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Computer Misuse Act 1990

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E+W+S+N.I.

Computer Misuse Act 1990

1990 CHAPTER 18

An Act to make provision for securing computer material against unauthorised access or modification; and for connected purposes.

[29th June 1990]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Computer misuse offencesE+W+S+N.I.

1 Unauthorised access to computer material.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a)he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer [F1, or to enable any such access to be secured]F1 ;

(b)the access he intends to secure [F2, or to enable to be secured,]F2 is unauthorised; and

(c)he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.

(2)The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this section need not be directed at—

(a)any particular program or data;

(b)a program or data of any particular kind; or

(c)a program or data held in any particular computer.

[F3(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(b)on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.F3]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 1(1)(a) inserted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 35(2)(a), 53 (with s. 38(1)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2 (as amended (prosp.) by 2007 c. 27, ss. 61(2), 94 (with Sch. 13 para. 5))

F2Words in s. 1(1)(b) inserted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 35(2)(b), 53 (with s. 38(1)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2 (as amended (prosp.) by 2007 c. 27, ss. 61(2), 94 (with Sch. 13 para. 5))

F3S. 1(3) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 35(3), 53 (with s. 38(2)(6)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

2 Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits an offence under section 1 above (“the unauthorised access offence”) with intent—

(a)to commit an offence to which this section applies; or

(b)to facilitate the commission of such an offence (whether by himself or by any other person);

and the offence he intends to commit or facilitate is referred to below in this section as the further offence.

(2)This section applies to offences—

(a)for which the sentence is fixed by law; or

(b)for which a personwho has attained the age of twenty-one years (eighteen in relation to England and Wales) and has no previous convictions may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years (or, in England and Wales, might be so sentenced but for the restrictions imposed by section 33 of the M1Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980).

(3)It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether the further offence is to be committed on the same occasion as the unauthorised access offence or on any future occasion.

(4)A person may be guilty of an offence under this section even though the facts are such that the commission of the further offence is impossible.

[F4(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(b)on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine or to both.F4]

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Amendments (Textual)

F4S. 2(5) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 17 (with s. 38(6)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

Marginal Citations

[F53Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a)he does any unauthorised act in relation to a computer;

(b)at the time when he does the act he knows that it is unauthorised; and

(c)either subsection (2) or subsection (3) below applies.

(2)This subsection applies if the person intends by doing the act—

(a)to impair the operation of any computer;

(b)to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer;

(c)to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data; or

(d)to enable any of the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) above to be done.

(3)This subsection applies if the person is reckless as to whether the act will do any of the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2) above.

(4)The intention referred to in subsection (2) above, or the recklessness referred to in subsection (3) above, need not relate to—

(a)any particular computer;

(b)any particular program or data; or

(c)a program or data of any particular kind.

(5)In this section—

(a)a reference to doing an act includes a reference to causing an act to be done;

(b)act” includes a series of acts;

(c)a reference to impairing, preventing or hindering something includes a reference to doing so temporarily.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(b)on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine or to both.F5]

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Amendments (Textual)

F5S. 3 substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 36, 53 (with s. 38(3)(4)(6)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2 (as amended (prosp.) by 2007 c. 27, ss. 61(3), 92, 94, Sch. 14 (with Sch. 13 para. 5))

Prospective

[F63AMaking, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under section 1 or 3E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he makes, adapts, supplies or offers to supply any article intending it to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, an offence under section 1 or 3.

(2)A person is guilty of an offence if he supplies or offers to supply any article believing that it is likely to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, an offence under section 1 or 3.

(3)A person is guilty of an offence if he obtains any article with a view to its being supplied for use to commit, or to assist in the commission of, an offence under section 1 or 3.

(4)In this section “article” includes any program or data held in electronic form.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(b)on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F6S. 3A inserted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 37, 53 (with s. 38(5)(6)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

JurisdictionE+W+S+N.I.

4 Territorial scope of [F7 offences under sections 1 to 3]F7.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Except as provided below in this section, it is immaterial for the purposes of any offence under section 1 or 3 above—

(a)whether any act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence occurred in the home country concerned; or

(b)whether the accused was in the home country concerned at the time of any such act or event.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, in the case of such an offence at least one significant link with domestic jurisdiction must exist in the circumstances of the case for the offence to be committed.

