Computer and High Tech Crimes

1. Is it a crime to send or receive child pornography images through the Internet? 

Yes, it is a felony under both state and federal law.

2.Is it a crime to "hack" into a private or public Internet site without permission? 

Yes, it can be a felony under state and federal law.

3. Is it a crime to deliberately load or "infect" a private or public Internet site or computer system with a "computer virus"? 

Yes, it can be a felony under state and federal law.

4. If I am being "stalked" or threatened by someone via an Internet instant message, chat room or e-mail, is it a crime? 

It could be a crime depending on the type of threats and activity. Under Wyoming law, W.S. 6-2-506 (b) (i), it is illegal for a person to harass another person by communicating, anonymous or other wise by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic or written means in a manner that harasses.

5. What do I do if I receive a threatening e-mail? 

Save the e-mail and report it to a law enforcement agency of jurisdiction. If the e-mail harassment persists, some Internet Service Providers can provide you with e-mail "blocking" from harassing e-mail.

6. If I am in an Internet "chat room" and am uncomfortable with the conversation, what should I do? 

Be careful about releasing details about yourself to others in a chat room. If you don't feel good about the conversation, stop it and get out.

7. What are my privacy rights on the Internet? 

Reputable vendors on the Internet have privacy policies regarding release of your personal information to others. The best practice is to be informed and aware of your privacy rights with both vendors and Internet Service Providers. For more information regarding cyber space privacy concerns, go the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/.

8. What can a parent do to protect children? 

Monitor what computer sites your children access from home. Talk to them regarding what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior on the Internet. You can purchase software that can screen the Internet sites your children access with a computer. Some Internet Service Providers provide this software free to their customers.

9. What is the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) doing about computer and high tech crimes? 

We have Special Agents in Cheyenne who have been trained in the investigation of computer crimes and recovery of related evidence. We also have a Computer and High Tech Crime Center at DCI Headquarters in Cheyenne. We conduct joint investigations with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

10. Who can I report Internet fraud schemes to? 

Report it to your local law enforcement agency or to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National White Collar Crime Center at their cyber tip line at http://www.ifccfbi.gov/.

11. Who can I report the use of an Internet or a computer virus or the “hacking” of a computer system to? 

Report it to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local law enforcement agency or to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) infrastructure protection at http://www.nipc.gov/.