon why it has become a pervasive problem. Part III of this paper will focus on the evolution of the CFAA, its legislative history, and how courts are applying
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