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Computer Misuse Act

With the rise of personal computing devices in the 1980s and their increased prominence in businesses, lawmakers drafted fresh rules that aimed to protect the information increasingly on these machines.

The Computer Misuse Act (CMA) 1990 is a key piece of legislation that criminalises the act of accessing or modifying data stored on a computer system without appropriate consent or permission. It was devised after the Regina v Gold and Schifreen case of 1987, in which two hackers remotely accessed BT’s Prestel service at a trade show using the credentials of a BT engineer. 

Data stored electronically is easier to misuse and this can have an impact on data becoming corrupted, either accidentally or deliberately. This is an ACT designed to stop missuse in this way. Read more

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