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Section 474.11 Criminal Code Act 1995
Data with Intent to Copy Account Identifier

Possessing or controlling data or a device with intent to copy an account identifier is an offence under section 474.11 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You possessed or controlled data or any thing, and
  2. You did so intending for the data or thing to be used by you or another person to:
  • Copy subscription-specific data from an account identifier, which is an offence under section 474.10(1), or
  • Copy subscription-specific data onto an account identifier, which is an offence under section 474.10(2).

‘Data’ is information in any form, including any program or part of a program.

To ‘possess or control’ data means to:

  1. Possess a computer or data storage device that holds or contains the data
  2. Possess a document in which the data is recorded, or
  3. Control data held in a computer in the possession of another person whether inside or outside Australia.

‘Subscription-specific secure data’ is that which is used, or capable of being used, to allow:

  1. A carrier to identify a particular mobile telecommunications account, or
  2. A mobile telecommunications device in which an account identifier that contains the data is installed to access the public mobile telecommunications service to which the account relates.

An ‘account identifier’ is something that:

  1. Contains subscription-specific secure data, and
  2. Is installed, or capable of being installed, in a mobile telecommunications device, or anything else that allows a particular mobile telecommunications device to be identified and is prescribed by the regulations as an account identifier.

This includes a SIM card.

A ‘mobile telecommunications device’ is an item of customer equipment used, or capable of being used, in connection with a public mobile telecommunications service.

A ‘public telecommunications service’ is one whereby:

  1. an end user can use a carriage service while moving continuously between places
  2. the device is not in physical contact with any part of the telecommunications network, and
  3. the service has intercell hand-over functions.

A ‘carriage service’ is:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’, which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions.

You are not guilty of the offence if you establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that:

  1. You were a carrier that operated the facilities used, or to be used, in the supply of the public telecommunications service to which the subscription-specific data related
  2. You were an employee or agent acting on the carrier’s behalf
  3. You were acting with the carrier’s consent
  4. You were a law enforcement, intelligence or security officer acting in the course of your duties, and your conduct was reasonable in the circumstances for performing those duties, or
  5. You were otherwise authorised by law to engage in the conduct.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

If you require Expert Legal Advice from an Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer for your Data with Intent to Copy Account Identifier matter, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on
(02) 9261 8881

The Legislation

474.11 Possession or control of data or a device with intent to copy an account identifier

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person has possession or control of any thing or data; and
(b) the person has that possession or control with the intention that the thing or data be used:
(i) by the person; or
(ii) by another person;

in committing an offence against subsection 474.10(1) (copying subscription-specific secure data from an account identifier) or 474.10(2) (copying subscription-specific secure data onto an account identifier).

Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.

(2) A person may be found guilty of an offence against subsection (1) even if committing the offence against subsection 474.10(1) (copying subscription-specific secure data from an account identifier) or 474.10(2) (copying subscription-specific secure data onto an account identifier) is impossible.

(3) It is not an offence to attempt to commit an offence against subsection (1).


(4) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against subsection (1) if the person is:
(a) the carrier who operates the facilities used, or to be used, in the supply of the public mobile telecommunications service to which the subscription-specific secure data relates; or
(b) an employee or agent of that carrier who is acting on behalf of that carrier; or
(c) acting with the consent of that carrier.

Note:     A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this subsection, see subsection 13.3(3).

(5) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against subsection (1) if:
(a) the person is, at the time of the offence, a law enforcement officer, or an intelligence or security officer, acting in the course of his or her duties; and
(b) the conduct of the person is reasonable in the circumstances for the purpose of performing that duty.

Note 1:    A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this subsection, see subsection 13.3(3).

Note 2:     This subsection merely creates a defence to an offence against subsection (1) and does not operate to authorise any conduct that requires a warrant under some other law.

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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