Here is an example using the four elements for a property cybercrime involving criminal trespass (defined as entering unlawfully into an area to commit an offense) and theft of informationÂ—the intended offense to be done upon entry. A cyberperpetrator enters the computer and unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, the propertyÂ—the information of another (actus reus). The cyberperpetrator enters with the intent to commit an offense and acts with the intent of depriving the lawful owner of data (mens rea). By societyÂ’s standards, the cyberperpetrator has no legal right to enter the computer system or to gain control over the software (attendant circumstances). The cybercriminal is, therefore, liable for his or her acts. The cyberperpetrator unlawfully entered the computer (that is, criminal trespass) to commit an offense (that is, theft) once inside, and as a result, the target is not able to access his or her data (that is, harm is done to the target).
According to legal experts, except for the traditional crimes of bigamy and sexual assaultÂ—which technically cannot be committed in cyberspace because they are real-world actsÂ—other conventional crimes seem to be able to make a smooth transition into the virtual world. Nonetheless, there has been considerable controversy around the possibility of virtual sexual assault cases, with LambdaMoo being one case in point.
See Also: Harm; LambdaMoo.