About the course:
LAW 759 -- This course is organized around three questions: 1) what conduct involving a computer is prohibited by criminal law? 2) What legal rules govern the collection of digital evidence in criminal investigations? 3) What powers do state, national, and foreign governments have to investigate and prosecute computer crimes? More specifically, topics will include computer hacking, computer viruses, encryption, online undercover operations, the Fourth Amendment in cyberspace, the law of Internet surveillance, laws governing access to e-mail, forum-shopping, jurisdiction, national security, and federal–state relations and international cooperation in the enforcement of computer crime laws. Special attention will be paid to cyber terrorism. No advanced knowledge of computers and the Internet is required or assumed.
About the professor:
William C. Snyder, Esq., is an Assistant Professor of Law for the 2007-2008 school year at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is teaching Federal Criminal Law, Computer Crimes, Terrorism and the Law, and Prosecuting Terrorist in Article III Courts. In addition, he assists at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.
Mr. Snyder was the 2004-2005 Fellow in Government Law and Policy at the Albany Law School’s Government Law Center. A career federal prosecutor prior to joining the Government Law Center, Mr. Snyder served over 13 years as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Western District of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Prior to receiving his law degree, Mr. Snyder served as an Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States and was Deputy Administrative Assistant to Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh.
As an AUSA, Mr. Snyder initiated prosecution of the largest felony case in the history of the Western District of Pennsylvania while assigned as legal counsel to the Greater Pittsburgh Violent Crimes/ Gang Task Force. In addition, he participated in intelligence investigations and drafted emergency plans while assigned to that district's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council. He served as the district's Crisis Response Manager.
Mr. Snyder received his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in political science with a concentration in international relations from Yale College of Yale University. He received his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Cornell Law School where he served on the Cornell Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Since 2005, Mr. Snyder taught National Security Law, Current Legal Issues in Government and Fact Investigation as an Adjunct Professor at Albany Law School. In 2006 and 2007 he taught Prosecuting Terrorists in Article III Courts at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, a joint venture of Syracuse University's College of Law and its Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In addition, he teaches criminal law and procedure to local police departments. He has also lectured on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act following his service on the Greater Pittsburgh Violent Crime and Gang Task Force that resulted in a ground-breaking racketeering prosecution.
Mr. Snyder is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the International Bar Association.
Class Meeting Times:
Class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. in Room 101.
The primary text is Kerr, Orin, Computer Crime Law, 2d Ed. (West, 2009). More materials will be provided in class. All materials other than the primary texts will be available on the course website at http://cyber.federalcriminallaw.info. All required readings are essential. Supplemental readings will be available for anyone who wants to delve into a subject more deeply. Anything projected during class will be available on the course websites.
This is an exam class. In-class participation will not be a specific percentage of the final grade. Classroom participation will be taken into account in determining a final course grade only under exceptional circumstances. Ordinarily, performance on the anonymously-graded, closed-book, in-class final examination will constitute 100% of the final course grade. Students are expected to act responsibly and professionally in preparing for and participating in class. In my experience, not including class participation in the grade actually promotes discussion in this type of course – perhaps because people are free from fear of sanction for expressing their views on controversial subjects or for displaying their ignorance. You will learn more if you participate, and that increased knowledge should shine through in your answers on the examination. I do call on students in class, but generally not for things that everyone should already know (such as the facts of a case or its procedural posture).
You may use computers or bluebooks to answer exam questions. The exam will include both essay and objective questions. The examination is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.