“It Wasn’t Me!”: A Viable Legal Defense For Hacking?

legal defense for hacking

Due to the advent of identity theft, botnets, trojans and other digital mischief, does “I didn’t do it” work as a legal defense for hacking?

What defense do some accused hackers use? “I didn’t do it!” And truth be told, with the proliferation of intelligent malware and the existence of programs like WATSON, the premise isn’t far-fetched.

Consider the complexity of Stuxnet, Daqu, and the more recent flame worms/viruses to know that smart hackers are formidable opponents; experts at masking.

Way back in 2003, Reuters published a piece about the “I didn’t do it” legal defense for hacking. One of the alleged, profiled hackers had been acquitted of security breach charges for supposedly accessing a corporate computer system without consent.

According to Reuters:

In two other cases, [the man was] accused of downloading child pornography but their attorneys successfully argued that trojan programs found on their computers were to blame.

What Would It Take For The “It Wasn’t Me” Legal Defense For Hacking To Work?

However, this is not to say all security breach cases are the same or that “It was a virus on my computer” would work in every court around the world. Still, the case raises a legal ethics question: Are people being falsely accused of hacking crimes? And if so, what checks and balances must be established before politicians pass another digital security act?
The day a non-Sapiens computer commits a crime is near. Heck, it may have already happened. Regardless, for an “It wasn’t me” legal defense for hacking to work, defendants would need to prove independent action on the computer’s part. Plus, the arguing attorney would need superior reductive rhetoric skills — not to mention a deep understanding of technology — to convince a judge and an entire jury that the defendants had no clue the destructive action was happening.

Security Breach Counsel

Are you in need of legal counsel related to a hacking or security breach issue? We understand the ins-and-outs of Internet security legalities and hacking-related legislation. We’re discreet, Internet law attorneys who can help minimize the impact of your situation. Contact us to get started.

Speak To An Online Privacy Attorney »