Computer Misuse Act 1990

[F13 Unauthorised 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; [F2or]

(c)to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data; [F3or

(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) [F4to (d)][F4to (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 [F512] 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.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 3 substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and 1.10.2008 otherwise) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 36, 53 (with s. 38(3)(4)(6)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2; S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2 (the substituting provision being amended for E.W.N.I. (1.10.2008) by 2007 c. 27, ss. 61(3), 94 (with Sch. 13 para. 5); S.I. 2008/2504, art. 2(a))

F2Word at the end of s. 3(2)(b) inserted (E.W.N.I.) (1.10.2008) by virtue of Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27), ss. 61(3)(a)(i), 94 (with Sch. 13 para. 5); S.I. 2008/2504, art. 2(a)

F3S. 3(2)(d) and preceding word repealed (E.W.N.I.) (1.10.2008) by virtue of Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27), ss. 61(3)(a)(ii), 92, 94, Sch. 14 (with Sch. 13 para. 5); S.I. 2008/2504, art. 2(a)(i)(viii)

F4S. 3(3): Words "to (c)" substituted for words "to (d)" (E.W.N.I.) (1.10.2008) by virtue of Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27), ss. 61(3)(b), 94 (with Sch. 13 para. 5); S.I. 2008/2504, art. 2(a)