The Computer Misuse Act 1990

Updated on Saturday 21st January 2017

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 Image
People who access a computer without an authorization need to know that they commit a severe offence, according to the Computer Misuse Act 1990. The law contains provisions related to 3 important criminal offences, but before we describe them, it is good to know that you can receive help and legal assistance from our defence solicitors in London if you find yourself accused of such offences.


Legislation related to the computer offences in the UK

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 was implemented due to a serious case trial where two individuals gained unauthorized access to the database of an important institution in the UK, with the help of computers and modems. They could also read the private inbox of Prince Philip in the mid-'80s, and these actions were considered serious offences and this is why new laws appeared in the UK.

Any individual who accesses a computer with the intention to commit online crimes, to modify materials on a computer or who simply accesses a computer which he/she is not allowed to can be accused of severe crimes and can go to prison. This kind of individual is also called a hacker and if he accesses computers by changing passwords to steal important information from persons or institutions via the email he can be arrested and sentenced. Here are the main illegal actions a hacker makes while accessing a computer without having permission, for criminal reasons:

•    delete, move or copy important data;
•    access to private emails;
•    access to online chats and talking in the name of another person;
•    hacking personal data about bank accounts;
•    enters a computer with the purpose to fraud someone;
•    operating the file system to change important data;
•    using phishing methods to have access to identity data;
•    adding computer viruses to destroy important data.

The crimes mentioned above are stipulated in the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and are punishable with specific years of imprisonment if the cases are severe. A hacker can access any computer from any place in the world with special programs or special electronic instruments and can get information which is usually restricted or private for the public. If you find yourself accused of computer crimes, it is recommended to solicit legal assistance from our criminal lawyer in the UK.

Punishments and fines for offences made with a computer

A person can receive up to 14 years of imprisonment for offences related to the national security in the UK, by using computer techs and special programs to cause breaches and damages. A 10-year punishment and a fine can be granted for individuals who commit severe damages to certain institutes or persons, with the help of a computer.

Computer crimes in the UK are developing daily and the authorities are continuously improving methods and laws to combat such problems. The Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Serious Crime Act 2015 contain amendments from the Computer Misuse Act 1990, a matter that received numerous criticism from computer experts worldwide because their technology and knowledge can be used by hackers to defend themselves and to avoid charges related to computer crimes.

You may find additional information about the Computer Misuse Act 1990 if you contact our team of criminal defence solicitors in London.