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Computer Misuse Act 1990

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

17Interpretation

(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) 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.

(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)A modification of the contents of any computer takes place if, by the operation of any function of the computer concerned or any other computer—

(a)any program or data held in the computer concerned is altered or erased; or

(b)any program or data is added to its contents;

and any act which contributes towards causing such a modification shall be regarded as causing it.

(8)Such a modification is unauthorised if—

(a)the person whose act causes it is not himself entitled to determine whether the modification should be made; and

(b)he does not have consent to the modification from any person who is so entitled.

(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.

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