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The computer misuse act

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  • Essay length: 823 words
  • Submitted: 18/11/2007
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GCSE Legislation & The Legal Framework

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The Computer Misuse Act (1990)

The 1990 Computer Misuse Act was introduced by Parliament to prevent misuse of computers.

It was introduced due to a number of reasons. Hackers were able to gain access past security and see data stored on other computers using an Internet connection. Copying can also be quick and easy using online computers and large storage devices such as hard disks. Personal data and written work, such as textbooks, can all be copied without permission. Copies of music tracks from music CDs could be distributed on the Internet using computer equipment. This misuse of computers and the Internet breaks copyright regulations. Spam is another abuse with millions of e-mails being sent to advertise both legal and illegal products. Viruses are also being made which are designed to cause damage to other computers.

The Act introduced three new offences:

1. Accessing computer material without permission (e.g. viewing someone else's files)

2. Accessing computer material without permission with intent to commit further criminal offences (e.g. hacking into a bank's computer as a result of wanting to increase the amount in your account)

3. Altering computer data without permission (e.g. writing

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