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Serious Crime Act 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

41Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is amended as follows.

(2)After section 3 insert—

3ZAUnauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage

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

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

(b)at the time of doing the act the person knows that it is unauthorised;

(c)the act causes, or creates a significant risk of, serious damage of a material kind; and

(d)the person intends by doing the act to cause serious damage of a material kind or is reckless as to whether such damage is caused.

(2)Damage is of a “material kind” for the purposes of this section if it is—

(a)damage to human welfare in any place;

(b)damage to the environment of any place;

(c)damage to the economy of any country; or

(d)damage to the national security of any country.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(a) an act causes damage to human welfare only if it causes—

(a)loss to human life;

(b)human illness or injury;

(c)disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel;

(d)disruption of a system of communication;

(e)disruption of facilities for transport; or

(f)disruption of services relating to health.

(4)It is immaterial for the purposes of subsection (2) whether or not an act causing damage—

(a)does so directly;

(b)is the only or main cause of the damage.

(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 a country includes a reference to a territory, and to any place in, or part or region of, a country or territory.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section is (unless subsection (7) applies) liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years, or to a fine, or to both.

(7)Where an offence under this section is committed as a result of an act causing or creating a significant risk of—

(a)serious damage to human welfare of the kind mentioned in subsection (3)(a) or (3)(b), or

(b)serious damage to national security,

a person guilty of the offence is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life, or to a fine, or to both.

(3)In section 3A (making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offences under section 1 or 3), in subsections (1), (2) and (3), for “section 1 or 3” substitute “section 1, 3 or 3ZA”.

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