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Texas Computer Hacking Laws: Overview

Computers have become an integral part of personal and business lives for many people. These gadgets are used nearly for everything everywhere. Given the scope of what’s considered as a computer under the Texas state and federal laws, it takes very minimal effort to understand that nearly everything has a computer in it.

The same way computers have become very powerful instruments of war among countries, they have become war tools in the business world too. The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, one of the leading law organizations in Texas, it’s important to understand the laws governing the use of computers and the consequences of hacking and other cybercrimes.

The law

In Texas, there are two major laws that are used in the prosecution of computer hacking. These laws include the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) federal law and the Texas Breach of Computer Security (BCS) law.

Both laws are also known as ‘unauthorized access’ laws as they prohibit computer access by people who aren’t authorized. Remember the term ‘access’ is imperative when it comes to an understanding of how these laws work. This is because a lot of litigation tend to focus on elements of what is an ‘access of a computer.’

CFAA

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) criminal statute was enacted in 1986. Eight years later (1994), an amendment to this criminal statute added a provision that would allow a complainant to bring any private civil cause of action associated with many violations of the CFAA.

This law prohibits the misuse of any computer by knowingly or intentionally accessing a computer without the necessary authorization or by going beyond the authorized access. If you’re an authorized computer user then you exceed your authorized access limits, you will be breaking the law.

In Texas, CFAA is frequently used for combating computer hacking and other related cybercrimes. It’s considered the king of all computer fraud-related laws. Therefore, it’s imperative for all litigation computer attorneys to have an in-depth understanding of this law – what it covers, the basics of its use, and different issues that pose challenges and are frequently ligated. Besides, non-attorneys should also learn the law as it makes it easier for you to stay away from trouble.

BCS

The Breach of Computer Security (BCS) is a Texas’ computer hacking law. It’s a criminal law with a civil cause of action the conduct associated with its violation was committed intentionally or knowingly according to Chapter 143 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code – HACA (Harmful Access by Computer Act). In 2015, this law was amended to address the misuse of computers by privileged or insider computer users.

Limitations

Note that the limitation period related to both BCS and CFAA is the earlier of five years from the day the last crime committed or two years from the time you, the plaintiff, had an opportunity to discover the violation.

If you’re the party asserting a AFAA or BCS claim, it’s your burden to prove that the defendant intentionally or knowingly accessed a computer system, network, or the computer itself without authorized access.

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