Recent events have consistently demonstrated that cyber crimes present some of the most important and challenging issues our attorneys and legal system will have to confront now and in the future. For example, every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime – that’s more than one and a half million cybercrime victims each day globally.
This spring, I was thrilled to be a part of the UCLA Moot Court Cyber Crimes Competition – the first-ever national moot court competition devoted to cyber crime issues. Held on March 15th and 16th by the Moot Court Honors Program at UCLA School of Law, the competition was created to complement and enhance UCLA’s role in training the next generation of cyber crime experts.
The event attracted distinguished judges and entrants from across the United States and Canada, many who had participated in previous years. The competition problem centered around two key issues:
(1) whether an “interception” occurs under the Wiretap Act when an individual uses a computer virus to acquire confidential log-in information stored by a victim’s web browser shortly before the information is delivered to a financial institution over the internet
(2) whether the warrantless search of the contents stored on an arrestee’s cellular phone exceeds the permissible scope of a search incident to a lawful arrest, when there is no reason to believe that the cellular phone contains evidence of the crime or poses a threat to officer safety
Students were vigorously challenged by these issues, which forced them to make and defend complex arguments under difficult questioning from the judges. The competition’s judges, including Federal District Court Judge Gerald E. Rosen (Eastern District of Michigan), complimented the Moot Court Honors Board for developing such sophisticated and thoroughly researched problems.
In addition to UCLA School of Law, teams from UC Davis, Chapman University, University of Colorado, Santa Clara University, Louisiana State University, and University of San Diego participated.
We can’t thank Symantec enough for their sponsorship of the competition each year. The sponsorship is just another example of Symantec’s dedication to cyber security. By generously supporting the Cyber Crimes Competition, Symantec creates a space to train the next generation of lawyers in the complex legal arena of cybercrimes. This training in turn will help to ensure that our legal institutions are capable of maintaining cyber security well into the future no matter the changes in the legal landscape.
We’re thrilled to offer this learning opportunity in a developing and crucially important area of the law. I was very excited by the competition’s growth this year and look forward to continuing its growth and evolution next spring, and into the future.
Thomas W. Holm is the Director of the Lawyering Skills Clinical Program at UCLA School of Law.