Both state and federal laws address offenses that people may commit using a computer. At times, the FBI may drop the charges, and only the state will prosecute, or vice versa. However, in some cases, authorities at both levels decide to press charges.
Indiana’s laws are broad and cover a wide array of computer-related activities. The FBI addresses the same activities but gives more details.
Indiana computer crime laws
According to Indiana Code 35-43-2-3, accessing someone else’s property without consent is an offense that also applies to computer systems and networks, or parts of either. Systems include equipment, hardware or software. Networks are connections between two or more computers that allow electronic transmission of data.
It is also illegal to use, sell, purchase or distribute a hoarding program. This type of program bypasses or neutralizes security measures, controlled access or systems that limit how much an individual can purchase online.
There must be evidence that the person performed one of these offenses intentionally. A conviction is a Class A misdemeanor.
The FBI explains that the agency has the authority to investigate anyone who may be committing cybercrimes. Common activities they investigate include the following:
- Online threats (including those on social media)
- Spoofing and phishing
- Ransomware attacks
- Identity theft
- Data breaches
The FBI also investigates theft of intellectual and financial property, as well as other malicious or damaging activities. Federal investigators often work alongside local law enforcement, and there is a task force that focuses on particular cyber threats.
While information online can seem incriminating, deleted information may also cause trouble. Individuals who find themselves the focus of an investigation, whether it involves state or federal authorities, should take great care with their next actions.