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The Computer Misuse Act

There were no laws specifically to deal with computer crime prior to 1990.

The Computer Misuse Act (1990) makes the misuse of a computer a criminal offence. The law was introduced in 1990. Throughout the previous decade the growth in the use of computers had made new crimes possible which existing laws did not deal with.


  • The Computer Misuse Act is often labeled "anti-hacking legislation"
  • It was enacted to respond to the growing threat of hacking to computer systems and data.
  • Previously hacking was not illegal in the UK. Act now covers much more.
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