Unauthorised impairment of an electronic communication is an offence under section 308E of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
‘Impairment’ of an electronic communication means:
‘Impairment’ does not include the mere interception of a communication.
An ‘electronic communication’ is a communication of information in any form by means of guided or unguided electromagnetic energy.
You were not ‘authorised’ to impair the communication if you were not entitled to cause it, however, your actions are not unauthorised merely because you had an ulterior motive for them, or if:
You were ‘reckless’ if you foresaw the possibility of impairing the communication, but went ahead with your actions regardless.
Duress is a defence to the charge.
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