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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Offences relating to networks and services

125Dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services

(1)A person who—

(a)dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and

(b)does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service,

is guilty of an offence.

(2)It is not an offence under this section to obtain a service mentioned in section 297(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48) (dishonestly obtaining a broadcasting or cable programme service provided from a place in the UK).

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

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

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

126Possession or supply of apparatus etc. for contravening s. 125

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if, with an intention falling within subsection (3), he has in his possession or under his control anything that may be used—

(a)for obtaining an electronic communications service; or

(b)in connection with obtaining such a service.

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

(a)he supplies or offers to supply anything which may be used as mentioned in subsection (1); and

(b)he knows or believes that the intentions in relation to that thing of the person to whom it is supplied or offered fall within subsection (3).

(3)A person’s intentions fall within this subsection if he intends—

(a)to use the thing to obtain an electronic communications service dishonestly;

(b)to use the thing for a purpose connected with the dishonest obtaining of such a service;

(c)dishonestly to allow the thing to be used to obtain such a service; or

(d)to allow the thing to be used for a purpose connected with the dishonest obtaining of such a service.

(4)An intention does not fall within subsection (3) if it relates exclusively to the obtaining of a service mentioned in section 297(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48).

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

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

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

(6)In this section, references, in the case of a thing used for recording data, to the use of that thing include references to the use of data recorded by it.

127Improper use of public electronic communications network

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

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent.

(2)A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false,

(b)causes such a message to be sent; or

(c)persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

(4)Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42)).

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