Q and A with Attorney Carlos Gamino - Part 7by Attorney Carlos Gamino on 07/22/14
This post is the seventh in a series of eight that features a question-and-answer session with Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño. As a criminal defense attorney in the Milwaukee and Waukesha areas, Carlos enjoys helping people solve legal problems.
Q: What are computer crimes?
Attorney Carlos Gamiño: Computer crimes generally include a wide range of things, from identity theft and Internet sex crimes (including child pornography) to hacking offenses. It can even be a crime to snoop in someone’s email or to take someone else’s content, photos or other intellectual property and use it as your own.
Q: What do you mean when you say “hacking,” and is it always illegal?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño: Hacking refers to willfully getting into someone’s data without permission. Whether you destroy it, copy it or change it, or you purposefully crash someone’s server, you could be charged with hacking. There are groups of people who specialize in computer hacking and do it for fun or for profit, and it’s illegal in all cases – even if there is no real damage or harm caused.
Q: Identity theft is a crime; when identities are stolen online, is that a more serious crime?
Attorney Carlos Gamiño: While it’s always illegal to do both of those things, you could face separate penalties for the two. If you run what’s known as a “phishing” scam, where you trick people into giving over personal information for the purpose of exploiting them or stealing their identities, you could be charged with both a computer crime and identity theft.
Q: Is it illegal to possess pornography on a computer?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño: It’s not illegal in itself to have pornography on your computer, your tablet or your smartphone. It is, however, illegal to have pornography that depicts minors. It’s also illegal to transmit it, whether you’re downloading it yourself or you’re sharing it with others.
If you’re accused of any Internet or computer crime, you need to talk to an attorney who can help. Because the Internet evolves so quickly, the laws are subject to change; it’s important to consult with a Milwaukee computer crimes lawyer who stays up-to-date on federal and state statutes.
Our next Q & A with Attorney Carlos Gamiño covers possession and distribution of marijuana.