In the United States, which laws would spying on someone using their computer's webcam, without their permission and in private areas, break?

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    none if you do it right. heres a method: you write an app, that requests use of their network, hardware, camera, files...etc... and 99 times out of 100, users will click accept without looking at the license. You now have permission. – j0h Sep 10 '15 at 15:23
  • @j0h ok, that answers I follow-up question I was thinking of. – Enkouyami Sep 10 '15 at 15:51
  • well. I mean, there are legal ways, to do what you’re asking. An illicit example would be to force a users to submit data without consent, in any particular way, through use of malicious code, or through manipulation of the hardware they access with out permission, to gain access to resources... that would be cuber-crime. – j0h Sep 10 '15 at 15:59
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    For clarity, this isn't something I'm gathering info to do, it's so I'll have a vague idea of how people try to get away with it and which laws they're breaking. – Enkouyami Mar 14 '16 at 16:38

A creative prosecutor could probably come up with a raft of charges. But you could start with the federal wiretapping statute, 18 USC 2511, and the anti-hacking statute, 18 USC 1030. Here is an indictment brought in 2012 under the anti-hacking statute against someone who distributed and used this kind of software.

Depending on the facts and the jurisdiction, this may also constitute the tort of intrusion on privacy or seclusion, a tort recognized by the Restatement (Second) and actionable in many jurisdictions. The most common test is whether the invasion would be "offensive to a reasonable person."

And no, contrary to the commenter's view, a "click to accept" license is not a get out of (literal) jail free card here. Courts interpret adhesion contracts liberally to favor the signer, and outrageous terms hidden in small print are not guaranteed to be enforceable, especially if the software is clearly designed to trick people into installing it. The license terms might even hurt you, by providing evidence of your intent to use the software for perving rather than its ostensible use.

This is not an exhaustive list, and there may be additional state-level statutes that apply. Bottom line: yes, this is clearly illegal, and the courts will be reluctant to let you trick people into getting away with it.

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