Computer Misuse Act

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Computer Misuse Act 1990

The Computer Misuse Act was put in place in response to R v Gold & Schifreen which had gained unathorized access to BT's Prestel interactive viewdata service.

  1. unauthorised access to computer material, punishable by 6 months' imprisonment or a fine "not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale" (currently £5000);
  2. unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences, punishable by 6 months/maximum fine on summary conviction or 5 years/fine on indictment;
  3. unauthorised modification of computer material, subject to the same sentences as section 2 offences.


Hacking is gaining unauthorized access to the data in a computer system
Computer Misuse Act (1990)