Section Description Provided by Instructor
This course will explore the legal issues that judges, legislators, and lawyers increasingly confront as they respond to the recent explosion in Internet and computer-related crime. In particular, we will consider how crimes in cyberspace will challenge traditional approaches to the investigation and prosecution of crime that have evolved from our experience with crimes in physical space. Topics will include: the Fourth Amendment in cyberspace, the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking, computer viruses, online economic espionage, cyberterrorism, national sovereignty, and civil liberties online. No previous experience is required, although familiarity with the Internet and basic principles of criminal law will be helpful.
This seminar will examine how the criminal justice system should respond to computer-related crime. We will consider three broad questions. First, what conduct should be considered criminal in cyberspace? Second, what privacy regime should govern law enforcement investigations of computer crime? And third, how should traditional notions of sovereignty, adversarial proceedings, and punishment that govern the criminal law in the physical world apply in cyberspace? After our introductory first class, we will devote four to five classes to each of these questions.
We will also make direct use of a case study involving computer intrusion and electronic eavesdropping based on a recent case here in the Southern District of New York. This case study will be used as an aid to explaining both the basics of computer crimes and cybercrime investigations, as a means of illustrating many of the problems and difficult issues that exist in cybercrime and its enforcement, and as a vehicle to address the core three questions of this course. We will integrate this investigation into each week's topics where appropriate.
Students will be required to write two 1,500 word papers. These papers should represent an original work of scholarship that analyzes one of the issues that we discuss in class or, after speaking with the instructors, another appropriate topic.
M 6:20 –8:10 p.m.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (upon consultation), Major (only upon consultation)
Only 2Ls and above