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Hindering a Carrier or Carriage Service Provider by Tampering or Interfering With Facilities

Hindering a carrier or carriage service provider by tampering or interfering with facilities is an offence under section 474.6(3) 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 tampered with, or interfered with, a facility
  2. The facility was owned or operated by a carrier, nominated carrier or carriage service provider, and
  3. Your conduct resulted in hindering the normal operation of a carriage service supplied by the carriage service provider.

A ‘carrier’ is any organisation, eligible partnership or public body that is granted a licence by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), this includes radio and televisions stations.

A ‘nominated carrier’ is one for whom the ACMA has made a nominated carrier declaration rather than granted a full licence.

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, such as emails and the use of social media sites.

A ‘carriage service provider’ is an organisation that supplies, or proposes to supply, a listed carriage service to the public using a network unit:

  1. Owned by one or more carriers, or
  2. In relation to which a nominated carrier declaration is in force, this includes companies such as Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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