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Impact of the Computer Misuse Act

The Computer Misuse Act has implications for individuals and groups such as organised gangs of hackers. Penalties for breaches can be severe. They are divided into summary penalties (for trials without juries) and indictment penalties (for trials with juries). The penalties are as follows:

Section 1 (hacking)

  • Summary penalty: up to 12 months in prison and / or a fine of up to the statutory maximum.
  • Indictment penalty: up to 2 years in person and / or a fine.

Section 3 (carrying out unauthorised acts in relation to a computer)

  • Summary penalty: up to 12 months in prison and / or a fine of up to the statutory maximum.
  • Indictment penalty: up to 10 years in person and / or a fine.

Section 3A (making, supplying or obtaining articles)

  • Summary penalty: up to 12 months in prison and / or a fine of up to the statutory maximum.
  • Indictment penalty: up to 2 years in person and / or a fine.

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