The U.S. government has a wide array of tools available to fight cybercrime, ranging from laws and regulations specifically addressing cybercrimes to law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service. These government organizations are tasked with investigating cybercrime activity within the U.S. All 50 states have at least one computer crime law, most focusing on unauthorized access or virtual trespass. Major private-sector organizations have dedicated resources to protect their corporate infrastructure from cybercrime activity. In 2015, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) was signed into law by President Obama, forming an information-sharing program between government law enforcement agencies and technology and manufacturing companies. One year after the rollout of CISA, 50 agencies, private companies, and organizations had joined the Department of Homeland Security’s automated information sharing (AIS) network.

Investigators face many barriers while investigating both domestic and global cybercrime, such as jurisdiction issues, victim cooperation, language and cultural differences, anonymity, lack of international laws, and definitions identifying cyber-criminal activity. With this in mind, we will examine the effectiveness of the federal government’s cybercrime prevention strategies and practices.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

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· Analyze the effectiveness of the federal government’s efforts to protect against cybercrimes.

· Identify barriers to the federal government’s ability to protect sufficiently against cybercrimes.


· Textbook: Cybercrime and Digital Forensics: An Introduction

· Video: The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet: Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide

· Video: Where Is Cybercrime Really Coming From?

· Article: Efforts to Protect US Government Data against Hackers Undermined by Worker Mistakes

· Article: The 2016 Trends in Cybercrime That You Need to Know about

· IWU Resources

· Website: OCLS Critical Evaluation Checklist for Internet Websites

Background Information

It is important to draw a distinction between crimes that may use computers to commit a criminal act, the use of computers as the medium to commit crime, and crimes specifically targeting computers. Crimes that may use computers to commit a criminal act are not cybercrimes. For instance, an individual might use a computer and a printer to create a fake ID. The creation of the fake ID is a criminal act, but not a cybercrime. The individual could have used a typewriter to create the fake ID. In this instance, the computer is simply a tool.

Cybercrimes are different. They are crimes in which the use of a computer is required to further the crime or the computer itself is the target of the criminal act. This includes acts like identity theft, phishing, malware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Many federal laws and regulations address cybercrime and related activity. The first federal computer crime statute was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (CFAA), often considered the most important computer crime statute in the U.S. because it serves as the basis for nearly all computer crime law written since. Over time, new laws and regulations (like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, the Federal Information Security Management Act, the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Access Devices regulation, and the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act) were adopted as the types of cybercrime and the tools and techniques changed.

While law enforcement agencies are bound by jurisdictional limits, cybercriminals are not. Even though all 50 states have at least one cybercrime law, we will focus on federal laws, as they are likely the most applicable when discussing cybercrime.


1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.

2. Review the following chapters in the textbook, Cybercrime and Digital Forensics: An Introduction:

a. Chapter 4, “Malware and Automated Computer Attacks”

b. Chapter 5, “Digital Piracy and Intellectual Property Theft”

c. Chapter 6, “Economic Crimes and Online Fraud”

3. Watch the video “The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet: Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CashAq5RToM

4. Read the following articles:

a. “Efforts to Protect US Government Data against Hackers Undermined by Worker Mistakes” https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/10/us-government-hacking-cybercrime-workers-crime

b. “The 2016 Trends in Cybercrime That You Need to Know about

c. https://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/28/the-2016-trends-in-cybercrime-that-you-need-to-know-about.html

5. Review the video from Caleb Barlow, “Where Is Cybercrime Really Coming From?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqrLUtIFVjs

6. In a 500- to 750-word essay, respond to the following:

a. Identify at least one case in which your chosen law was used in the prosecution of a cybercrime.

b. Elaborate on how your proposed law would accomplish this.

c. What barriers might impair the successful implementation of the law and/or the prosecution of criminals it targets?

d. Identify at least one federal law that aims to protect U.S. citizens from cybercrime. Analyze how such a law protects U.S. citizens from cybercrime.

e. Propose a new federal law to prevent cybercrimes.

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