LiveChat Loading...

Australian National Character Check livechat loading
Australian National Character Check livechat loading
|
  • Resources & Technical Articles
  • Pre-Employment Screening Topics
  • Criminal Offence Topics (A to Z)
  • Locations
  • Computer Crime Offences and Penalties in Tasmania

    We live in a highly digital world. And like every other thing, people have found ways to commit crimes using technological devices. Because of this, it is necessary for countries and states to put laws in place to curb these vices. Tasmania is no exception.

    The law of Tasmania has made provisions for different digital vices, including computer crime offences. In addition, it spells out the punishment for any crime committed with the use of technology.

    But what are the laws regulating computer crimes offences in Tasmania? And what are the punishments for those offences?

    Let's delve into the provisions of Tasmanian law and discover the answers to the questions above.

    If an individual is convicted in a Western Australian court for a Computer Crime offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a criminal background check in Tasmania.

    The offence will be disclosed on a criminal history check in accordance with the Spent Convictions Scheme in Tasmania.

    Crimes Relating to Computers in Tasmania

    Chapter XXVIIIA of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) has to do with crimes relating to computers. It has several sections that cover offences such as damaging computer data, computer-related fraud, and insertion of false information as data.

    Following that section, Section 257A of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) spells out the definition of data. It also defines what it means to get access to a computer in relation to Chapter XXVIIIA of the Act.

    According to the Act, data includes information, a computer programme or part of a computer programme. On the other hand, gaining access to a computer means communication with a computer.

    The following are the offences that Section 257 of the of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) covers:

    #1. Computer-Related Fraud

    Section 257B of the Act deals with computer-related fraud. It states that a person who destroys, damages, erases, alters or otherwise manipulates data that is stored or used in connection with a computer is guilty of the crime of computer-related fraud.

    Also, anyone who introduces, records or stores any data in a computer or system of computers intending to destroy, damage, erase or alter other data stored in that computer or that system of computers is guilty of a crime.

    It is also a crime to put data in a computer to interfere with, interrupt or obstruct the lawful use of that computer or system of computers or the data stored in it.

    In all the situations above, there must be the intention to defraud.

    #2. Damaging Computer Data

    Section 257C of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) states that anyone that intentionally destroys, erases, damages, or alters data stored in a computer is guilty of the crime of damaging computer data.

    The same goes for anyone who interferes with, interrupts, or obstructs the lawful use of a device or the data stored in that device. This device could be a computer, a system of computers or any part of a system of computers.

    However, the accused will not be guilty if they had a lawful excuse for doing any of the above.

    #3. Unauthorized Access to a Computer

    Any individual who intentionally gains access into a computer, a system of computers or any part of such a system is guilty of the crime of unauthorised access to a computer.

    This law is the provision of Section 257D of the Criminal Code Act. However, having a legal excuse for doing so is a defence for unauthorized access to a computer.

    #4. Insertion of False Information as Data

    Under Section 257E of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas), anyone who fraudulently introduces false or misleading information into a computer or a system of computers is guilty of a crime. According to the section, recording or storing such false information on a computer is also an offence.

    Computer Related Fraud Under the Police Offences Act of 1935 (POA)

    Another legislation regulating computer crimes in Tasmania is the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas).

    Part VA of this Act covers offences relating to computers. According to Section 43A of that Act, computer-related fraud is a punishable offence.

    Damaging computer data is also an offence according to the provisions of Section 43B of the POA. The section makes it a crime to intentionally and unlawfully destroy, damage, erase or alter data stored in a computer. It also criminalises interfering, interrupting or obstructing the lawful use of a computer, a system of computers or any part of it.

    Section 43C of the POA deals with unauthorised access to a computer. According to this section, it is an offence for a person to gain access into a computer, system of computers, or any part of such a system. However, this action would be only a crime if the accused did it intentionally and without a legal excuse.

    In the same vein, insertion of false information as data is a punishable offence under Section 43D of the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas). This means that it is a violation of law to fraudulently introduce, record or store false or misleading information as data in a computer or system of computers. Note that it does not matter what means the accused uses to insert such data.


    Extraterritorial Application of Chapter XXVIIIA of the Criminal Code Act 1924 and Part VA of the Police Offences Act 1935

    According to the provisions of Section 257F of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas), the law regarding computer-related offences applies outside Tasmania as well as within the State.

    For instance, an accused person carries out a relevant part of the crime or act related to the crime in Tasmania. In that case, Sections 257B and 257E of the Criminal Code would apply to that action as though the accused wholly committed it in Tasmania.

    The same applies to a situation where a large part of the harmful effects of the crime came up in Tasmania.

    A similar provision is visible in Section 43E of the Police Offences Act 1935. Under that section, if the offender committed the crime partly within Tasmania or wholly outside Tasmania, the Police Offences Act 1935 would still apply as if the accused committed the act in Tasmania.

    This will be the case as long as there is:

    • A real and substantial link between doing the act or thing and Tasmania
    • A major effect of the crime arose in Tasmania.

    Penalties and Charges for Computer Crime Offences in Tasmania

    For all offences that Part VA of the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas) regulates, the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units. The alternative is imprisonment for a term that does not exceed two years.

    However, in certain situations, the Court can mete out both fine and imprisonment on an offender.

    Under the Tasmanian Criminal Code Act, the maximum penalty for all crimes (except murder and treason) is imprisonment for 21 years. This rule is the provision of Section 389 of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) .

    However, the penalty applies subject to the provisions of the Sentencing Act 1997 (Tas) and the discretion of the Court.

    Conclusion

    Anyone facing computer crime charges faces dire circumstances. The penalties for these crimes are quite drastic, and the long term effects will be damaging if convicted. It can affect the chances of getting a job, travelling internationally, and other social benefits.

    Therefore, the first and most important thing to do after an arrest is to call an experienced lawyer.

    Will a Computer Crime Offence in Tasmania show up on a national criminal history check?

    If an individual is found guilty of a Computer Crime offence in Tasmania, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their police clearance check.

    Individuals can obtain a nationally coordinated criminal history check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

    Sources

    Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) - https://www.legislation.tas.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1924-069

    Australian Institute of Criminology (Hacking Offences) - https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/htcb005.pdf

    Copyright & Disclaimer

    The content on this website is communicated to you on behalf of Australian National Character Check™ (ANCC®) pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act).

    The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction of this material may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

    You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

    The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

    Top