Cybercrime and its laws are still pretty modern and being constantly developed to keep up with the advancement of technology, its potential and the rise of social media.
It is a complex area of crime that also relies on other areas of law such as the Fraud Act, Protection from Harassment Act and Communication Act.
Cybercrime is usually bought under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA).
There are several offences that come under this:
Section 1: Unauthorised access to computer material.
It is an offence to cause a computer to perform a function with intent to secure access to a programme or data without authorisation, even if the computer itself is your own.
There must be evidence that the accessing was unauthorised, recklessness is insufficient.
Section 1(2) clarifies that the unauthorised access does not have to be aimed at a specific programme. This offence isn’t limited to external hackers, but It would also include employees attempting to access areas of a computer they had been denied access to and exceeds their authority.
This offence carries up to 2 years’ imprisonment.
Section 2: Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of further offences.
This offence builds on Section 1, but with the added condition of intending to commit further crimes. For example, accessing an unauthorised computer to steal data in order to commit fraud such as bank fraud. However, it does not have to be proven that the further intended crime was committed. Also, anyone cleared of section 2 can still be convicted of the section 1 offence
This offence can carry up to 5 years imprisonment
Section 3: Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer
This offence involves unauthorised access to a computer, and whether intended or recklessly:
– Impair the operation of a computer
– Prevent or hinder access to any programme or data held.
– Impair the operation of any such programme or reliability of its data
The offence can carry up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Section 3ZA, Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage.
This offence is where the access to an unauthorised computer causes grater damage such as to infrastructure, where the punishment for section 3 alone is deemed inadequate.
This offence can carry up to 14 years’ imprisonment
If the offence was to pose a greater threat, let’s say to human welfare, the offence can then be up to life imprisonment.
Section 3A, Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under Section 1, 3 or 3ZA
Cyber related crimes
If you find yourself facing an allegation of cybercrime, contact Mi solicitors immediately who can offer expert advice and provide you with a strong defence. We can represent you regardless of where you are based in the UK and have expertise in the complex area of law.
Call us today at 0121 356 7930