(3)There is no need for any such link to exist for the commission of an offence under section 1 above to be established in proof of an allegation to that effect in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above.

(4)Subject to section 8 below, where—

(a)any such link does in fact exist in the case of an offence under section 1 above; and

(b)commission of that offence is alleged in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above;

section 2 above shall apply as if anything the accused intended to do or facilitate in any place outside the home country concerned which would be an offence to which section 2 applies if it took place in the home country concerned were the offence in question.

(5)This section is without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable by a court in Scotland apart from this section.

(6)References in this Act to the home country concerned are references—

(a)in the application of this Act to England and Wales, to England and Wales;

(b)in the application of this Act to Scotland, to Scotland; and

(c)in the application of this Act to Northern Ireland, to Northern Ireland.

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Amendments (Textual)

F7S. 4 heading: words substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 18; S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

5 Significant links with domestic jurisdiction.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The following provisions of this section apply for the interpretation of section 4 above.

(2)In relation to an offence under section 1, either of the following is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction—

(a)that the accused was in the home country concerned at the time when he did the act which caused the computer to perform the function; or

[F8(b)that any computer containing any program or data to which the accused by doing that act secured or intended to secure unauthorised access, or enabled or intended to enable unauthorised access to be secured, was in the home country concerned at that time.]

F8(3)In relation to an offence under section 3, either of the following is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction—

(a)that the accused was in the home country concerned at the time when [F9he did the unauthorised act (or caused it to be done)]F9 ; or

[F10(b)that the unauthorised act was done in relation to a computer in the home country concerned.F10]

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Amendments (Textual)

F8S. 5(2)(b) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(2) (with s. 38(1)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

F9Words in s. 5(3)(a) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(3)(a) (with s. 38(4)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

F10S. 5(3)(b) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(3)(b) (with s. 38(4)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

6 Territorial scope of inchoate offences related to offences under this Act.E+W+N.I.

(1)On a charge of conspiracy to commit an offence under this Act the following questions are immaterial to the accused’s guilt—

(a)the question where any person became a party to the conspiracy; and

(b)the question whether any act, omission or other event occurred in the home country concerned.

(2)On a charge of attempting to commit an offence under section 3 above the following questions are immaterial to the accused’s guilt—

(a)the question where the attempt was made; and

(b)the question whether it had an effect in the home country concerned.

(3)On a charge of incitement to commit an offence under this Act the question where the incitement took place is immaterial to the accused’s guilt.

(4)This section does not extend to Scotland.

7 Territorial scope of inchoate offences related to offences under external law corresponding to offences under this Act.E+W+S+N.I.

F11(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F11(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)The following subsections shall be inserted after section 1(1) of the M2Criminal Attempts Act 1981—

(1A)Subject to section 8 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (relevance of external law), if this subsection applies to an act, what the person doing it had in view shall be treated as an offence to which this section applies.

(1B)Subsection (1A) above applies to an act if—

(a)it is done in England and Wales; and

(b)it would fall within subsection (1) above as more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence under section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 but for the fact that the offence, if completed, would not be an offence triable in England and Wales..

(4)Subject to section 8 below, if any act done by a person in England and Wales would amount to the offence of incitement to commit an offence under this Act but for the fact that what he had in view would not be an offence triable in England and Wales—

(a)what he had in view shall be treated as an offence under this Act for the purposes of any charge of incitement brought in respect of that act; and

(b)any such charge shall accordingly be triable in England and Wales.

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Amendments (Textual)

F11S. 7(1)(2) repealed (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(2), Sch. 2 Pt. II (with s. 9(3))

Marginal Citations

8 Relevance of external law.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence triable by virtue of section 4(4) above only if what he intended to do or facilitate would involve the commission of an offence under the law in force where the whole or any part of it was intended to take place.

F12(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)A person is guilty of an offence triable by virtue of section 1(1A) of the M3Criminal Attempts Act 1981 or by virtue of section 7(4) above only if what he had in view would involve the commission of an offence under the law in force where the whole or any part of it was intended to take place.

(4)Conduct punishable under the law in force in any place is an offence under that law for the purposes of this section, however it is described in that law.

