Is deleting your browser history a criminal offense?

Clear browser history? In the USA: Destruction of Evidence

Large corporations should no longer be able to shred files or set up secret accounts before a search: That is the real goal of a US law that was passed in 2002. However, the law, named "Sarbanes-Oxley Act" after the responsible senators, has now developed into a legal framework for all sorts of absurd accusations, TheVerge analyzes.

Up to 20 years imprisonment

Deleting your own browser history can also be assessed as "destruction of potential evidence" and punished with a prison sentence of up to 20 years. This interpretation is currently being put to the test in court: A 24-year-old American named Khairullozhon Matanov is charged with obstructing investigations by deleting the browser history.

Incorrect information

The taxi driver was an acquaintance of the Tsarnaev brothers, who are said to be responsible for the attack on the Boston Marathon. The evening before the attack, Matanov had dinner with the two siblings. When he found out about the fact, he deleted numerous pictures and his browser history. The fact that he gave incorrect information about his relationship with the Tsarnaevs continues to fuel the police. Matanov pleaded guilty in court and the verdict is due to take place this month.

Palin hack

A student had previously been convicted in 2010 for breaking into the email account of presidential candidate Sarah Palin. He also destroyed evidence by deleting the browser history, according to the US judiciary. In any case, the interpretation of the law is causing controversy - and shows how difficult the interpretation of privacy and prosecution measures has become due to digitization. (fsc, 7.6.2015)