• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Computer Misuse Offences

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Computer Misuse Offences The Computer Misuse Act created three new offences in response to the Law Commission Working Paper No. 186, on Criminal Law: Computer Misuse (Cm 819), published in October 1989. Even before the Act, dishonest computer activities were quite well-covered by the criminal law, and in particular by theft, and related offences. A common type of computer fraud involves gaining unauthorized access in order to transfer funds to one's own account, or that of a friend. Another common variety is to use a forged bank card to obtain money from a cash dispenser. Because only the computer is deceived, it is probable that neither of these activities amounts to obtaining property by deception, since there is authority that that offence requires deception of a human mind. Nevertheless, it is clear that this type of fraud has always constituted theft. Computers can also be used to commit the offence of blackmail, for example where a computer virus is introduced to a system (for example a time bomb, whose purpose is to corrupt or delete stored information after the lapse of a period of time), accompanied later by threats that some or all the files on the system will be corrupted unless a sum of money is paid into a particular account. ...read more.

Middle

In particular, hacking was not a criminal offence, and while unauthorized users may well, in using the computer, commits other offences, there were greater evidential difficulties in prosecuting such offences than in the case of non-computer crime. Nor was the deliberate creation of computer viruses a criminal offence. The least serious new offence, to be found in s. 1 of the Act, makes hacking criminal, whether or not any harm is intended. Thus, even hacking out of curiosity, of for the challenge of breaking through a security system, is covered, so long as the hacker is aware that his access is unauthorized. The offence is triable summarily, and is punishable by a maximum of six months' imprisonment and/or �2,000 fine. While s. 1 is aimed at unauthorized access, it is not necessary actually to gain access, attempted accessing also falling within the section. It is necessary only to cause 'a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access', so that, for example, an attempt to log on, which is rejected by the computer, falls within the section. ...read more.

Conclusion

In each case the s. 2 offence is committed as soon as the hacker 'causes a computer to perform any function' with the requisite intent. This could be long before the offences respectively of attempted theft and attempted blackmail are committed. The s. 3 offence, which carries the same maximum penalty as s. 2, is aimed at those who introduce worms and viruses to computer systems. If the physical condition of the computer is impaired, whether intentionally or recklessly, an offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 may also be committed. Section 3 covers non-tangible damage, which is now (by s. 3(6) expressly excluded from the Criminal Damage Act, but intention is required (as defined in s. 3(2)-(4). Recklessness is not sufficient. As explained above, the removal of Criminal Damage Act liability by s. 3(6), except where the computer is physically damaged, probably represents a change in the law. An omission from s. 3 is that it does not, at any rate directly, cover the professional virus writer, who does not directly introduce viruses on to computer systems, but distributes them in book, or other printed form. He or she may possibly be guilty of incitement to commit an offence under s. 3, however. ?? ?? ?? ?? Craig Lloyd 1 5/9/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    Only in these exceptional cases should the judge give the Nedrick Direction I.e. is death or GBH a virtual certainty, if so this is evidence from which the Jury may infer intention. 4. An exact Nedrick Direction is not required in instances where there is more than 1 source of evidence.

  2. What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial?

    Not only is there now an external body competent to make laws affecting the United Kingdom, which will be applied by the English courts regardless of the wishes of Parliament, but Parliament is no longer free to legislate without limits in areas governed by Community law, and Acts of Parliament

  1. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    CHAPTER: 3 HUNDIS Hundis are negotiable instruments written in an oriental language. They are sometimes promissory notes, but more often bills of exchange, and subject to local usages. The Hundis were in circulation in India long before the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

  2. Petrol excise should not be excluded

    Come on people, who wouldn't be smiling if they're given stuff? But that's not real life. There are many important factors to be considered at a national level before increasing the foreign aid budget. Can we trust that these mounds of money are reaching their full potential, reaching the people?

  1. Why was an allowance system introduced in Staffordshire in 1811?

    of seven then he can go to the parish and ask for relief." The Speenhamland system made parishes give paupers extra money in their wages, so that they could buy the high priced bread. Income should be For a Man For a single woman For a man and wife With

  2. The Inchoate (Incomplete) Offences - Essay Notes

    Actus Reus: - Encouraging other to do something which is a crime may be spoken, written or by some sign - Needs real encouragement, not merely suggestion - D need not incite a particular person - maybe addressed to group or people in general - R v MOST (1881)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work