(5)Subject to subsection (7) below, a condition specified in [F13subsection (1) or (3)] above shall be taken to be satisfied unless not later than rules of court may provide the defence serve on the prosecution a notice—

(a)stating that, on the facts as alleged with respect to the relevant conduct, the condition is not in their opinion satisfied;

(b)showing their grounds for that opinion; and

(c)requiring the prosecution to show that it is satisfied.

(6)In subsection (5) above “the relevant conduct” means—

(a)where the condition in subsection (1) above is in question, what the accused intended to do or facilitate;

F12(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)where the condition in subsection (3) above is in question, what the accused had in view.

(7)The court, if it thinks fit, may permit the defence to require the prosecution to show that the condition is satisfied without the prior service of a notice under subsection (5) above.

(8)If by virtue of subsection (7) above a court of solemn jurisdiction in Scotland permits the defence to require the prosecution to show that the condition is satisfied, it shall be competent for the prosecution for that purpose to examine any witness or to put in evidence any production not included in the lists lodged by it.

(9)In the Crown Court the question whether the condition is satisfied shall be decided by the judge alone.

(10)In the High Court of Justiciary and in the sheriff court the question whether the condition is satisfied shall be decided by the judge or, as the case may be, the sheriff alone.

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Amendments (Textual)

F13Words in s. 8(5) substituted (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 6(1)(b) (with s. 9(3))

Marginal Citations

9 British citizenship immaterial.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In any proceedings brought in England and Wales in respect of any offence to which this section applies it is immaterial to guilt whether or not the accused was a British citizen at the time of any act, omission or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence.

(2)This section applies to the following offences—

(a)any offence under this Act;

F14(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)any attempt to commit an offence under section 3 above; and

(d)incitement to commit an offence under this Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

Miscellaneous and generalE+W+S+N.I.

10 Saving for certain law enforcement powers.E+W+S+N.I.

Section 1(1) above has effect without prejudice to the operation—

(a)in England and Wales of any enactment relating to powers of inspection, search or seizure; and

(b)in Scotland of any enactment or rule of law relating to powers of examination, search or seizure.

[F15and nothing designed to indicate a withholding of consent to access to any program or data from persons as enforcement officers shall have effect to make access unauthorised for the purposes of the said section 1(1).

  • In this section “enforcement officer” means a constable or other person charged with the duty of investigating offences; and withholding consent from a person “as” an enforcement officer of any description includes the operation, by the person entitled to control access, of rules whereby enforcement officers of that description are, as such, disqualified from membership of a class of persons who are authorised to have access.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F15Words in s. 10 inserted (3.2.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 162(1); S.I. 1995/127, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

11 Proceedings for offences under section 1.E+W+N.I.

(1)F16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, proceedings for an offence under section 1 above may be brought within a period of six months from the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge.

(3)No such proceedings shall be brought by virtue of this section more than three years after the commission of the offence.

(4)For the purposes of this section, a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor and stating the date on which evidence sufficient in his opinion to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.

(5)A certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed shall be deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

F17(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)This section does not extend to Scotland.

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Amendments (Textual)

12 Conviction of an offence under section 1 in proceedings for an offence under section 2 or 3.E+W+N.I.

(1)If on the trial on indictment of a person charged with—

(a)an offence under section 2 above; or

(b)an offence under section 3 above or any attempt to commit such an offence;

the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged, they may find him guilty of an offence under section 1 above if on the facts shown he could have been found guilty of that offence in proceedings for that offence brought before the expiry of any time limit under section 11 above applicable to such proceedings.

(2)The Crown Court shall have the same powers and duties in relation to a person who is by virtue of this section convicted before it of an offence under section 1 above as a magistrates’ court would have on convicting him of the offence.

(3)This section is without prejudice to section 6(3) of the M4Criminal Law Act 1967 (conviction of alternative indictable offence on trial on indictment).

(4)This section does not extend to Scotland.

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Marginal Citations

13 Proceedings in Scotland.S

(1)A sheriff shall have jurisdiction in respect of an offence under section 1 or 2 above if—

(a)the accused was in the sheriffdom at the time when he did the act which caused the computer to perform the function; or

[F18(b)any computer containing any program or data to which the accused by doing that act secured or intended to secure unauthorised access, or enabled or intended to enable unauthorised access to be secured, was in the sheriffdom at that time.]

