Video: Three ways you might be breaking the law with your computer

Most of your users probably don't see themselves as criminals, but they might be pretty clueless about the legal implications of what they're doing or storing on your network. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler gives you an overview of several recent laws and their implications for IT.

For many years, the Internet was like the "wild west," operating largely unregulated. But, the days of the carefree and unregulated World Wide Web are just about over. Legislation affecting the use of Internet-connected computers is increasing at the local, state, and federal level.

With such a proliferation of legal activity, it's possible that you, or your end users, are violating the law without even realizing it. In this IT Dojo video, I'll give you an overview of several recent laws and their implications for IT.

I'll discuss the following laws, case law, and proposed pieces of legislation:

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (or DMCA)
  • No Electronic Theft (or NET) Act
  • Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008 (combines the PRO-IP Act and PIRATE Act)
  • Right of Customs officers to search laptops and other digital devices at the border crossings
  • "Tools of crime" laws
Note: Before you watch this video, let me provide an important disclaimer. Although I actually have a background and degrees in criminal justice, I'm not a lawyer. Nothing in this video should be construed as legal advice. I provide an overview of recent legislation, discuss how it's been interpreted by the courts (if applicable), and outline any possible implications for IT.

After watching the video, you can learn more about recent IT related legislation by reading Deb Shinder's article,"10 ways you might be breaking the law with your computer"—the basis for this video.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...