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Computer Misuse Act 1990

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

[F13Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.E+W+S+N.I.
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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 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))

(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; or

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

(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 (c) 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.F1]

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