F18(2)A sheriff shall have jurisdiction in respect of an offence under section 3 above if—

(a)the accused was in the sheriffdom at the time when [F19he did the unauthorised act (or caused it to be done)]F19 ; or

[F20(b)the unauthorised act was done in relation to a computer in the sheriffdom.]

F20(3)F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(8)In proceedings in which a person is charged with an offence under section 2 or 3 above and is found not guilty or is acquitted of that charge, he may be found guilty of an offence under section 1 above if on the facts shown he could have been found guilty of that offence in proceedings for that offence F22... .

(9)Subsection (8) above shall apply whether or not an offence under section 1 above has been libelled in the complaint or indictment.

(10)A person found guilty of an offence under section 1 above by virtue of subsection (8) above shall be liable, in respect of that offence, only to the penalties set out in section 1.

(11)This section extends to Scotland only.

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Amendments (Textual)

14 Search warrants for offences under section 1.E+W

(1)Where a circuit judge [F23or a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts)]F23 is satisfied by information on oath given by a constable that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed in any premises; and

(b)that evidence that such an offence has been or is about to be committed is in those premises;

he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises, using such reasonable force as is necessary.

(2)The power conferred by subsection (1) above does not extend to authorising a search for material of the kinds mentioned in section 9(2) of the M5Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (privileged, excluded and special procedure material).

(3)A warrant under this section—

(a)may authorise persons to accompany any constable executing the warrant; and

(b)remains in force for [F24three months]F24 from the date of its issue.

(4)In executing a warrant issued under this section a constable may seize an article if he reasonably believes that it is evidence that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed.

(5)In this section “premises” includes land, buildings, movable structures, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and hovercraft.

(6)This section does not extend to Scotland.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Northern Ireland only.

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

14 Search warrants for offences under section 1.N.I.

(1)Where a circuit judge [F23or a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts)]F23 is satisfied by information on oath given by a constable that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed in any premises; and

(b)that evidence that such an offence has been or is about to be committed is in those premises;

he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises, using such reasonable force as is necessary.

(2)The power conferred by subsection (1) above does not extend to authorising a search for material of the kinds mentioned in section 9(2) of the M5Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (privileged, excluded and special procedure material).

(3)A warrant under this section—

(a)may authorise persons to accompany any constable executing the warrant; and

(b)remains in force for twenty-eight days from the date of its issue.

(4)In executing a warrant issued under this section a constable may seize an article if he reasonably believes that it is evidence that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed.

(5)In this section “premises” includes land, buildings, movable structures, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and hovercraft.

(6)This section does not extend to Scotland.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Northern Ireland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

15 Extradition where Schedule 1 to the Extradition Act 1989 applies.E+W+S+N.I.

F25. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F25S. 15 repealed (1.1.2004) by Extradition Act 2003 (c. 41), ss. 219, 220, 221, Sch. 3 para. 7, Sch. 4; S.I. 2003/3103, art. 2 (subject to savings in order arts 3-5 as amended by S.I. 2003/3312 and S.I. 2003/3258)

16 Application to Northern Ireland.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The following provisions of this section have effect for applying this Act in relation to Northern Ireland with the modifications there mentioned.

(2)In section 2(2)(b)—

(a)the reference to England and Wales shall be read as a reference to Northern Ireland; and

(b)the reference to section 33 of the M6Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 shall be read as a reference to Article 46(4) of the M7Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.

(3)The reference in section 3(6) to the M8Criminal Damage Act 1971 shall be read as a reference to the M9Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977.

(4)[F26Subsection (7) below shall apply in substitution for subsection (3) of section 7]; and any reference in subsection (4) of that section to England and Wales shall be read as a reference to Northern Ireland.

F27(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F27(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)The following paragraphs shall be inserted after Article 3(1) of that Order—

(1A)Subject to section 8 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (relevance of external law), if this paragraph applies to an act, what the person doing it had in view shall be treated as an offence to which this Article applies.

(1B)Paragraph (1A) above applies to an act if—

(a)it is done in Northern Ireland; and

(b)it would fall within paragraph (1) as more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence under section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 but for the fact that the offence, if completed, would not be an offence triable in Northern Ireland..

