This is a letter i wrote to a law expert here:
plz if u have the time help us. this is urgent.
Hi Professor ***.
I hope I am not taking up too much of your time, but I have a serious question about computer crime laws. First I should say that I am high school student here in ****** and one of my friends has just had his laptop confiscated by the BVSD (******* Valley School District). My friend is a very capable computer programmer and helps often with our school network, is on the web team, and has helped the network administrators many times. Recently he and another of his friends found a leak in the network that allowed access to the social security numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal information for every teacher in the district. However, upon finding this he reported the leak to administrators who fixed the leak and thanked them.
More recently, the same two people created a program online that was essentially a search utility that would bring up information about any student in the BVSD when their name was entered. The program displays the student's picture, name, grade, school, address, and phone number and when the name was clicked a google map would show their house location. However, this information (they only recently informed me) was gathered illegally from the lunch program of the BVSD, and the information also contained more social security numbers though these were not displayed on the website. The laptops were seized because of this program, but the BVSD suspects a link between this program and the discovery of the information leak previously. The grounds on which they have seized the laptops is that the program illegally utilizes restricted information that was gathered without authorization.
The district now has possession of their 2 laptops, both of which have all of the aforementioned student's information on them. (In addition they contain student ID numbers). However there are no social security numbers on them. The district officials have threatened possibly arrest my friends or simply expel them (neither of which is a desirable option). Also for what it's worth when the district seized the laptops they threatened to expel my friends if they resisted.
We have already determined that they are guilty of the following laws:
18-9-309 communications crime
18 U.S.C 1030 computer fraud
There are very possibly more laws they are guilty of, but these are the main ones. Essentially what we are wondering from you is
A) What other laws they might be guilty of breaking
B) How we might contest these charges and on what grounds
C) If we can't dismiss any of the charges, how we might lessen the sentence.
We are no law experts, so we turn to you for help. My friends have until tomorrow to legally sort out their situation, so if you have the time and are willing your help could greatly help this situation. They know they acted wrongly and are willing to make up for their mistake by helping the BVSD web team, network team, or generally in any way possible.
Thank you so much for your time.