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Computer Crimes Act 1997 [Act 563]

Part I

PRELIMINARY

1 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Computer Crimes Act 1997.

(2) This Act shall come into force on such date as the Prime Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.

2 Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"computer" means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other data processing device, or a group of such interconnected or related devices, performing logical, arithmetic, storage and display functions, and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device or group of such interconnected or related devices, but does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, or a portable hand held calculator or other similar device which is non-programmable or which does not contain any data storage facility;

"computer network" means the interconnection of communication lines and circuits with a computer or a complex consisting of two or more interconnected computers;

"computer output" or "output" means a statement or a representation whether in written, printed, pictorial, film, graphical, acoustic or other form-

(a) produced by a computer;

(b) displayed on the screen of a computer; or

(c) accurately translated from a statement or representation so produced;


"data" means representations of information or of concepts that are being prepared or have been prepared in a form suitable for use in a computer;

"function" includes logic, control, arithmetic, deletion, storage and retrieval and communication or telecommunication to, from or within a computer;

"premises" includes land, buildings, movable structures and any conveyance by land, water and air;

"program" means data representing instructions or statements that, when executed in a computer, causes the computer to perform a function.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person secures access to any program or data held in a computer if, by causing a computer to perform any function, he-

(a) alters or erases the program or data;

(b) copies or moves it to any storage medium other than that in which it is held or to a different location in the storage medium in which it is held;

(c) uses it; or

(d) causes it to be output from the computer in which it is held whether by having it displayed or in any other manner,


and references to access to a program or data and to an intent to secure such access shall be construed accordingly.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) (c), a person uses a program if the function he causes the computer to perform-

(a) causes the program to be executed; or

(b) is itself a function of the program.


(4) For the purposes of paragraph (2) (d), the form in which any program or data is output and in particular whether or not it represents a form in which, in the case of a program, it is capable of being executed or, in the case of data, it is capable of being processed by a computer is immaterial.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, access of any kind by any person to any program or data held in a computer is unauthorized if-

(a) he is not himself entitled to control access of the kind in question to the program or data; and

(b) he does not have the consent or exceeds any right or consent to access by him of the kind in question to the program or data from any person who is so entitled.


(6) A reference in this Act to any program or data held in a computer includes a reference to any program or data held in any removable storage medium which is for the time being in the computer.

(7) For the purposes of this Act, a modification of the contents of any computer takes place if, by the operation of any function of the computer concerned or any other computer-

(a) any program or data held in the computer concerned is altered or erased;

(b) any program or data is introduced or added to its contents; or

(c) any event occurs which impairs the normal operation of any computer,


and any act that contributes towards causing such a modification shall be regarded as causing it.

(8) Any modification referred to in subsection (7) is unauthorized if-

(a) the person whose act causes it is not himself entitled to determine whether the modification should be made; and

(b) he does not have consent to the modification from any person who is so entitled.


(9) A reference in this Act to a program includes a reference to part of a program.

(10) A reference in this Act to a computer includes a reference to a computer network.


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