The concept of white-collar crime dates back to 1939, when Edwin Sutherland – the president of the American Sociological Society – raised concern over law enforcement’s preoccupation with low status, “street crimes” and the relative inattention given to offenses perpetrated by people in occupations of higher status.
Martha Stewart and others will tell you that “relative inattention” is no longer the case in a society where white-collar crime has become a highly visible target.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines white-collar crime as “those illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence. Individuals and organizations commit these acts to obtain money, property, or service; to avoid the payment or loss of money or services; or to secure personal or business advantage.”
The Law Offices of Ronald G. Brower have extensive experience defending individuals accused of white-collar crimes, which in today’s wired world involve a wide array of Internet-related crimes. Hacking, for example, involves gaining illegal access to servers and other computer hardware to steal computer code, personal information, or simply wreak havoc throughout a specific enterprise or an entire network.
Likewise, the Internet has given rise to a wide variety of other crimes. California has recently added language to its stalking laws that applies to electronic stalking. The traditional definition of stalking (California Penal Code §646.9) applies to anyone willfully and maliciously harassing and threatening another person to the point where the person has cause for reasonable fear of his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family. Anyone convicted of stalking may be imprisoned in a county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of up to $1,000, or both, or by imprisonment in a state prison.
To give one example of how California law-makers are reacting to Internet crime, the crime of stalking may be committed by an "electronic communication device" that can include a computer, a pager, and even a cellular phone.