Skip to main content

Primary tabs

Criminal Resource Manual

1020. 18 U.S.C. § 1030—Pre October 1996

The version of 18 U.S.C. § 1030 in effect prior to October 3, 1996, provides express prohibitions against numerous types of computer crimes. It contains six separate provisions that create three felonies and four misdemeanors. It also punishes attempts to commit these offenses (§  1030(b)). Finally, it expressly provides for enhanced punishments for any section 1030 offense when the defendant has already been convicted of another offense or attempt covered under the same subsection. These enhanced penalties reflect the increasing seriousness with which computer-related crime is regarded.

Prior to the enactment of section 1030, several statutes that were not specifically tailored to combat computer crimes were used as the primary weapons of prosecutors. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. §§ 1029, 1343. Section 1030 does not preempt these older statutes, and they may be charged regardless of whether a violation under section 1030 is charged or not. United States v. Riggs, 739 F. Supp. 414, 423 (N.D.Ill. 1990).

[cited in USAM 9-48.000]