28 New Eng. J. on Crim. & Civ. Confinement 215 (2002)
Examining the Legal Challenges to the Restriction of Computer Access as a Term of Probation or Supervised Release

handle is hein.journals/nejccc28 and id is 221 raw text is: Examining the Legal Challenges to the
Restriction of Computer Access as a Term
of Probation or Supervised Release
In the past decade, computer use has become an integral part of Ameri-
can life.1 Computers are now in a third of all households within the United
States, up from just eight point two percent in 1984.2 Among adults, com-
puter use has also risen.3 In the period from 1993 to 1997, the U.S. Census
Bureau reports that computer use among adults has risen from one in three,
to nearly half the adult population.4 This trend is even more pronounced
among children, with more than three quarters of all school aged children in
the U.S. using a computer at either school or in their home.5 Computers are
used for a variety of purposes, including recreation, business, education,
and personal communication.
As with any emerging technology, however, the use of such technology
never remains purely innocent. The internet was started nearly thirty years
ago as a way for government organizations, universities and large corpora-
tions to exchange information cheaply and easily.6 These were all trusted
institutions, however, so there was little concern that any illegal activity
would result.7 [H]istory teaches that criminals will frequently abuse new
technologies to benefit themselves or injure others.' Indeed, computer
crime9 has brought a dark side to the otherwise beneficial information
1. See generally United States Census Bureau, Computer Use in the United States, Oct.
2.  Id. at 1.
3. See id. at 5.
4. See id.
5.  See id. at 1.
6. See generally Scott Charney & Kent Alexander, Computer Crime, 45 EMORY L.J.
931, 934 (Summer, 1996). The Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPANET) was a
precursor to the internet. This system was created by the Department of Defense for use by
academic organizations and other groups working on military research. The ARPANET
itself no longer exists. See Anne W. Branscomb, Rogue Computer Programs, 16 RUTGERS
COMPUTER & TECH. L.J. 1, 6 (1990) and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S.
844, 849.
7. See Charney & Alexander, supra note 6, at 942.
8. Id. at 934.
9. This is a general term to denote all criminal activity either committed via a computer,
directed at a computer, or using the computer as a storage device.

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