This chapter continues our discussion of legal issues. In this chapter, we focus on problems and remedies that involve law enforcement organizations. This first part describes what alternatives may be available to you if your site is the subject of an electronic attack. The second part continues our litany of things that can get you in trouble—except this time, the offenses might land you in jail.
If you suffer a break-in or criminal damage to your system, you have a variety of different recourses under the U.S. legal system. This brief chapter cannot advise you on the many subtle aspects of the law. Every situation is different. Furthermore, there are differences between state and federal law, as well as different laws that apply to computer systems used for different purposes. Laws outside the U.S. vary considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; we won’t attempt to explain anything beyond the U.S. system. However, we should note that the global reach of the Internet may bring laws to bear that have their origin outside the U.S.
You should discuss your specific situation with a competent lawyer before pursuing any legal recourse. Because there are difficulties and dangers associated with legal approaches, you should also be sure that you want to pursue this course of action before you go ahead.
In some cases, you may have no choice; you may be required to pursue legal action. For example:
If you want ...