What Can I Do if Someone Hacks into My Facebook Account and Steals My Information?

Full Question:

Someone broke into my facebook account and email account. I have evidence. He has been breaking in my emails, facebook; phone account, etc harassing me. Using the information to his advantage. What can I do?
01/02/2011   |   Category: Internet ยป Hacking   |   State: West Virginia   |   #23921

Answer:

Crriminal charges may be filed by contacting the local police department or district attorney's office. Hacking is the deliberate and unauthorized access, use, disclosure, and/or taking of electronic data on a computer and is covered under federal and varied state criminal statutes. The computer crime of hacking is committed when a person willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has such authorization, attempts or achieves access, communication, examination, or modification of data, computer programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network. Hacking may also occur when a person willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has such authorization, destroys data, computer programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network. Besides the destruction of such data, hacking may also be defined to include the disclosure, use or taking of the data.

There is a common-law tort of invasion of privacy, which may be pursued when a person obtains information in a way considered “highly offensive to a reasonable person.” This common-law tort may exist even if the action is not prohibited by the state wiretap laws.

RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS, §652B (1977) provides:

“One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another, or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for the invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.”

If interstate commerce is involved, federal laws in the. the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), may apply.

The most common civil causes of action under the CFAA are brought under either:

1. 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C), which requires a showing that a person
(1) "intentionally,"
(2) accessed a computer,
(3) "without authorization" or "exceeded authorized access,"
(4) and obtained information from any "protected computer,"3
(5) if the conduct involved an interstate or foreign communication;

2. 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4) which requires a showing that a person has
(1) "knowingly and with intent to defraud,"
(2) accessed a "protected computer,"
(3) "without authorization," and thus
(4) has furthered the intended fraudulent conduct and obtained "anything of value"; or


3. 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5) which requires a showing that a person
(1) "knowingly,"
(2) caused transmission of a program, information, code or command and,
(3) as a result, "intentionally"
(4) caused damage,
(5) "without authorization,"
(6) to a "protected computer," or
(7) "intentionally,"
(8) accessed a "protected computer,"
(9) "without authorization," and
(10) caused damage" and "loss" aggregating at least $5,000.00.


In Bunnell v. Motion Picture Association of America , the plaintiff's complaint alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, unfair competition, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), tortious interference with a business expectancy, and sought injunctive relief and damages.


Because of the evolving nature of the law and complexity of evidence and laws involved, it is recommended to consult with an attorney. I am prohibited from giving legal advice, as this service provides information of a general legal nature. You may consult our attorney directory at the link below:

http://lawyers.uslegal.com/internet-law/west-virginia

Please see the following WV statutes:

§ 61-3C-12. Computer invasion of privacy.

Any person who knowingly, willfully and without authorization accesses a computer or computer network and examines any employment, salary, credit or any other financial or personal information relating to any other person, after the time at which the offender knows or reasonably should know that he is without authorization to view the information displayed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined in the county jail for not more than six months, or both.

§ 61-3C-14a. Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer; penalty.

(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass or abuse another person, use a computer to:
(1) Make contact with another without disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;
(2) Make contact with a person after being requested by the person to desist from contacting them;
(3) Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property; or
(4) Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted to a specific person after being requested to desist from sending such material.
For purposes of this section, "obscene material" means material that:
(A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is pandered to a prurient interest;
(B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals or sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and
(C) A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
(c) Any offense committed under this section may be determined to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or the place at which the contact was received or intended to be received.
(d) Any person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined in a county or regional jail not more than six months, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year, or both.