The Federal Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters upheld a ruling that found the use of the accused's IP address decisive in determining his guilt.

Recently, the Federal Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters (the "Court") upheld a decision which found an accountant guilty of accessing a restricted computer system without permission(Federal Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters, "Ranieli, German Walter", Reg. No 178/17, March 30, 2017).

The facts of the case are as follows: Mr. Ranieli was accused of unlawfully accessing the websites of the Argentine Tax Authority through the accounts of his former employers and generating debt. The court of first instance found the accused guilty and sentenced him to 10 months suspended sentence for unlawfully accessing a computer system on two occasions in violation of Section 153bis of the Criminal Code.

Mr. Ranieli appealed, holding that his guilt had not been sufficiently demonstrated and that the fact that he was the individual to whom the IP address used to access the systems was assigned did not prove that he had conducted any activities personally.

Subsequently, the Court upheld the ruling of the lower court. It found that the argument, raised by the accused, that someone else could have used his IP address was countered by the remaining evidence, which left no doubt as to his guilt. Among these, the court mentioned the information regarding the internet service provider used to access the Argentine Tax Authority's website provided by Telecom Argentina S.A., Mr. Ranieli's resignation, the testimony of his former employer and the fact that he knew the necessary passwords as a result of his work as an accountant.

This case is significant because it analyzes the value of an IP address as evidence in the context of the perpetration of a cybercrime.

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