The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with Professor Dan Hyde of Penningtons Manches Cooper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA 1990) was principally enacted in response to the threat of unauthorised access to computers, colloquially known as ‘hacking’ offences. It had become apparent that there was no legislation in place to effectively prosecute hacking, a lacuna exposed, in particular, by R v Gold & Schifreen where the Court of Appeal quashed a conviction for creating a false instrument contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 in relation to conduct that amounted to unauthorised access to BT’s Prestel Computer Network. The House of Lords upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision and confirmed that this conduct was outside the scope of the false instrument offence as the false information, where the passwords used to gain access, had to be stored on the instrument for an appreciable time.
CMA 1990 has been amended by the Police and Justice Act 2006 (PJA 2006) and the Serious Crime Act 2015 (SCA 2015) to create five offences.
CMA 1990 creates five offences:
to knowingly cause a computer to perform any function with intent to secure unauthorised access to data or programs held in any computer
to commit the section 1 offence with intent to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, other serious offences
to do an unauthorised act in relation to a computer either intending to
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