The presence of computers in modern life cannot be overstated. While they have made life much easier, more convenient, and in some ways more exciting, they also offer criminals novel ways to commit crimes. Most states have computer crime laws that prohibit unauthorized access to a computer or network, especially when they involve theft, alteration, or destruction of data or computer networks.
One common computer crime is the unauthorized access of a retailer's customer database, which often yields credit card numbers and other sensitive data. While identity theft is often committed with the help of a computer, it is not considered a computer crime, since it may also be committed in other ways that don't involve computers.
Overview of Alaska Computer Crime Laws
Computer crimes are charged as a Class C felony in Alaska and include any kind of unauthorized access of a computer or network for the purpose of tampering with data, obtaining sensitive information, and other acts.
See the following chart for more details about the Alaska computer crime statute. See FindLaw's Cyber Crimes section for related articles and resources.
A person commits the offense of criminal use of a computer if, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person has such a right, the person knowingly accesses, causes to be accessed, or exceeds the person's authorized access to a computer, computer system, computer program, computer network, or any part of a computer system or network, and, as a result of or in the course of that access:
- Obtains information concerning a person;
- Introduces false information into a computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network with the intent to damage or enhance the data record or the financial reputation of a person;
- Introduces false information into a computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network and, with criminal negligence, damages or enhances the data record or the financial reputation of a person;
- Obtains proprietary information of another person;
- Obtains information that is only available to the public for a fee;
- Introduces instructions, a computer program, or other information that tampers with, disrupts, disables, or destroys a computer, computer system, computer program, computer network, or any part of a computer system or network; or
- Encrypts or decrypts data.
|Mental State Required for Prosecution
|Knowingly, without reasonable grounds
|Misdemeanor Computer Crimes
|Felony Computer Crimes
|All computer crimes defined by this statute are charged as a Class C felony
|Attempt Considered a Crime?
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?
Note: State laws tend to change from time to time, often through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through the decisions of higher courts or other means. You may want to contact an Alaska criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Alaska Computer Crime Laws: Related Resources