Use of Spyware, Browsers, Hijacks and Other Software Prohibited

Have you Been Charged with Spyware, Browsers, Hijacks, or Other Prohibited Software in Georgia?

Spyware, browsers, and hijacks are all computer related programs that involve electronic spying. These programs can monitor and record everything typed on a computer, record browser history, or even disable anti-spyware programs in order to gain access to protected files. Electronic spying is considered a serious crime and it is crucial that you obtain representation immediately if you or a loved one has been charged. The Law Office of Lawson and Berry has over 50 combined years experience in criminal law and are ready to help fight your case.

Georgia law O.C.G.A. §16-5-152 outlines what is considered electronic spying:

It is illegal for any person or entity that is not an authorized user of a computer to knowingly, willfully, or with conscious indifference or disregard cause computer software to be copied onto such computer and use the software to do any of the following:

  • Modify, through intentionally deceptive means, settings related to the computer's access to, or use of, the Internet;
  • Collect, through intentionally deceptive means, personally identifiable material including a keystroke logging function or websites visited by an authorized user;
  • Prevent an authorized user's reasonable efforts to block the installation of, or to disable software by causing software that the authorized user has properly removed or disabled to automatically reinstall or reactive on the computer without the authorized of an authorized user;
  • Intentionally misrepresent that software will be uninstalled or disabled by an authorized user's action, with knowledge that the software will not be uninstalled or disabled; or
  • Through intentionally deception means, remove, disable, or render inoperative security, antispyware, or antivirus software installed on the computer.

This statute does not apply to:

  • Authorized updates of software or system firmware;
  • Authorized remote system management
  • Network maintenance
  • Monitoring of a user's Internet connection by a cable operate or software provider, or
  • Technical support or repair

Penalty for Spyware, Browsers, Hijacks, or Other Prohibited Software

If convicted of violating O.C.G.A §16-9-152, the defendant will be guilty of a felony and be sentenced to a prison term between one and ten years or a fine of no more than 3 million or both prison and a fine.

If the victim does not bring a civil suit against the defendant, the Attorney General is also allowed to bring a civil action against anyone who violates this statute to recover:

  • A civil penalty of up to $100.00 per violation of the statute, or up to $100,000.00 for a pattern or practice of such violations;
  • Costs and reasonable attorney's fees; and
  • An order to enjoin the violation.

Georgia Defenses to Use of Spyware, Browsers, Hijacks, or Other Prohibited Software 

Authorized User: Evidence that the defendant was, in fact, an authorized user would be a complete defense to this crime.

Lack of Intent: If there is no evidence demonstrating that the accused had the intent to commit the crime, then your Attorney could use that either get the charges dismissed or the sentence lowered.

Unintentional Misrepresentation: If the suspect was unaware that the information he was giving the client was false or misleading, then that would also be very helpful to their case.

Contact Us

Computer security crimes are highly complex and technical. It is difficult to defend your case by yourself so seek the experience of a highly trained Attorney. Our office has over 50 years of experience in criminal law and is ready to let their experience work for your benefit! Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We are here 24/7 so call us now!

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