Information Technology Acts


The advancement in technology brings about both positive and negative effects. While effective IT systems and software enhance various day-to-day activities, software and systems do not lack loopholes that make them vulnerable. Individuals with malicious intention exploit these loopholes, gain access to systems, and steal confidential information, manipulate computer codes and cause considerable losses. Rising cases of cyber attacks and other crime relating to technology has necessitated collaborative efforts between individuals, organizations and the government to create stringent measures that will safeguard entities from technology-based crimes.

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The enactment of the Federal Information Security Act (FISMA) of 2002 was largely a response to the rapidly transforming information and technology domain. It aroused concern by the Congress regarding the influence of computers and the internet on interactions between individuals, businesses and government. In this regard, the government in conjunction with various stakeholders embarked on the drafting of FISMA to promote transparency and accountability while maintaining satisfactory levels of access to the government’s information and services (White, 2011).

The development of computer networks introduced a loophole that promotes widespread cyber-attacks. The expansive nature of computer networks allows intruders to gain a worldwide access to computers by exploiting a weakness in a network. Internet connectivity allows easy cyber-attacks as it creates a common platform upon which computers can send data to each other from any part of the world. The development and use of software in aiding various tasks introduced another channel for technology-based crimes. By exploiting vulnerabilities in software, individuals with malicious intentions can cause damages of global magnitude. Thus, there was the need to input efforts into ensuring that software guarantees system security. The internet, computer technologies and software create a framework upon which an individual with a comprehensive understanding of the functionality of these components can obtain information and command computers from a different locality (Easttom & Taylor, 2011). The computerization of most systems has expanded the scope upon which individuals may use information technology to serve malicious objectives. Computerization introduces the use of software and programs in systems and thus renders them vulnerable to malicious attacks.

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USA patriot act

Rising cases of terrorism within the United States and globally promoted the enactment of the USA patriot act of 2001. The act incorporated various aspects of technology, which would help law enforcers to tackle terrorism. Furthermore, the stakeholders involved in the drafting of the act considered that terrorists were adopting information technology to facilitate attacks (Wong, 2006). The development in electronic surveillance introduced a new approach in investigations by law enforcers. This concept promotes the comprehensive gathering of information. Thus, its role in the planning of counter-terrorism measures is crucial. Advancement in communication devices such as cell phones helps terrorists to evade various surveillance measures imposed on them. In this regard, there was the need to adopt counter-technology measures such as roving wiretap that reflected new technologies in order to monitor terrorist activities. Advancement in the e-commerce allowed terrorists to make purchases and receive money from sympathizers located anywhere in the world. In response, the patriot act incorporated policies that allow law enforcers to access records on any transaction by individuals suspected of engaging in acts of terrorism. By facilitating information sharing among government agencies, the patriot act expanded the scope of counter-terrorism. Computer hacking created a loophole for terrorist upon which they falsely obtain data or steal an identity. The use of sophisticated hacking tools enables the terrorist to obtain confidential information that could benefit their acts. In this regard, the patriot act introduced policies citing electronic trespass as a criminal offense.


FISMA and USA patriot act constitute some of the major policies and regulations introduced in response to technology-based crimes. While their effects have been significant, a frequent review of these acts and other counter-measures to information technology-related crimes is crucial considering the dynamism associated with technology. A failure in this regard may result in obsolete acts and regulations in the next few years.

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