Section 477.2 Criminal Code Act | Unauthorised Modification of Data to Cause Impairment


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The Legislation

Section 477.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Unauthorised Modification of Data to Cause Impairment and is extracted below.

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477.2 Unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) the person causes any unauthorised modification of data held in a computer; and

(b) the person knows the modification is unauthorised; and

(c) the person is reckless as to whether the modification impairs or will impair:

(i) access to that or any other data held in any computer; or

(ii) the reliability, security or operation, of any such data; and

(d) one or more of the following applies:

(i) the data that is modified is held in a Commonwealth computer;

(ii) the data that is modified is held on behalf of the Commonwealth in a computer;

(iii) the modification of the data is caused by means of a carriage service;

(iv) the modification of the data is caused by means of a Commonwealth computer;

(v) the modification of the data impairs access to, or the reliability, security or operation of, other data held in a Commonwealth computer;

(vi) the modification of the data impairs access to, or the reliability, security or operation of, other data held on behalf of the Commonwealth in a computer;

(vii) the modification of the data impairs access to, or the reliability, security or operation of, other data by means of a carriage service.

Penalty: 10 years imprisonment.

(2) Absolute liability applies to paragraph (1)(d).

(3) A person may be guilty of an offence against this section even if there is or will be no actual impairment to:

(a) access to data held in a computer; or

(b) the reliability, security or operation, of any such data.

(4) A conviction for an offence against this section is an alternative verdict to a charge for an offence against section 477.3 (unauthorised impairment of electronic communication).