(8)In section 8—

(a )F27. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)the reference in subsection (3) to section 1(1A) of the M10Criminal Attempts Act 1981 shall be read as a reference to Article 3(1A) of that Order.

(9)The references in sections 9(1) and 10 to England and Wales shall be read as references to Northern Ireland.

(10)In section 11, [F28before subsection (2) there shall be inserted]F28

(1)A magistrates’ court for a county division in Northern Ireland may hear and determine a complaint charging an offence under section 1 above or conduct a preliminary investigation or preliminary inquiry into an offence under that section if—

(a)the accused was in that division at the time when he did the act which caused the computer to perform the function; or

(b)any computer containing any program or data to which the accused secured or intended to secure unauthorised access by doing that act was in that division at that time.;

F29. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(11)The reference in section 12(3) to section 6(3) of the M11Criminal Law Act 1967 shall be read as a reference to section 6(2) of the M12Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967.

(12)In section 14—

(a)the reference in subsection (1) to a circuit judge shall be read as a reference to a county court judge; and

(b)the reference in subsection (2) to section 9(2) of the M13Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 shall be read as a reference to Article 11(2) of the M14Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F26Words in s. 16(4) substituted (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 6(3)(a) (with s. 9(3))

Marginal Citations

Prospective

[F3016ANorthern Ireland: search warrants for offences under section 1N.I.

(1)Where a county court judge is satisfied by information on oath given by a constable that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed in any premises, and

(b)that evidence that such an offence has been or is about to be committed is in those premises,

he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises, using such reasonable force as is necessary.

(2)The power conferred by subsection (1) above does not extend to authorising a search for material of the kinds mentioned in Article 11(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (privileged, excluded and special procedure material).

(3)A warrant under this section—

(a)may authorise persons to accompany any constable executing the warrant; and

(b)remains in force for twenty-eight days from the date of its issue.

(4)In exercising a warrant issued under this section a constable may seize an article if he reasonably believes that it is evidence that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed.

(5)In this section “premises” includes land, buildings, movable structures, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and hovercraft.

(6)This section extends only to Northern Ireland.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

17 Interpretation.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The following provisions of this section apply for the interpretation of this Act.

(2)A person secures access to any program or data held in a computer if by causing a computer to perform any function he—

(a)alters or erases the program or data;

(b)copies or moves it to any storage medium other than that in which it is held or to a different location in the storage medium in which it is held;

(c)uses it; or

(d)has it output from the computer in which it is held (whether by having it displayed or in any other manner);

and references to access to a program or data (and to an intent to secure such access [F31or to enable such access to be secured]F31) shall be read accordingly.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(c) above a person uses a program if the function he causes the computer to perform—

(a)causes the program to be executed; or

(b)is itself a function of the program.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (2)(d) above—

(a)a program is output if the instructions of which it consists are output; and

(b)the form in which any such instructions or any other data is output (and in particular whether or not it represents a form in which, in the case of instructions, they are capable of being executed or, in the case of data, it is capable of being processed by a computer) is immaterial.

(5)Access of any kind by any person to any program or data held in a computer is unauthorised if—

(a)he is not himself entitled to control access of the kind in question to the program or data; and

(b)he does not have consent to access by him of the kind in question to the program or data from any person who is so entitled [F32but this subsection is subject to section 10.]

(6)References to any program or data held in a computer include references to any program or data held in any removable storage medium which is for the time being in the computer; and a computer is to be regarded as containing any program or data held in any such medium.

(7)F33. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F34(8)An act done in relation to a computer is unauthorised if the person doing the act (or causing it to be done)—

(a)is not himself a person who has responsibility for the computer and is entitled to determine whether the act may be done; and

(b)does not have consent to the act from any such person.

In this subsection “act” includes a series of acts.]

F34(9)References to the home country concerned shall be read in accordance with section 4(6) above.

(10)References to a program include references to part of a program.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F31Words in s. 17(2) inserted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 29(2) (with s. 38(1)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

F32Words in s. 17(5)(b) inserted (3.2.1995) by 1994 c. 33, s. 162(2); S.I. 1995/127, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F34S. 17(8) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and otherwise prosp.) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 29(4) (with s. 38(4)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2

18 Citation, commencement etc.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

(2)This Act shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.

(3)An offence is not committed under this Act unless every act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence takes place after this Act comes into force.

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