The Computer Misuse Act 1990

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The Computer Misuse Act 1990 aims to protect data and information that is held on computer systems.

It relates to illegal access to files and data stored on computer systems and was introduced to cope with the increase in hacking and viruses. 

Penalties for breaking the Computer Misuse Act can include a prison sentence, fine, or both. 

There are three main parts to the Computer Misuse Act ...

  • Unauthorised access to computer material.  Otherwise known as “hacking”
  • Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of further offences. Accessing computer material with the intent of using the material to commit further offences is against the law
  • Unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of a computer.  This means that any unauthorized alterations made to computer materials is against the law. Examples of how this law is broken is by sending viruses that impair operation.


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Last modified: Monday, 12 October 2020, 12:41 PM