The video game industry is expected to generate over 200 billion USD in 2023. While this includes the sale of home consoles and physical video games, the largest growth is in mobile gaming. There are an estimated 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, of which 2.6 billion are playing on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile gaming platforms allow individuals to play without a gaming console or personal computer. They are the most popular for gaming among children. The availability of affordable mobile devices, as well as expanded internet capabilities, has fueled the rise of the online gaming industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has further contributed to this proliferation in the global digital gaming market.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has revised its prosecutorial guidelines for bringing criminal charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. Under the revised guidelines, federal prosecutors should not pursue CFAA violations if available evidence shows an individual’s conduct consisted of, and the defendant intended, “good faith security research.” See Justice Manual (J.M.) § 9-48.000 (Revised CFAA Guidelines). These policy changes, effective immediately, provide some welcome clarity for so-called “white-hat” or “ethical” hackers, such as cyber researchers and penetration testers.