Computer Crime Research Center

Cyber jail terms tougher
(By John Ferguson, Herald and Weekly Times)

CYBER criminals who hack into computers and communications equipment face up to 10 years in jail under the latest state government crackdown on crime.

And arsonists who set bushfires will face up to 15 years in prison under the same legislation. The Crimes (Property Damage and Computer Offences) Bill will create

new penalties for anyone who hacks into or destroys computers or electronic communications.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls yesterday detailed the offences under plans to bring state law into the 21st century, with specific sanctions for those who both commit offences and plan offences.

"Malicious computer hacking or the distribution of computer viruses is not child's play," Mr Hulls said.

"This sort of criminal behaviour can have a massive economic and social impact."

Under the planned cyber laws:

UNAUTHORISED changing of computer data to cause disruptions to the system will carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.

POSSESSION of data with the intent to cause an offence will carry a maximum three-year penalty.

UNAUTHORISED modification of restricted data will carry a penalty of up to two years' jail.

UNAUTHORISED changes to credit card data will lead to a sentence of up to two years' jail.

Mr Hulls also announced that arsonists who cause bushfires will face up to 15 years in prison, with legislation aimed at people who recklessly or intentionally start bushfires.

"Making lighting a bushfire an offence punishable by up to 15 years in prison is in keeping with community expectations," he said.


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